Balancing a Heavy Load
Do you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders? Are you trying to lose weight in addition to all your other obligations? As you may know, you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. Your calories in/calories out equation needs to drop by 3,500 calories to lose just one pound of bodyweight. This can seem like a daunting task but it’s not. With a realistic goal, focus and lots of patience, you can achieve the weight loss you desire.
Most of us are able to lose a noticeable amount of weight at first. Sometimes the scale stops budging. If you are still watching what you eat and staying active, you may feel defeated. In fact, this is when many people fail. Even though you are making gradual progress, your impatience causes you to give up.
If you’ve been eating right and exercising but your weight is still the same, here are some tips to consider. Remember that your success can’t always be measured on a scale. That doesn’t mean you aren’t losing fat and aren’t on the right track. Consistency, focus and patience will get you to where you want to go.
Top Ten Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight
1. You’re eating too many calories
People tend to underestimate the number of calories they eat. The easiest way to fix this is to track what you eat. You can do this by using a diary or app to log your calories and weighing your food.
Studies show that people who log their calories or photograph their meals, lose more weight. If you don’t want to always be tied down to tracking, try it for a few days a month to see where you’re at.
2. You are not active enough
Staying active helps you burn more calories.
A. Lifting weights will increase your metabolism so you can burn more calories even at rest. It will help you burn fat while maintaining muscle mass. It will also make you stronger and more toned. Without resistance training, your metabolism can slow down and your fat loss may be temporary.
B. Cardiovascular exercise burns fat, including belly fat, by increasing your heart rate. Try to get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week (or a combination of the two). If you are trying to lose weight and want greater health benefits, shoot for 300 minutes of aerobic exercise per week.
C. General activity: Daily activities such as yard work, cleaning, stair climbing and walking help you burn more calories throughout the day. These will go a long way towards helping you reach your weight loss goals as well.
3. You’re not drinking enough water
It’s calorie free! Water helps you burn 30 percent more calories and suppresses your appetite. Drinking a glass of water or more before meals can make you 44 percent more successful at weight loss!
4. You’re not eating enough whole foods
Whole foods are best for your health and for weight loss. They help you feel better and help regulate your appetite. Whole foods are more filling than processed foods.
Even if foods are labeled as being “health foods” they may be counter to your weight loss goals. Manufacturers make processed foods hyper palatable and addictive. Opt for high fiber foods that are healthy, filling and taste great instead.
5. You’re not eating enough protein
Protein boosts your metabolism, reduces cravings and causes you to consume less calories. It prevents the metabolic slowdown which can go along with strict diets.
Having a high protein breakfast in particular can have a big impact on your weight loss.
Aim for 25 to 30 percent of your daily calories to come from protein sources.
6. You’re not sleeping enough
Poor sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for obesity. If you don’t get adequate sleep, your body can’t regulate hunger properly. You’re also less likely to stay active if you are sleep deprived. Try to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night.
7. You are drinking too much alcohol
Alcohol has 7 calories per gram. The calories in sugary cocktails, beer and wine add up quickly. Heavy drinking is linked to weight gain. If you are going to consume alcohol, stick to something like vodka and a 0-calorie mixer, or an occasional glass of red wine.
8. You eat mindlessly
Getting to the bottom of a bag of Doritos while watching Netflix inhibits weight loss. Try mindful eating instead. Slow down, avoid distractions, enjoy every bite and listen to your body’s signals to stop. Chew thoroughly while appreciating the smell, color, flavor and texture of every bite of your food.
9. You’re not eating enough
If you don’t give your body the daily calories it needs to function, it will go into conservation mode. To avoid starvation, you will begin to burn less calories each day. For most people, 1200 calories a day is a necessary base.
If you have been dieting for too long, you may need to take a break. Try increasing your calories by a few hundred calories a day and lifting weights to gain muscle. Then reassess your weight loss goals and, in due time, you can begin a new weight loss program if you so choose.
10. You’re working out too much or too intensely
Exercising too intensely every day can lead to inflammation causing you to gain weight. Overexerting yourself too often can derail your weight loss plans. Try to balance out high intensity workouts with lower intensity workouts such as yoga or pilates. Don’t forget a weekly rest day.
Reassessing why you’re not losing weight
While you may strive to look good for Memorial Day, sustainable weight loss takes time, focus and patience. You first want to make sure that your expectations are realistic. After an initial period of rapid weight loss, many people will only lose one or two pounds a week safely and comfortably.
Fad diets don’t work in the long term. Think about adopting a new enjoyable healthy lifestyle instead. Yo-yo dieting does more harm than good.
Why not switch from a dieting (scarcity mindset) to a healthy lifestyle (abundance mindset) to feel better AND ultimately lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way. Think about nourishing your body, rather than depriving it.
If you’ve been doing everything right and the results aren’t coming don’t get discouraged and never give up! Celebrate your successes and forge on. You may need to consult a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist or your own physician for some customized expert advice.
Medical conditions such as sleep apnea and hypothyroidism can derail weight loss efforts. Knowledge is power. Once you know what you’re dealing with you can proceed accordingly.
You may need to eat more protein, track your calories, eat mindfully and be more physically active to lose weight. You may also need to sleep more, drink more water and less alcohol and set realistic achievable goals. Whatever your strategy, your improved health will be well worth every single effort.
Weight loss takes focus, time and patience but it can be an excellent way to make your life better. The Personal Trainers at Golden Home Fitness can customize the perfect plan for you and help you achieve it. We wish you lots of success on your weight loss journey!
Mayoclinic.org; healthline.com; medanta.org