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This story originally appeared on CookingLight.com by Lauren Wicks.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been stuck in a rut with your weight. OK, everyone? Sounds about right! If you feel like you can’t seem to make any progress no matter how hard you try, Jillian Michaels told POPSUGAR there are a few sneaky mistakes that could be preventing you from achieving your goals.
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"The top mistake I see is not combining their workout with a calorie-controlled diet comprised of healthy foods," Michaels told POPSUGAR. "Eat more calories than you burn in a day and you will store those calories as fat."
If you are actually following a healthy diet full of fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats but still can’t seem to shed the pounds, the problem might be portion control! While some higher-calorie foods like avocados, dates, and whole-milk yogurt certainly have their place in a healthy diet, their serving sizes are pretty small. For example, a serving of avocado is only one-third of the fruit!
While tracking calories might be the last thing you want to do, it is a proven effective weight loss tool and might help you determine if you’re consuming more calories than you think. Even just tracking your calories through an app like MyFitnessPal for a week or two could help you find where you need a little more portion control in your diet.
Once you get a feel for how it looks to eat within your desired calorie range, you can ditch the tracker and emphasize mindful eating instead. Mindful eating engages all the senses to truly enjoy a meal—without distractions—and helps you better listen to your hunger cues to nourish your body properly
Michaels says too many people underestimate their abilities when it comes to fitness and are hindering themselves from seeing results sooner. If you’ve been walking consistently for a few months, it might be time to try jogging once or twice a week. If you’re a fan of lifting weights, try upping those reps or using heavier dumbells.
Michaels advises getting that heart rate up to approximately 80 percent of your max, so it’s worth experimenting with your fitness routine to get the most out of your workout. You may want to invest in a fitness tracker to make this easy!
While walking is great exercise and can certainly aid in weight loss, it’s worth trying out some different methods of physical activity too! Michaels recommends switching up your workout routine every two weeks to help you not only burn more calories but also to keep from getting bored.
Joining a group fitness class—be it Zumba, Jazzercise or Crossfit—might be a great way to mix up your physical activity, as the instructor or coach will likely know the best methods to get your heart rate up safely for optimal weight loss. Incorporating strength training into your weekly walking schedule is another great option, not only for weight loss but to keep your body strong as you age.
This article originally appeared on CookingLight.com