4. You Avoid Carbs And Fat
Stop stressing over the carbs vs fat debate. “You really need both of these nutrients to lose weight,” says Ansel. Both fiber from whole carbs (yay, whole-grain pasta!) and fat from foods like dairy and eggs are incredibly satiating, she says. Cutting them out is a surefire way to screw with your blood sugar and insulin. What's up, hanger?
Make things easier: “In the end, focusing on portion size rather than cutting back on a single nutrient will help the pounds melt off much faster,” she says. So instead of banishing one or more of the three macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein) from your plate, bring them all on board. Carbs, fat, and protein at every meal!
5. You're Not Eating Enough
“Women think that they need to cut more calories than they really do to lose weight,” says Perkins. “The difference between maintaining and losing is only about 500 calories a day.” Cutting that amount from your daily intake (or even fewer, if you increase your exercise) really isn’t that much in the grand scheme of your refrigerator.
However, cutting more calories than that could make weight loss more difficult. When you don't eat enough, your metabolism actually slows and you wind up bingeing (thanks to an onslaught of appetite-stimulating hormones that come with restricting calories). Bonus: You're more apt to store those calories as fat, says Ansel. So that's fun.
Make things easier: While everyone's exact calorie needs are unique, most women need to consume at least 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day in order to lose weight without a stalled metabolism, extra hunger, or fatigue, she says.
6. You Run On Minimal Sleep
It doesn’t matter how well you function on six hours of rest or that you woke up early to work out, losing weight is soooo much harder when you don’t get that beauty sleep. For instance, Diabetologia research shows that just four days of 4.5 hours per night reduces the body’s insulin sensitivity, increasing the risk for fat storage. And a 2016 SLEEP study found that poor sleep pumps your brain full of the same chemicals that cause marijuana-fueled munchies.
Make things easier: Prioritize bedtime. When it comes to keeping your body fat percentage in a healthy range, maintaining a regular sleep schedule is even more important than logging more Z's per night, according to research from Brigham Young University.
7. You Exercise On Empty
“A lot of women go into their workouts without eating in hopes of a bigger caloric deficit,” says Perkins. But if you’re exercising for weight loss, you need to power your sweat sessions with food. Without proper fueling, your body can’t perform at its best.
Make things easier: Perkins recommends eating a meal two to three hours before your workout or snacking 30 to 60 minutes prior to sweat time. Opt for a part-carb, part-protein snack (think: an apple and cheese) to give your body the energy it needs to help you build more metabolism-boosting muscle.