Losing weight can be tough. You have been at the top of your weight training and healthy eating plan for the past month, so you expect to see results. But what if you step on the scale and realize that you haven’t lost weight as you had hoped? Weight loss is not as easy as many people perceive it to be. If you don’t see any progress even after making drastic changes to your lifestyle, you are likely to go back to your unhealthy habits. Before you give up, read this article.
1. You have a medical condition
If your weight has remained constant or increased even after eating clean and exercising, you might be discouraged, frustrated and probably depressed. Weight loss is complex. It involves various factors we control such as sleep, diet and stress and some we have no control over like gender, age, blood type, genes, and hormones. So, the first step in your weight loss journey should be visiting the doctor so that he can rule out any medical conditions. This is particularly crucial if you feel you have done everything right but can’t see any changes on the scale. Some of the common medications and health conditions that cause weight gain include:
- Thyroid conditions
- Some antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac
- Some anticonvulsants and antipsychotics
- Beta blockers for treating high blood pressure
2. You are not getting sufficient sleep
Sleep deprivation is a significant contributor to weight gain. Research shows that women who sleep five hours are more likely to gain weight than those who sleep seven hours a day. Here’s why:
- Sleep deprivation might alter the secretion of cortisol, which is one of the appetite-regulating hormones
- Losing sleep might make you feel hungry even when you aren’t
- When you are tired, you might skip exercises, which means you won’t lose calories
Getting sufficient sleep is essential, not just when you want to lose weight, but also for better mental stability. Sleep deprivation can make you confused, cranky, depressed and angry.
3. You are stressed out
Stress and weight gain go hand in hand. Although you may not realize it, being under stress continually has these consequences:
- Cravings for foods that make you feel better, which are usually high in fat and sugar
- Boosts the production of cortisol, which is known to increase appetite
- Skipping workout sessions because you feel too stressed out to exercise
4. You are not consistent with exercise
Exercise is one of the vital ingredients for weight loss. If you fail to exercise or do the wrong workouts all together, you may never lose weight. Experts recommend 60 to 90 minutes of exercising for people who want to lose weight. If you are into intensity workouts, 30 minutes of exercise per day is adequate. That doesn’t mean that you start with the recommended time; start with a few minutes and progress until you get to the optimum time. Remember to take at least one day off. Keep doing this every other month.
5. You have hit a plateau
Everybody reaches this point; where your body has adapted to the workouts, and you cannot lose much weight. As you adjust to exercising, your body becomes efficient at it and thus does not release as many calories as it would when you were starting out. You will realize that after your first workout, your progress slows down and eventually stops. Common reasons for plateaus include:
- Not consuming enough calories – if your body lacks the fuel necessary to sustain a level of activity, you might stop losing weight.
- Doing similar workout activities – your body ought to be challenged to make progress, so, ensure that you change a part of your workout every 4 to 6 weeks.
- Overtraining – if you exercise more than your body can take, your body might respond by decreasing the number of calories burnt during the workout.
6. You don’t need to lose weight
Despite what you read in popular magazines or hear on the news, not everybody requires losing weight. You might be holding unrealistic beliefs as to what body shape and healthy weight is. We all have a desire as to how our bodies should look, and although we make adjustments to our bodies, we can only improve what our bodies have, not turn into someone else. Start by writing all the reasons you want to lose weight. Cancel out the ones that have to do with how you look. What is left? If you need to shed calories because of a medical condition, consider your BMI; if it’s within the healthy range, there is nothing to worry. If it’s not, try the strategies listed previously. If you feel like it is not worth it, you ought to accept your body.
If your body has been fighting back whenever you want to lose weight, you now you know why. Try the actionable steps listed and eventually you will shed off those stubborn calories.