There you are working so hard to drop pounds: busting your butt at the gym, cutting back calories, eating more vegetables, maybe even trying a cleanse. And although you can find experts to recommend all of these efforts, your plan may actually be foiling your weight-loss goals.
As contradictory and exasperating as it seems, some common diet mistakes can hamper your metabolism, your internal furnace that incinerates calories 24/7, whether you’re sprinting in spin class or sitting on your derriere in front of the TV. That doesn’t mean you should quit your gym membership and go buy a pint of chocolate chocolate chip. Keep up the work and keep losing with these easy fixes.
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Metabolism Mistake: Drinking
It’s a cruel twist of fate that something calorie-free can plump you out. “Studies show that artificial sugar stimulates the same hormonal and metabolic responses of real sugar,” Dr. Cederquist says. As you eat fake sweetener, receptors in your brain and gut anticipate getting calories from sugar; in response, your body releases the fat-storage hormone insulin.
The solution: “Toss the calorie-free stuff and start eating real food,” Dr. Cederquist says. You want to cut out diet soda out completely, but if you’re a three-cans-a-day gal and don’t want to quit cold turkey, start by cutting back to one can and always consume diet drinks with a meal. “That way your body gets the calories it’s expecting, so there’s less of an insulin response,” Dr. Cederquist explains.