It can be frustrating putting in the hard yards in diet and exercise-wise without seeing results. Here are 3 habits that might be holding you back from achieving your goal physique.
- Lack of sleep. Not getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night can contribute to increased levels of ghrelin – your hunger hormone – meaning you’ll be more likely to crave high-energy foods and eating an average of nearly 300 calories more per day than if you were well-rested. Prioritising your sleep will help optimise your metabolism during the day.
- Too much stress! A stressed body produces cortisol and adrenaline (our stress hormones) which in excess amounts can lead to elevated blood sugar levels, causing sugar cravings and also contributing to fat storage around the abdomen. If you’re struggling to lose that spare tyre around your middle despite your best efforts with diet and exercise, cortisol may be the culprit. Managing stress is crucial for reducing cortisol levels. Deep breathing or a 5 minute meditation can calm the mind and promote relaxation while nutritional supplementing can also help to bring down cortisol levels. Look for a formula that contains a combination of Magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin C.
- Skipping meals. While skipping a meal does reduce the amount of calories you eat each day, it also disrupts your blood sugar levels, leading to more sugar and refined carb cravings and creates unnecessary stress for the body and yep, you guessed it, leads to elevated cortisol levels. Instead of skipping meals try aiming for 3 balanced meals each day with plenty of fresh vegetables and high-quality protein to help keep your blood sugar levels steady. Keep healthy snack choices on hand so you don’t make poor food choices when you’re on the go.
So if you’re striving to get anywhere near hard abs make sure you’re prioritising sleep, stress management and healthy food choices. Not only will you look like a chiselled Spartan from 300, but you’ll also find you have more energy to perform better both at work and outside the office.