Canary Wharf is an area of London known for towering skyscrapers and the city’s largest collection of public art, but it’s also rapidly becoming the scene of the most innovative thinking in modern fitness. Some of the best personal trainers in the world now work out of the Wharf area, offering their services to clients within the confines of fitness spas that are as elegant as they are technically advanced.
While technology continues to play a dominant role in the fitness industry, personal trainers don’t believe it will help us if we continue sabotaging our weight loss efforts with the following common mistakes.
Not Getting Enough Protein
Protein plays a vital role in “weight loss.” It’s a macronutrient made up of smaller components called amino acids – often called the “building blocks” of muscle. If you’ve walked into a health food store, you’ve likely seen an array of all the different brands of Branched-Chain Amino Acids, or BCAAs, now available. The truth is that many personal trainers recommend supplementing our diets with these BCAAs to achieve weight loss success because of their ability to help our bodies build fat-burning muscle tissue.
Here’s the science: Protein is made up of 20 types of amino acids, but 9 of them (referred to as essential) we cannot manufacture on our own. These 9 essential amino acids must be obtained either from the foods we eat, or we need to supplement our diets with BCAAs from an outside source. When we include the proper BCAAs (protein) in our diets, we provide our bodies with the necessary resources they need to build muscle tissue. And muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue.
Too simplistic? Here’s how one personal trainer described the connection between muscle tissue and protein:
The muscle mass in our bodies experience tiny tears whenever we exercise. By consuming BCAAs, our bodies have the resources they need to repair and strengthen these muscles. In other words, amino acids act as the catalyst that fills in the tears within our muscles after a workout, gradually making them leaner and stronger. Without enough protein, the muscle mass in our bodies can be left starving for the resources it needs to recover and grow.
If you’re trying to lose weight via exercise, but aren’t achieving the success you want, personal trainers often recommend supplementing your diet with more protein sources. One of the easiest ways to do this is by including BCAAs in your diet.
Eating Too Much | Portion Control Strategy
We love to eat. In fact, the UK society consumes up to 50% more calories than they realize. There’s merit to the phrase “your eyes are bigger than your stomach,” and it’s a huge liability for anyone trying to lose weight. Fortunately, personal trainers showed us a few simple ways to adopt a portion control strategy to support our weight loss goals:
Try Using Smaller Plates - It gives the appearance of having a full plate of food, which can appeal to you visually, and you’ll find it equally satisfying.
Practice Mindful Chewing – Try slowing down and thinking about what you’re eating…experience the flavors in full.
Plan Your Meals – Planning your meals ahead of time gives you greater control over what you eat and how much. It’s a practice that makes it easier to resist the need to overeat.
Stop Eating Out So Much!
Our society faces temptation at every turn, and by golly have we ever developed a post-pandemic affinity for restaurants and dining out. In fact, Americans are currently spending more money at restaurants than they do on groceries! That kind of a habit can quickly sabotage the efforts of anyone who wants to lose weight. Want proof? One European study we found revealed that people who dine out consume an average of 200 more calories than those who eat at home. Unfortunately, eating out is becoming a rising trend amongst all age groups, with the younger generations being the ones opting to eat out most often.
We mentioned portion control earlier, and it’s worth noting that most of the meals that are served at restaurants are more than twice the size of a standard portion of food!
And it’s not just these enormous portion sizes that are undermining our efforts to lose weight. Oftentimes eating out can be far less healthy than home prepared meals, especially if you’re choosing popular fast-food outlets that offer choices that are absolutely loaded with sodium and saturated fats.
Consider the logic shared with us by one personal trainer:
“When we cook at home, we have complete control over the ingredients that go into our diets. We’re at liberty to select foods that are organic, natural, and rife with the proper nutrients. If we simply make an effort to reduce those highly processed and sodium-rich foods that so often sneak into our diets, we’ll inevitably experience a degree of weight loss, even if we’re not on a consistent exercise routine.”
Thinking It’s All About Diet & Exercise | Stress Control Strategy
There is undoubtedly a connection between excessive stress and weight gain. In a society that moves at such a blazing rate of speed, stress is nearly inevitable. The problem is that stress affects us both mentally and physically. For example, one symptom of stress is an irregular sleeping pattern. Too much stress paired with poor sleeping habits can affect the hormones that control our appetite. Result? Overeating. We’ve all heard of “stress eating” and it’s very real.
We can’t escape it, but the best personal trainers around London provided some magnificent suggestions on how we can manage stress before we see the results on our waistlines.
Mindfulness: Experiment with meditative practices to find one that fits your lifestyle, even if it is as simple as sitting on a pillow for 5 full minutes in total quiet once a day – there are benefits! Consider deep breathing exercises, yoga, etc. These stress control strategies can help you relocate your “center” thereby reducing feelings of anxiety.
Planning | Time Management: You may think that having to plan your week would only add to your stress levels, but this is a strategy that is promoted heavily for overcoming stress. It simply means having the discipline to create a weekly schedule that includes time for meditation, exercise, meal preparation, and “recharging.” When we develop a schedule, we give ourselves a tool that can prevent us from feeling overwhelmed.
Get Enough Sleep: According to one registered dietician, we need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night (with a regular “wake up” time) to support our weight loss goals. Without enough sleep, the weight loss battle is much harder to fight. One study revealed that sleep deprivation leads to an increase in hormones that make us feel hungrier while simultaneously decreasing the “satiety hormone” called leptin.
When it comes to sustainable weight loss, personal trainers will tell you that there’s a massive difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. “I worked out this morning. So, I’m going to eat the rest of that leftover pizza” is a mindset that will upend your weight loss success every time. We need to exercise prudent judgment in each tempting moment.
The best personal trainers will tell you that weight loss success isn’t just about making sensible dietary choices, it’s also about making sensible lifestyle choices, and that includes what not to do.