“I was already losing weight, but all of a sudden I gained again! I don’t know what’s wrong!” Well, here’s a scientific fact: When you lose weight, your body fights back. Although you may be able to lose weight at first, at minimal effort, it might slow down, or stop altogether. Worse? You might gain again.
Why are you not losing weight? Find out.
1. You are losing, but you don’t realise it.
Do you think you are no longer losing weight? Don’t freak out just yet.
Body weight tends to fluctuate by a few pounds depending on what you eat, and your hormones. Why hormones? Well, your hormones have a major effect on how much water your body holds on to.
It is also possible to gain muscle at the same time as you lose fat, especially if you just recently started exercising. This is, in fact, a good thing, as what you really want to lose is body fat, not just weight.
2. You are not mindful of what you are eating.
According to a study, self-monitoring (your weight) is a centerpiece of any weight loss program – keep track of what you put in your body (what you eat). Another study says that people who use food diaries, or take pictures of their meals, consistently lose more weight than people who don’t.
3. You are not eating enough protein.
Also, protein intake of 25-30% of calories can boost metabolism by 80-100 calories per day and make you automatically eat several hundred fewer calories per day. It is better to eat breakfast that is loaded with protein. In fact, studies show that those who eat a high-protein breakfast.
If you eat breakfast, then this is the most important meal to load up on the protein. Studies show that those who eat a high-protein breakfast are less hungry and have fewer cravings throughout the day.
4. You are eating too much calories.
Studies consistently show that people tend to underestimate, or misreport their calorie intake by a significant amount. If you are not losing weight, then you should try weighing your foods and tracking your calories for a while.
5. You are not eating whole foods.
Food quality is more important than food quality. Eat healthy foods as much as possible. Whole foods, single-ingredient foods are healthier than their processed counterparts.
6. You are not lifting weights.
Resistance training must go hand-in-hand with weight loss. Resistance training include lifting weights.
Lifting weights during your weight loss program can help you hold onto your precious muscle mass, which is often burned along with body fat if you are not exercising.
7. You are binge eating.
Binge eating is a common side effect of dieting. It involves rapidly eating large amounts of food, often much more than your body needs. Note that calories are calories even if you are eating healthy foods.
8. You are not doing cardio.
Cardio (i.e. running, jogging, swimming, nordic walking, etc.) is one of the most effective ways to improve your health. It is also very effective at burning belly fat, the harmful “visceral” fat that builds up around the organs and causes disease.
9. You are still drinking sugar.
Drinks high in sugar are the most fattening items in the food supply. They are worse than solid sugar. Examples of this sugary beverages are sodas like Coke and Pepsi, and also applies to “healthier” beverages like Vitamin water; sugar is sugar.
10. You are not sleeping well.
Studies show that poor sleep is one of the single biggest risk factors for obesity. Adults and children with poor sleep have a 55% and 89% greater risk of becoming obese, respectively.
11. You are eating too often.
Many believe that we should be eating many, small meals each day in order to boost metabolism and lose weight. However, studies actually show that meal frequency has little or no effect on fat burning or weight loss
12. You are not drinking water.
In one 12-week weight loss study, people who drank half a liter (17 oz) of water 30 minutes before meals lost 44% more weight. Drinking water has also been shown to boost the amount of calories burned by 24-30% over a period of 1.5 hours.
13. You are drinking too much alcohol.
Studies on alcohol and weight show mixed results. Moderate drinking seems to be fine, while heavy drinking is linked to weight gain.
14. You are not eating mindfully.
A number of studies have shown that mindful eating can cause significant weight loss and reduce the frequency of binge eating. Mindful eating involves eating with zero distractions, eating slowly, chewing thoroughly, and stopping when you need to stop.
15. You have a medical condition.
There are some medical conditions that can drive weight gain and make it much harder to lose weight such as hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and sleep apnea, among others.
If you think any of this applies to you, then speak to your doctor about your options.
16. You are addicted to junk food.
17. Your expectations are unrealistic.
Weight loss is a slow process. While it is possible to lose weight fast in the beginning, it will reach a plateau soon, and losing will be more difficult.
Many people have unrealistic expectations of what is achievable with a healthy diet and exercise. Everyone can look like a fitness model or bodybuilder. At some point, your weight is going to reach a healthy set point where your body feels comfortable. Trying to go beyond that may not be worth the effort, and may even be impossible for you.
18. You are too focused on “dieting”.
Studies actually show that people who “diet” gain more weight over time. Enough said. Instead, focus on nourishing your body instead of depriving it, and let weight loss follow as a natural side effect.