If you have been dieting and exercising but you don’t seem to be losing any weight or what you are losing feels insignificant compared to what you thought you should have lost in your 6 months to the 1-year weight loss journey or more, this article is for you.
I know how frustrating it gets when you put in those hours to work out and deny yourself those foods you like and there’s nothing to show for it.
Don’t beat yourself up because most of it may not be your fault, you may be doing something wrong or what you are doing is not just right for your body. So here are the likely reasons why you are not losing weight as fast as you want to.
- Your Genes: wonder why some people get away with eating pastries, cakes, ice cream and all junks but they don’t add an inch but you only think about ice cream and you have gained some weight. As unfair as that sounds, genes can determine how the calories you consume are stored and how many you burn up.
You know your genes are responsible for your slow weight loss if you have been overweight all your life. If you have one or both overweight parents or if you have tried to lose weight like every other person but it was ineffective, you need to get a specialized weight loss plan, cut down your calories, and increase physical activity.
2. Metabolic rate: this is a very important factor for weight loss. If your metabolism is fast you burn more calories at rest and during activity. People with a fast metabolism can also get away with eating those foods you avoid and they have to eat more to maintain a healthy weight. So also, if your metabolism is slow, you burn fewer calories during activity and rest. People with slow metabolism have to consume fewer calories to avoid being overweight.
3. Undercounting calorie intake: this is another culprit. You think you are keeping a strict diet but you forgot you sipped some juice from your sister’s drink, ate that small piece of chocolate at the office; you added too much oil to that healthy meal or had too much salad dressing in your healthy salad.
As little as it may seem, every calorie counts and if you already have a slow metabolism and ‘fat genes’ to battle with, you need to count and take note of everything you consume.
Those things may be the extra calories that are hindering you from having your dream body. If you can’t estimate the number of calories you consume, you can download an app,myfitnesspal, on your mobile phone to count and track your daily consumption.
4. Weight loss plateau: at a point in my life I hit the weight loss plateau and it was very frustrating but I didn’t know what it was at that time, so I went reading and then I found that after you have shed some weight during your weight loss journey, your body then adapts to your workout routines and diet plan, you begin to burn fewer calories than you did before and cannot shed any more weight.
To effectively begin to lose weight again, you need to change your routine and diet, increase your reps if you work out and do more high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This is a good time to say, you cannot expect a different result using the same old approach.
5. Eating too little: I always advise people to gradually lose weight or diet, don’t just wake up and make a drastic diet decision and that’s because eating too little can also hinder you from losing weight. That sounds strange, right? But your brain is more interested in keeping you healthy, so when you begin to eat too little and maybe begin to lose weight fast, your brain activates a mode called starvation mode, this mode makes your body conserve energy by burning fewer calories. It’s a natural mechanism by your brain to protect and stop your body from starvation.
Averagely, women need to consume about 2,000 calories per day for weight maintenance and about 1500 for weight loss while men, on the other hand, need 2,600 calories per day for maintenance and 2,100 for weight loss. These numbers may vary based on your age. So look for the number of calories required for your age and gender to lose weight.
6. Bad food choices: when you go shopping, do well to look at the ingredients on the label. Some of the contents may not be compliant with your healthy meal plan. If you are going for healthy fresh bread and drinks, know that healthy foods don’t have a lot of ingredients on the label. If you see more than 4-5 ingredients on the list with chemical contents, that item shouldn’t be on your shopping list. Avoid processed foods and sweets, go for whole foods instead.
7. Not getting enough sleep: sleep time is repair time. When you sleep your body rests and can perform certain essential functions. You also get to burn up to 50 calories when you sleep. Results from an experimental study carried out on the relationship between sleep and obesity, “A review of the evidence shows how short or poor quality sleep is linked to increased risk of obesity by de-regulating appetite, leading to increased energy consumption.” sleeping poorly can reduce the efficacy of workouts and dieting.
8. Too inactive: a sedentary lifestyle is an unhealthy lifestyle that involves lots of sitting and inactivity. This inactive time may be too much tv time, working long hours on your desk, video game time or lying down a lot. There’s nothing wrong with doing these as long they are done in moderation and maybe on your feet. Complement your diet plan with some physical activity. It could be joining a gym, taking brisk walks, running or taking the stairs and walking as often as the opportunity presents itself.
9. Skipping meals: this is a bit tricky because intermittent fasting is good for weight loss but the difference between intermittent fasting and skipping meals is the intention. It’s a conscious decision to eat only at certain times of the day, it’s more like a fast and you still stay within your expected daily calorie intake. Skipping meals on the other hand is not good because you become so hungry and tend to overeat when you eventually get to eat. So if you eat too much when you are hungry, avoid getting too hungry, don’t skip meals, and if you can’t have a full meal for whatever reason, try to snack on fruits or vegetables.
10. Not drinking enough water: Drinking water increases oxygen flow to your blood and gives your body the energy it needs to keep burning fats and calories throughout the day. Water can also suppress your appetite and boost your metabolism. Drinking water also helps you stay fuller and eat less. Water will also make your exercise more efficient, so drink water as often as possible.
Losing weight is about consistency and it can be easy for you if you are determined. see which of the categories you fall into from the list above and take a bold step to get out of your comfort zone. Weight loss basically entails reducing your calorie consumption and getting more active. Share with us in the comment if you have other reasons that make losing weight difficult.
Share with us in the comment if you have other reasons that make losing weight difficult.