Failing to see results despite your best efforts? Do you need to change your weight loss strategy?
Weight loss is an emotional subject to talk about for a lot of people. And a lot of the times, it’s because they feel stuck. And if you are reading this, chances are you feel “stuck” too. You are doing everything right, you are eating healthy and you just aren’t losing weight.
Here are 10 reasons why you might not be losing weight and how you can fix them:
1.You are not getting enough sleep:
Not getting enough sleep is one of the biggest reasons why you are not able to lose weight. Not sleeping enough has detrimental effects on your health. In fact, not sleeping enough decreases your metabolism rate. It also increases your appetite and the workouts aren’t as beneficial.
Sleep also gives your body and mind the needed rest and helps your body recover from the workouts. When you don’t sleep enough your muscles don’t get enough time to repair from the wear and tear from the workouts.
HOW TO FIX: Sleeping for at least 7-8 hours is extremely important for weight loss. A good night’s sleep also decreases your cravings and prevents un-necessary snacking during the day. Sleeping at a reasonable time helps you avoid the mid night cravings as well. So it’s a win-win. Here is our top tips on how to sleep better.
2.You are not mixing up your workouts
When you just started working out, chances are you lost some weight. But then it plateaued, right? And that’s because your body got used to the workout. Not pushing yourself physically and mentally with increasing intensity, results in diminished results. So if you are doing just cardio, it’s time to add weight training to it. And if you are focussing on just weight training, you need to mix it up with cardio. With that said, Yoga is also a great option. We suggest that you focus on exercises that strengthen your body(like planks) and mix those with the poses that makes you flexible. Both are important.
HOW TO FIX: Make sure that you do not do the exact same thing every single day. Mix up your workouts with High intensity interval training, weight training, aerobics, Zumba, spin classes. The options are endless. Just don’t get too comfortable.
3. You are not eating a balanced diet:
A lot of people focus solely on eating calorie deficit meals. And they work even for a few days/weeks. But if you are not having a balanced nutritious diet, you are not going to lose weight in the long term.
Practising FAD diets or completely cutting out a specific food items from your meals isn’t the best way to lose weight. We have all seen those crazy diets like the GM diet or lemon water diet. And while they could show you results in a week, but you end up gaining that weight back, once you are on your regular diet.
HOW TO FIX: Instead of completely cutting out carbs/fats from your diet, focus on having balanced nutritious meals. Carbs and healthy fats are essential for your body as well. So, instead of just going on a calorie deficit diet, pay attention to where those calories are coming from. Because calories aren’t everything. Eating clean and balanced meals is the key to weight loss.
4. You are working out too much:
If you think that the best way to lose weight fast is to work out 5 hours a day, you are mistaken. I mean, assuming that you could workout for those 5 hours everyday. Even then, it will not help you in weight loss.
While workouts are definitely recommended, overdoing it won’t help. When you workout, a lot of muscle wear and tear happens. And your body needs time to recover from that. That’s why while you sleep, your muscles get repaired. Now, if you are working out for insane amounts of time, you body will not have enough time to repair all the damages. And it will cause muscle loss, which might be depicted as weight loss on the scale.
But losing muscle mass is not good, either for your health or for your weight loss plan. Muscles help you lose weight in fact. The more muscle mass you have, the faster you lose weight.
HOW TO FIX: Focus on workouts but have a workout plan. Do not workout for longer durations, it doesn’t help. It sometimes even makes you gain weight. because when you workout that much, you tend to reward yourself and overcompensate the calories. Also, you won’t be able to workout with high intensity. Therefore, it’s advisable to keep your workouts short, but push your limits during those workouts.
5. You are stressed
Whether it is workload or family matters, we are all stressed pretty much all the time. And this stress causes us to gain weight. Because when you are stressed all the time, your levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone rises. And increased levels of cortisol can result into overeating becoming a habit.
Higher amounts of cortisol also leads to higher insulin level in your body, which in turn spikes your blood sugar levels. That’s why you experience highs and lows in your energy level throughout the day. And when you have these lows, you ten to eat something to pick you up.
And more often than not, it’s something sugary. This eating in between or snacking is something that you body doesn’t need exactly. And usually it isn’t that rich in nutrition too. It’s something that you think your body wants because of the low levels of blood sugar.
HOW TO FIX: Avoiding stress or reducing stress can be a very wide topic, but ultimately it boils down to a few basic principles. Having a healthy body, mind and relationships.
For healthy body, we all know exercising regularly and eating right and eating clean is the key. And I know we are all busy, but taking out time from your schedule and prioritising your health will do the trick. Even it is just 30 minutes of your time.
For healthy mind, we highly recommend meditation. It can do wonders. There are so many guided meditations apps like “Calm” that help you go into a state of meditation and we highly recommend you start with either. Another thing that seems to help for your mind is gratitude. Because when you focus on the things you have and are grateful for everything, you develop an abundance mindset. And it helps you stay more positive and less stressed.
6. You are consuming liquid calories:
While trying to lose weight, we take care of what we eat, but we often forget about what we drink. Eating healthy throughout the day is not going to help if you are drinking your calories. It might be in the form of soda, or post workout energy drinks, or maybe even a few alcoholic drinks over the weekend.
And all these calories add up pretty quickly. Especially if you are not paying attention. The fruit juice that you think is healthy might be loaded with sugar or the yogurt that you think is a perfect balanced breakfast could be basically a dessert.
HOW TO FIX: The best way to stop consuming liquid calories is to avoid soda altogether. Whenever possible, have a glass of water with your food instead of soda.
When buying drinks at the grocery store, make sure to check the labels for added sugars. The innocent looking fruit juices are the culprit most of the times. Make sure you are only having raw pressed fruit juices that have no additional sugar. And it’ll be even better if you substitute juices for whole fruits whenever possible.
Also educate yourself about the cocktails and figure out what cocktails to order when you are watching your diet. Of course quitting alcohol altogether would be even better.
7. You are eating too much:
This happens to the best of us. It’s okay. A reason why you are not be losing weight might be that you are simply eating too much. This happens especially when you have started working out, your metabolism is boosted and your appetite increases and you overcompensate. You think that because you have worked out, you deserve a piece of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream. Well, not everyday. Especially not when you are trying to lose weight.
HOW TO FIX: A really easy way to fix this is to educate yourself about portion control. This can be implemented by having your meals in a bowl instead of a plate. it makes it easier to control your portion sizes so that you do not eat too much.
Another great tip that I find really useful is understanding what a balanced plate looks like. Incorporating more salads, making your own healthy salad dressings, and cutting out junk from your diet.
8. You eat too little:
Contrary to eating too much is eating too little. And whoever thought restricting your diet and eating too little will help you lose weight , was wrong. When you eat too little, your body gets an indication that there is a lack of nutrition and it starts storing fats in your body. It doesn’t breakdown the food you eat into energy as much and you feel lethargic all the time.
Think of it as your body kind of preparing itself for hibernation. Our bodies are amazing things and it is our natural instinct to protect ourselves. So when you eat too little, your body think there is going to be a shortage of food and hence starts preparing itself for such days. So you end up gaining weight instead of losing weight.
HOW TO FIX: Again, fixing this is really simple. Understand that fad diets are called fad for a reason. They don’t work in the long term. They come and go. You need to treat your body with love and respect and understand that it needs nutritious diet to function well and starving is not the way to lose weight. And even if you do end up losing some weight by this means, consider the harm you are doing to your body.
9. You are not drinking enough water:
The number one tip for people who are trying to lose weight is to drink more water. And if you are not losing weight, one reason might be that you are not drinking enough water. Water helps you suppress your appetite and when you drink a lot of water through out the day, you don’t feel like snacking.
Water is also great because it makes your digestion better and helps you lose weight faster. It is also important because when you are starting to workout, your body loses a lot of water weight. And you need to replenish it. When you don’t drink enough water, your body tends to retain water and thus you tend to gain weight. This is again pretty similar to an animal preparing for hibernation. SO you need to drink enough water so that your body doesn’t feel the need to retain water and thus you lose weight.
HOW TO FIX: The best way to fix this is to always keep a water bottle handy. Whether you are working on your desk, or driving. Always fill up a water bottle and keep it with you. This will remind you to keep drinking water throughout the day.
Which of these mistakes are you making right now?