7 things that can stand in the way of weight loss

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Certain habits can hinder your attempts to lose weight - and keep it away.
If you've changed your eating habits to focus on healthier foods and taken your workout seriously, you can expect to lose weight. However, the reality is that despite what you may have believed, weight loss is more complicated than calorie consumption versus calorie consumption. If you are trying to lose weight, check these habits that may interfere with your efforts.
1. You save on protein.
If you normally eat a muffin or avocado toast for breakfast, you may need to increase your protein intake. Research has shown that a high-protein breakfast can help alleviate hunger, so you may be less tempted to have a morning snack.
Protein is also important at lunch and dinner. If you routinely eat salads or sip gazpacho without accompanying protein - such as boiled egg, yogurt, beans, meat, poultry, or fish - over time, this can lead to a decrease in muscle tissue, which means that your metabolism will slow down and mak…

Try These Resistance Band Moves If You Don't Have Dumbbells at Home

Resistance bands are great for home workouts because they're easy to store and travel with, and can be used at all levels of fitness. Plus, they can be used instead of tools you may not have access to at home, like dumbbells.

ACSM-certified personal trainer John Ford agrees: "The main reason I love [resistance bands] is their versatility. There are literally hundreds of different exercises I can do for different muscles, groups of muscles, and compound movements. I can simulate a lot of the moves I would typically use machines or free-weights to do in a gym."

Just because resistance band and dumbbell exercises can be interchangeable doesn't mean they have identical techniques, though.

Bands don't depend on gravity to create resistance, as free weights do, Ford says. That means bracing your muscles for resistance at the end of band exercises instead of at the beginning of a dumbbell move. Controlling muscle movements as you return to the starting position of a resistance-band exercise is important, Ford adds.

Matching your dumbbell weight to your band resistance isn't entirely linear, either. While many bands offer pound-to-force conversions, Ford says trial and error is the best way to find what works.

"Test out the bands across the exercises you're going to perform. If you're doing 15 reps, the first five to six reps should feel challenging, the next five reps should be harder to perform, and the final reps should require a good deal of focus on form and muscle recruitment to complete," Ford says.

A new workout tool means new safety rules, too.

Ford stresses the importance of controlling movements by starting with less challenging resistance bands, focusing on form and technique to ensure proper muscle activation, and making sure your band is secured under your feet or in a door jam.

Remember - bands can break! Ford wants you to be mindful of your bands' structural integrity and never overload a band, either. Checking them routinely for little nicks and tears that could lead to a break is very important.

Now that you're ready to switch from dumbbells to resistance bands, you can put all you've learned into action with Ford's suggested exercises below.

The Resistance Band Version of a Dumbbell Squat

"This type of resistance band squat requires a good deal of arm and shoulder strength to keep the bands in place during the movement," Ford says. That's why you may find it challenging to load the movement to the same degree you would with dumbbells.

  • Start by stepping onto the resistance band and making sure you have equal tension on each side of the band outside of your feet.
  • Pull the handles up and then slightly over your shoulders - you may want to wear a T-shirt to prevent the bands from rubbing against your skin.
  • Once the band handles are securely up around your shoulders, widen your feet to about shoulder-width apart.
  • Look upward, squat down, try to keep your torso as straight as possible (it can be diagonal somewhat as you drop down, but you want to avoid hunching the back), and send your hips down and behind you. Shift your weight onto your heels while engaging your glutes and upper thighs.
  • Once you get your thighs parallel to the floor, stand back up.

The Resistance Band Version of a Squat to Overhead Press

  • Start by stepping onto the resistance band and making sure you have equal tension on each side of the band outside of your feet. You will want to choose a lighter band that can be extended over your head with your arms straight.
  • Pull the handles up and then slightly over your shoulders - you may want to wear a T-shirt to prevent the bands from rubbing against your skin.
  • Once the band handles are securely up around your shoulders, widen your feet to about shoulder-width apart.
  • You do have two hand position options with this movement: you can either have the handle strap go behind your hand or in front of your hand.
  • Look upward, squat down, try to keep your torso as straight as possible (it can be diagonal somewhat as you drop down, but you want to avoid hunching the back), and send your hips down and behind you. Shift your weight onto your heels while engaging your glutes and upper thighs.
  • As you stand up, you'll use the force generated by your legs to start to extend your arms straight overhead.
  • As you come up to full standing, your arms should simultaneously extend all the way overhead, fully contracting your deltoids.
  • Bring your hands back down to your shoulders to complete the rep and get back into the starting position.

The Resistance Band Version of Lateral Arm Raises

  • Stand with the resistance band under the middle part of your feet. Your feet should be about hip-width apart with the band handles held at your side.
  • Raise your straight arms directly out to your side, keeping your elbows as straight as possible.
  • Be mindful not to arch your lower back or crane your neck during the movement. Pause for a second at the top of the moment with your arms out in a T position, and then slowly lower them back down to your sides.
  • Note: a front arm raise can also be done from this exact same position.

The Resistance Band Version of a Seated Back Row

  • Place the band in your door jam or around a sturdy pole or banister at about three feet from the ground.
  • Position a chair, bench, or stool about 3-4 feet from the door. You will want the band to be slightly stretched with your arms fully extended to the door as you sit on it.
  • Once you sit down, have your arms holding the bands at about chest level.
  • Brace your feet shoulder-width apart in front of you.
  • Start the movement by pulling back, bending your elbows until they go just past a 90-degree angle. Think about pulling your shoulder blades back together (not contracting your biceps).
  • During the pullback, you should feel your shoulders pull down (not up!), and chest pull apart as if you were puffing it out.
  • Once you feel the ache in your mid-back muscles, slowly release the motion to start.
  • To perform the motion in a squat, remove the object you were sitting on and squat down so your thighs are almost parallel. Your torso should be perpendicular to the floor and parallel with the door you're facing. For this variation, extra emphasis is placed in the core to keep the torso as upright as possible.

The Resistance Band Version of a Dumbbell Deadlift

"This is a good alternative for those who want to load the deadlift motion more, but can't keep heavier resistance bands at their shoulders," Ford says.

  • Hold the resistance bands with your palms facing down to the ground.
  • Stand with the bands fully stretched out in front of you, anchored to the bottom of the door with a door jam.
  • Your glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and quads should be activated to keep you upright.
  • Your arms will stay locked out and fully extended throughout the motion.
  • Bend over at the waist while keeping your back straight with a slight arch. Then, reach your arms toward the bottom of the door.
  • Once down and feeling the stretch in the back of the legs, thrust upward and send the hips slightly forward to get back up to standing.

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via POPSUGAR Fitness

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