Losing weight is no walk in the park. A lot of it actually depends on your metabolism — while some people are blessed with burning off calories faster than you probably finish your meal, others aren’t so lucky. In fact, for a large part of the population, losing weight is an uphill task. And it often happens that you’re religiously following a diet and exercise regime but are still failing to drop those pounds. Here are some blunders you could be making that are hindering your progress…

You don’t sleep enough

Sleep is extremely essential and not simply a time when your body is resting. And when you don’t sleep enough, you’re lowering the benefits that come with dieting and exercise. Sleep deprivation can cause a number of health woes, not to mention a sluggish metabolism, increased appetite and lower energy levels.

You reward yourself too often

No matter how well you think you’re doing at the gym, rewarding yourself regularly with sweet treats for every extra hour spent at the gym will undo any good that you have done. While it is alright to motivate yourself now and then, be careful because every little treat has far more calories than you imagine.

You have a lot of sweet drinks

You may be following a diet but it will be of little use if you don’t watch what you drink. Smoothies, packaged fruit juices, fizzy, energy and aerated drinks are packed with sugar and calories that will cause you to gain weight. Instead, have green tea, coconut water and natural fruit juices sans any sugar.

You barely eat

This is another mistake that a lot of dieters make. Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you have to eat tiny morsels for each meal. Eating very little makes your body store whatever you east as fat —just the opposite of what you want. It also causes your metabolism to slow down, making it more difficult for you to lose weight. Clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan says, “The human body is programmed to send out hunger signals whenever it needs an energy boost, usually between meals. A number of studies have established that eating frequent small meals is a better weight management strategy than eating one or two large meals. One strategy is to divide your food evenly, eating smaller nutritious portions every few hours.”

You binge eat

Giving in to temptation and gorging on your favourite foods can wreak havoc on your diet. A cheat day where you allow yourself a small portion of your favourite snack is alright but to go on a binge eating spree will undo all the good that you’re done over the previous days. Be consistent in your diet and you’ll soon get the results you desire. Explains healing diet specialist Dhvani Shah, “Apart from weight gain, binge eating results in a stark decrease in micronutrients causing dull skin, hairfall, hormonal imbalance, acidity and constipation. Other side-effects include vitamin deficiencies, loss of muscle tone and lower bone density.”

You don’t watch your portion size

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you pile your plate high with salads or other low cal meals. Watching your portion size is crucial when it comes to losing weight, so be conscious of exactly how much you put on your plate. “Snacking can actually be beneficial if one makes the right choice. By choosing nutritious bites, people can not only satisfy hunger, but also get additional nutrients that they need for a healthy living. The idea is not to ban snacks but to plan them,” explains Dr Nupur.

You stick to the same workout regime

The trick to losing weight quickly is to ensure that you vary your workout regime regularly. When your body gets used to the same exercise routine, you’ll find it harder to lose weight. Mix up your regime — not only will you enjoy your workouts, you’ll also see results faster.

You have underlying medical conditions

When you’re suffering from certain medical conditions, losing weight is more difficult.

These include hypothyroidism, PCOS and other hormonal conditions that cause weight gain. You could also be suffering from some sort of food allergy or side-effects of some medication that you’re taking that is making it tough for you to lose weight. Source: TOI