It can be quite disheartening and frustrating to eat well, exercise diligently and notice no significant positive results. It could be that you’ve pushed your body to maximum limits with daily training or you’ve been eating a healthy diet full of varied healthy foods. Despite all this, those extra pounds don’t seem to be going anywhere and you’re struggling to lose weight
It turns out, there’re tons of reason why the number on the scale are not moving down. In this article, we will take a look at 7 factors that might be causing you struggling with weight loss despite the effort you’re putting in.
1. Too many calories
While the Keto diets out there allow you to have cheese, butter, and meat, it doesn’t mean you should eat as much as you want. Eating more calories than your body can burn can really hinder your weight loss efforts. Basically, weight loss happens when there is a calorie deficit, so your target should be to burn more calories than you consume.
For most people, 1,200–1,500 calories per day is a sweet spot for losing weight. So if you don’t seem to be losing weight as expected, you should consider counting your calories and make sure that you’re consuming less than what your body can burn, at all times.
2. Not drinking enough water
75% of your body is comprised of water, which is important for keeping you hydrated. Water helps in various physiological functions such as digestion, absorption, and elimination of body toxins. When you take enough water, all these body functions run smoothly.
If you really want to lose those pounds, your cell functions, metabolism, digestion, and excretion should operate at optimum. This can be quite difficult if you’re not consuming adequate water. Be sure to drink sufficient water all through. You need even more water if you’re working out.
3. Skipping meals
Most people forget that weight loss programs and starving do not go hand in hand – starving yourself is never going to help you lose those extra pounds. Many people tend to skip breakfast in the hope of losing weight, however, when you skip your meal, your brain slows down. This results to inactiveness which eventually slows down the metabolism and digestion. Unless you are following through a well designed diet which has “Intermittent Fasting” as part of the plan.
Additionally, if you skip a meal, you tend to eat much more during the next meal. While at it, consider eating 4-6 small meals per day instead of 2-3 heavy meals per day.
4. You’re stressed
When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to overeat. Stress causes levels of cortisol to rise, and this, in turn, causes insulin levels to rise and blood sugar to drop. The ultimate result is an increased craving for sugary and fatty foods. So instead of reaching for an apple or salad, you’re more likely to go for cheese, mac or cookies –which is why they’re called comfort foods.
Eating tends to be a source of solace for stressed people and tends to lower stress. We all love sugary and fatty foods, which is why they’re always the culprits against weight loss during times of stress. The end result is more stress, more cortisol, increase appetite for junk food and more fat around the belly. Even if you’re making healthy diet choices, overeating due to stress still works against your weight loss efforts.
5. Not sleeping enough
You probably didn’t see this coming –how does not sleeping enough make it difficult to lose weight? Well, insufficient sleep doesn’t affect your concentration and mood alone. Not sleeping enough can actually cause you to gain weight. When you have sleep deprivation, the ability of your body to correctly respond to insulin diminishes. Eventually, the excess insulin causes your body to store more fat in all the wrong places (1).
Sleeping less than 6 hours a night stimulates ghrelin and reduces the production of leptin. Ghrelin and leptin are hormones responsible for controlling hunger. The less leptin your body produces, the more hunger you feel and ghrelin, on the flip side, stimulates hunger and reduces metabolism, which results in storage of more fat (2). So make you sleep at least 7 hours per night to help you lose more weight.
6. Healthy fats
Some people think that by eliminating fat from their diet, they are helping in weight, however, this impression is wrong. Fats are an important part of your body and have a lot of important functions like maintaining our cell structure. As ironical as it may sound, it’s important to eat healthy fats in order to eliminate the bad fats.
Healthy fats have omega-3 fatty acids which help in the reduction of inflammation, consequently, preventing weight gain induced by inflammation. Some of the best sources of healthy fats include walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, rice bran oil, olive oil, flax seed, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seed butter, ghee, and nut butter. While they’re healthy fats, you should still eat them moderately because excess healthy fats can be bad for your health.
7. Digestive distress
Consistent feelings of constipation or bloating are a sign that you have some digestive issues. This could be caused as a result of the quantity and quality of the food you’re eating, or a combination of those foods. If you’re experiencing indigestion, try including anti-inflammatory foods as well as probiotics to your diet such as fermented vegetables and bone broth. If your digestive system is in trouble, your weight loss efforts and overall health will head down a slippery slope.
Weight loss can be quite a complicated subject. Sometimes it may seem like nothing more you do can change your situation, and such feelings of hopeless can only serve to make the situation worse. However, understanding the possible mistakes you may be making and factors making it difficult to lose weight is an important step.
So keep the above factors in mind, correct where necessary and you should experience some positive progress within a relatively short time. Most importantly, find out what weight loss techniques work for your body and your lifestyle, and stick to it. If going to the gym is not your thing or doesn’t blend into your lifestyle, for instance, you can find other different ways of exercising at home and still lose weight.
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