Often times many people will try to lose weight using just their own common sense. Less soda, more water. Less fast food, more fresh foods. Less sugar and sweets, more vegetables. Less couch time, more activity. And quite often that’s all it takes (of course with an added dose of motivation).
However, there are many aspects to weight loss that may seem counter-intuitive–that is, they seem to go against normal and reasonable logic–and if you are unaware of some of these counter-intuitive “traps,” you could be hindering your own journey to a healthier you without even knowing it.
One of the most common counter-intuitive “traps” of weight loss that we at Letslose see people fall into all of the time is what we might call the “Sumo Wrestler Trap.” Did you know that a typical sumo wrestler eats a daily diet of 20,000 calories? That’s more than 10 times what a normal male should eat in a day! Now you may say, “What kind of a trap is that? Of course no one trying to lose weight will eat a 20,000 calorie per day diet.” But here’s the kicker: they eat all of those calories in only two meals. Let me say it another way: the normal day of training and exercise for a sumo wrestler (yes, they actually do exercise daily) begins by SKIPPING breakfast…and that is the “Sumo Wrestler Trap.”
So why do sumo wrestlers skip breakfast, and why is this a weight loss trap? Simple. Skipping breakfast slows down the wrestler’s metabolism, which enables them to maintain their weight (which for the average sumo wrestler is anything from 400 to 600 pounds!). By fasting through the night and morning, sumo wrestlers turn their bodies into fat-storing machines. And that is why it is also a weight loss trap. Many dedicated and well-intentioned people trying to lose weight will skip breakfast thinking the obvious: “Less food means less calories, means less weight.” But actually that first meal is extremely important to kick-start your metabolism for the day. So don’t skip breakfast. At least have a small something to eat to get your body awake and running. Just make sure to keep it a healthy something. And as you do, far from becoming the next professional sumo wrestler, you will watch those pounds drop off one by one as your own body’s metabolism does what it does best–burn off those calories.
Here are a few other counter-intuitive weight loss tips:
- Eat more often: Eating five smaller (and healthier) meals per day can be more effective when trying to lose weight than eating three (and especially two!) meals per day.
- Eat when you are not hungry: If you are going to be eating five times a day, you will probably find that you are not hungry when your next scheduled meal comes around. That’s great! Eating when you are not hungry means you will eat less. And if you never allow your body to get hungry before you decide to eat, your body (which is incredibly smart) will keep your metabolism running full speed, trusting that you won’t starve it and force it into starvation mode (which means slower metabolism).
- Enjoy your food: Slow down and savor the food you eat. Eating slower can help you not overeat.