As summer approaches many people try to lose weight, and many people fail. It’s not always because they lack the effort though. Sometimes it’s because they lack the knowledge of how to lose weight the right way.
Often our weight loss journey is hindered by the usual obstacles, such as plateaus and fluctuating weight. The most important thing to do when you encounter these bumps in the road is to keep trying new solutions. Eventually, if you stay persistent, you will find out what works best for your body.
In this article, we’ll highlight some of the most common reasons why you might not be losing weight the way you want to.
12 Reasons Why You Might Not Be Losing Weight
1. You are not keeping track of what you are eating
We’ve all done it. Grabbed an extra handful of chips or secretly swiped a candy bar when no-one was looking. Or even not thought twice about that extra helping of ranch dressing. These might not seem like major food sins, but in reality these calories can add up without us even realizing.
If you’re not keeping track of everything you’re putting in to your body (and I mean everything), it’s easy to consume more calories than we need. When trying to lose weight, a good place to start is by starting a food diary so you can see everything you’re putting in to your body, and see what you could do without.
2. You are not eating the right foods
When you’re trying to lose weight, what you eat is one of the most important steps you can take.
Eating healthy, whole foods not only improves your overall health but they can help to regulate your appetite and tend to be more filling than their fat, sugar counterparts.
3. You are not getting enough sleep
Even though it’s not to do with eating, getting enough sleep is a must if you’re wanting to lose weight.
Making sure you get enough sleep (around 6-8 hours per night) is vital because of how it affects you mentally and physical, not just when you want to lose weight. Lack of sufficient sleep can make you feel hungry when you’re not as sleep deprivation may affect the secretion of cortisol, as well as feeling cranky, confused, and even depressed.
On top of that, if you’re tired you are less likely to want to exercise which means you will be burning less calories, and therefore not losing as much weight.
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day and make sure your mind is well and truly relaxed before you think about going to sleep by avoiding looking at any screens, avoiding any stimulants (such as caffeine), and even meditating before bed.
4. You are not drinking enough water
It’s such a simple thing, just drinking water. But it can have a big impact on your weight loss.
Some studies have even shown that drinking water 30 minutes before a meal could help you lose weight. So get chugging!
5. You are bingeing at weekends
Treating yourself every once in while is fine, but weekend binges on a regular basis could seriously hurt your chances of weight loss.
This is a common side effecting of fad-dieting where you consume large amounts of food and/or drink in a short space of time. Some people binge on junk food such as burgers and candy where others binge on healthier foods such as dark chocolate or avocados.
But the bottom line is, even if the food is healthy, excess calories are excess calories.
6. You are not eating enough
It’s easy to think that to lose weight you simply have to eat less. And while that’s partially true, eating too little can actually have the opposite effect.
If you aren’t eating enough food your body goes into starvation mode, meaning it tries to hold on to any fat sources in your body to be able to survive. So make sure you’re getting all the calories that your body needs.
7. You have hit a plateau
One of the most common weight loss hindrances is hitting the dreaded plateau.
After a while, your body gets used to a certain amount of calories or type of exercise and stop losing any more weight. When trying to shed the pounds, try to change up your exercise routine and eat different types of healthy foods to keep your metabolism on its toes.
8. You are stressed
Being under stress can cause a plethora of symptoms that are a huge obstacle to losing weight. For example, stress can cause sleep deprivation, cravings for foods that are high in fat or sugar, and can make you skip workouts because you’re not in the right mental space to do so.
The cause of your stress might be deeply rooted, and that might take some time to address, but in the mean time you can practice mindful breathing exercises or talk to a friend or family member to help alleviate some of that stress so it has less of an impact on your physical and mental health.
9. You have set yourself unrealistic weight loss goals
With any fitness journey, it’s good to have a goal in mind so you’re always working towards something. However it may be that the goals you have set yourself are not realistic.
For example, wanting to lose 3 stone within month is an impossible feat that may make you feel disheartened on your fitness journey.
While that’s quite an extreme example, realistic time frames play a major part in successfully losing weight. It isn’t that you aren’t losing weight period, but that you aren’t lose weight according to your time constraints.
Everyone’s body is different and people lose weight at different rates depending on their genetics, how much body fat they have to lose, and their lifestyle, to mention just a few variables. Try to be patient with your weight loss journey as slow and steady is the best way, and be realistic with your weight loss goals.
10. You are not eating mindfully
We all have a favorite meal that is gone from our plates and into our bellies within seconds. But this kind of eating can make weight loss more difficult.
When we eat our food that fast it takes our bodies a while to realize that it’s full, leading us to eat more food than we actually need.
Try to take it slow when you eat. Take breaks or sips of water between mouthfuls to drag out the meal. It can even help timing yourself when you eat, making sure you make your meal last over a 15-minute period for example.
11. You may have a medical condition that makes weight loss difficulty
If you’ve been exercising regularly and opting for healthier choices in your diet for a good period of time but you still aren’t seeing results, it could be that you have a medical condition that makes weight loss harder.
Certain medical conditions can contribute to weight gain, such as thyroid conditions, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and sleep apnea.
If you think you may be suffering from any medical conditions that are preventing you from losing weight, it is important that you consult your Doctor.
12. You don’t need to lose weight
Before you start or commit to a weight loss journey, ask yourself why you are wanting to lose weight.
Think about why you are wanting to lose weight? Is it for your overall health, or is it to fit in with the latest version of the “thigh gap” trend? If it’s the latter, you
Take home message
There are so many factors that affect your ability to lose weight, from being mindful of what you’re eating to pre-existing medical conditions.
A good place to start with losing weight is to be realistic with goals and give yourself time to achieve them. Losing weight over a longer period of time will have longer lasting effects that a fad diet that might make you feel or look good for a few days, but will likely revert in a week or so.
Just remember that everybody’s weight loss journey will be different, so above all be patient with yourself and listen to your body.