Many of the people we work with don’t realize there are often everyday unknown road blocks in their way to achieving their weight loss goals.

Here are 5 Hidden Weight Loss Road Blocks:

1. Living in pain: Research and experience show that pain makes losing weight (fat) harder than it should be. There are several reasons for this: (a) Pain makes you hungrier and/or less satisfied with what you eat (so you eat more). (b) Pain also limits the intensity at which you can workout and thus the results you can get in the gym. (c) The brilliant physical therapist Gray Cook says, “pain changes everything.” Gray is talking about how your muscles work. When you’re in pain your body finds ways to move while minimizing pain. This often means not using some muscles. Since muscles are your metabolism, reduced access to them means
working out doesn’t work out as well as it should.

#2. Shorting your sleep: not sleeping enough can ramp up your appetite and slow n your metabolism. Sleep seems to be important for nearly all of your hormones, and there are two in particular that are important for losing fat and keeping it off – leptin and ghrelin. Leptin (when you make enough and it functions) reduces appetite and speeds up metabolism. Ghrelin makes you hungry. The less you sleep the lower your leptin levels and the higher your Ghrelin levels. This is a terrible combination for weight loss. If you’re always hungry, 6 hours of sleep is probably not enough.

#3. Movement quality: movement is metabolism. The better you move the better your workouts and results (and safety) will be. I’ve been tracking movement quality scores using a system called The Functional Movement Screen since 2004. We started using it as an objective and quantifiable way to individualize exercises. We’ve also been shocked by the trends over the past decade.

People’s movement baseline has dropped by almost 50%. This doesn’t mean exercise is 50% less effective, but it does mean that people’s body’s do not respond the same way as they did 10 years ago until we fix their movement quality scores. If you’re frustrated or starting back into fitness I think that getting a movement screen will be one of the most important things you do.

#4. Being Out of touch: if you’ve ever said (or thought) the words, “but I’m doing everything right… and it’s not working”, then it’s time to get back in touch with an old friend – reality. I know what it’s like to be frustrated, and the good news is that it is actually impossible to be doing everything right and to simultaneously make no progress. Why is this good news? Because it means it’s not impossible. When you’re this upset getting a more objective perspective on what you are actually doing, just “mostly” or “kinda” doing, and what you forgot to do.

#5. Cheating on your treats: nobody is perfect, and no one’s diet can be perfect over a long period of time. We all need some indulgence – a treat here or there. You can make great progress and still have some treats, but not with cheats. Cheating is when you are on a mission to see how much junk you can cram in your stomach in one “meal.” Here is a cheat dinner: Devour bread basket, eat fried appetizer, have drinks, eat crappy entree, and be sure to finish with a big dessert. The thing is that you can’t actually cheat your body – if you eat it, you’ll wear it. Enjoy one thing at a meal – have a few glasses of wine for example, and that’s a treat.

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