Have you been working so hard towards shedding of those extra pounds and now you have hit a major wall but not losing weight? It is common after weeks of progress to suddenly see that nothing is happening even when much effort is placed towards weight loss.
This is the dreaded plateau stage:
It is the moment where your bathroom scale number is not budging any lower even after dieting and exercising. You may be asking yourself what is sabotaging your progress. One thing you need to know is that weight loss does not happen automatically. Furthermore, it takes much longer and more effort so it may be as a result of mistakes you make on the way.
Want to know the best part?
Here are 10 common reasons why you’re not losing weight.
1. Not getting enough sleep
How can sleep affect your weight loss effort? What you need to know is that lack of sleep has been found to contribute towards weight gain. A recent study conducted on a group of women who slept 5 hours a night revealed that they were more likely to gain weight than women who slept 7 hours a night.
This is crazy:
Actually, more studies reveal that losing sleep affects your metabolism which means instead of speeding it up, it actually slows it. Sleep deprivation affects the secretion of cortisol which is a hormone that regulates one’s appetite. When you lack a good night sleep it means you burn less calories. Furthermore, you wake up tired which increases your stress levels during the day. Due to this, your emotions will be high leading you to stress -eat especially junk food and drinks like coffee. Getting enough sleep is very crucial towards your weight loss efforts. Medical experts recommend that one should sleep 8 to 10 hours in order to ensure the body gets the much needed rest.
Having difficulty sleeping?
Take a hot bath and unwind by setting aside all your worries. You will get to sleep like a baby.
2. Eating too much
You have found that one diet that assures you of shedding so many pounds within a few months. All you have to do is consume a few foods in certain quantities. The problem is when you begin a diet; your body is not used to the sudden changes which means you will end up experiencing hunger pangs for most of the day. It is common for many people not to have the discipline and patience to allow the body to get used to the new changes. This means they end up ignoring the one simple advice that nutritionists ask of people losing weight to adhere to – eat small sizes four to six times a day.
If you are serious about losing weight, you have to be serious about the portions you are consuming. Filling up your plate with greens, good carbs and protein rich foods does not mean that you will lose weight fast. Actually, your body only uses a small amount to power different body functions. The rest will end up being passed through your bowels.
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3. Not changing your workout program
The workout program you are currently engaged in does not provide results as earlier told by a specialist and furthermore, you have not realized where the mistake is. The problem may not be with your workout program but with you. When your body adapts to your workout routine, your weight hits the plateau stage. This means your body is no longer challenged so it will not burn the calories required to lose weight. This is the reason why when you stand on the bathroom scale, the numbers remain the same or tip towards the higher side.
Here is the deal:
Start varying the exercises for example if you have been performing 10 reps with a certain number of pounds, it’s high time to lower or increase the reps and the weight. This will activate the different muscles in your body leading to fat burning and weight loss. According to experts, do no skip too many workouts as this will make the program not achieve its desired objective – weight loss. Start by finding a workout program that you enjoy and also fits with your lifestyle, needs and goals. Work with gym trainers or use the buddy system in order to achieve your goal.
4. Not eating enough protein
Protein is a vital nutrient in the body as it helps with the generation of new tissues as well as the repair of it when injured. This is the reason why protein is regarded as the perfect nutrient if you want to lose weight.
Protein is much more satisfying than carbohydrates plus is has the added bonus of working with appetite regulating hormones for example ghrelin making you to feel full. This helps to eliminate the chances of overeating as well as reducing your cravings for junk food. What you need to know is that deriving 25% to 30% of your calories from eating protein helps to boost your metabolism by 80 to 100 calories in a day.
It gets better:
Since you will be snacking less, you will end up eating less which means your body will turn to fat stored in the body leading to fat burning and weight loss. Protein rich foods to consume include skinless chicken breast, lean beef, whole eggs, fish, nuts and legumes. Start by incorporating protein in your breakfast and switch from heavy carbs. Studies have shown that consuming high protein every morning makes one less hungry and have fewer cravings.
5. Blowing it all on weekends
The one thing that is highly encouraged for people who are on a weight loss journey is to treat themselves once in a while.
What does this mean?
During that one moment, you can treat yourself with foods you love for example French fries, barbeque, ice cream, yoghurt, pizza, cookies, coffee and others. When you indulge with treats once a month, you will not be hurting your weight loss goals. When you over indulge every weekend, don’t be surprised by the numbers on your weighing scale. The dial will not be on the lower side but on the higher side.
Here is what you need to know:
If you want to lose a pound of fat every week, you need to cut a total of 500 calories with exercises and diets. This means if you follow the above plan for 5 days and indulge in junk food for two days, your efforts for the entire 5 days will be for nothing.
Instead of over indulging with junk food every weekend, eat one or two treats in small portions and then continue eating healthy the rest of the time. Don’t rest too much on weekends. Spend time walking with your family around the neighborhood or park.
6. Having a medical condition
There are medications which have weight gain as a side effect. These medications include hormonal medicine for birth control, oral steroid, anti-depressants, diabetes medications and anti-psychotic drugs. If you want to lose weight, it is important to consider your medical condition. This may hinder you from undertaking some workout programs or diets.
One condition that is known to affect one’s weight is the thyroid disease. Thyroid deficiency can result in the decrease of metabolism leading to weight gain. This condition is known to affect both genders – male and female. Today, it is estimated that millions of people have thyroid disease. People who have not been diagnosed with the disease make up majority of the patients. This is why it is important to seek the intervention of a medical expert before you begin a weight loss program.
7. Paying with plastic
Have you noticed how it is very easy to buy junk food when you pay with your debit or credit card? All you have to do is take the card out of your wallet, hand it to the cashier who swipes it and you are done with your purchase. This is the reason why many people consume more junk food as payment is easy to make. Today, cash has taken a back seat as many people resort to paying with plastic and mobile phone apps. To avoid purchasing calorie dense food, its best to shop with cash.
When shopping with cash, you have to budget. You have to sit down and determine what you want to purchase and the amount of money you have in your pocket. When making a list of what food to purchase, it’s best to list healthy foods and avoid junk food. When at the store, shop at the grocery section where healthy foods, lean beef and poultry products are located. This section is found on the sides of the store while junk food aisles are located close to the entry and exit points.
8. Not doing cardio
Cardio workout is the ultimate exercise that enables one to burn calories, lose weight and feel great. The best thing about cardio workout is that you can do it at home and most of the workouts do not require expensive equipment.
Examples of cardio workout:
Running, jumping rope, brisk walking, swimming, cycling and aerobic classes at the gym are just but a few of the examples. New studies reveal that the endocrine functions of contracting muscles as a result of aerobic exercises helps with the secretion of myokines. This has the benefit of promoting growth of new tissues, tissue repair and reduced risk of developing inflammatory diseases.
Benefits of cardio workout:
They include the strengthening of muscles, enlargement of the heart muscle, improved circulation, reduced blood pressure, increased number of red blood cells, improved mental health, reduced risk of diabetes, reduced stress and weight loss. Next time your body hits the plateau stage, re-activate your weight loss with some cardio workout. Vary the different workouts to eliminate the chances of your body getting used to one routine.
9. Not drinking water regularly
Water is the most underrated resource especially when it comes to weight loss. What many people don’t know is that water contains no calories so it contributes none in your body. It is a great tool that aids in weight loss.
For starters, water acts as an appetite suppressor especially when taken before and during meals. This helps by making you feel full eliminating the need for you to over eat. It also helps to fight off food cravings. Secondly, water helps to boost one’s metabolism which in turn promotes weight loss and fat burning as the body turns to stored fat as an energy source to power different body functions.
Lastly, it aids by preventing the emergence of constipation which has been found to be a contributor towards weight gain.
Want to know the best part?
Drinking water regularly (8 to 10 glasses a day) helps to flush out toxins from your body, boosts your immune system, acts as a natural headache remedy and improves your skin complexion. If you want to effectively lose weight, drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. While you will end up making a few trips to the bathroom, you will look good once you shed off those pounds.
10. Starving yourself
Many people believe that starving oneself will aid with weight loss. What they don’t know is that doing so will actually have an opposite effect. In order to understand why starving yourself is not a great idea; you need to understand how body fat works. Once you consume food especially in large quantities and those rich in carbs, saturated fats, sodium and sugar, your body ends up converting less as energy to power body function.
The rest ends up being stored in the body as fat especially around the waist, hips and thighs. To lose this fat, you have to give your body a reason for doing so. If you engage in a workout routine, your body will have a reason for burning fat to use it as energy. This will contribute towards you losing weight.
When you starve yourself, the following happens:
First, your body goes into starvation mode when you stop eating. This means your body will begin to preserve fat instead of burning it. Second, majority of people end up cracking leading to consumption of food rich in calories. This contributes to weight gain.
Lastly, when you consume a meal after starving yourself, your body begins to process it differently. Because your metabolism was slowed down, your body will convert it into fat and store it. This means, you will end up gaining weight instead of losing it.
What should you do?
Avoid starving yourself and consume meals in small portions during the set meal time.
If you want to lose weight effectively, you need to avoid the following mistakes: Starving yourself, paying with plastic, not drinking water regularly, not doing cardio, not having a checkup to find out if you have a medical condition, not having enough sleep and eating too much are just but a few of the mistakes people make. Doing the above will result in you reaching the plateau stage and instead of losing weight, you will end up gaining it.
So, avoid the above mistakes and you will be on your way to attaining a healthy weight.