So you’ve decided you want to lose weight… again. God knows how many times you’ve tried to with every new weight loss trend that comes up. It just seems that maybe – just maybe, it will work for you this time.
You start on that new diet trend and eat healthy. You keep track of your calories and you put in extra hours at the gym. You may lose a pound or two, maybe three and it’s enough to keep you motivated. But then, almost like clockwork, you hit a plateau and somehow it just gets more difficult to lose it.
How has it become so difficult for that scale to budge? Why are you not losing the weight? What more do you need to do?
It’s a vicious cycle that most often stresses us out and makes us feel like a failure because that scale just won’t move. We punish ourselves in the thought that maybe we just can’t control ourselves and we get depressed which pushes us to binge and pack all the pounds in again… and so the cycle goes.
But why exactly can’t we seem to lose the weight? There might be reasons beyond your control and it pays to know what could possibly be wrong in order for you to fix it. Also, you may unwittingly be doing something wrong or focusing on the wrong stuff and you need to know what these are in order for you to get it going.
Here are some possible reasons why you just can’t seem to lose the weight.
1. You’ve been doing the same weight loss program for too long
Give yourself a break from the same weight loss program you’ve been doing for quite some time. The monotony of having the same diet and exercise program may result in complacency that leads you to a weight loss plateau.
When you first start on diet programs that your body isn’t used to, it shocks your system causing you to lose the weight. By the time your body adjusts, it will no longer react in the same way.
The amount of weight you lose may not be as much as when you first started on it and hoping for the same results as when you started might result in disappointment and loss of motivation.
2. You lack sleep
You may not realize how valuable sleep really is not just for us to get enough rest from all the hard work and stress we undergo everyday but for our weight loss efforts as well. Being short on sleep affects our weight.
Studies have found that reduced sleep and poor sleep quality results in the development of obesity. When you lack sleep, your brain’s capacity to function normally becomes reduced and you find yourself craving for something that makes you feel good and the easiest and most convenient way to get a dose of dopamine, the feel-good hormone, is to eat “good” food.
Lack of sleep makes it difficult for you to resist those late-night cravings and you most likely turn to energy-dense, high carb foods that pack on the pounds. Sleep nourishes the brain and it is best to get it anywhere from 7 to 9 hours a day.
In just 4 days of sleep deprivation, your body’s ability to process insulin is affected and makes it difficult for your body to process sugar and starch into energy.
3. You have hormonal imbalance
Some women probably might not realize that they are experiencing a hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance causes weight gain in women and could be the reason why they have difficulty losing the weight no matter how hard they try.
Estrogen and progesterone are hormones secreted by the ovaries. It is responsible for women’s fertility and menstrual cycles. A balance between the two need to be maintained in order to keep a normal weight.
High estrogen levels cause an increase in the production of insulin that leads to sugar cravings. It also causes the growth of fatty tissue that accumulates around the abdominal area. Progesterone helps to lower insulin levels and uses the fat for energy.
4. You suffer from hypothyroidism
If you suffer from hypothyroidism, chances are you have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. Hypothyroidism could be an underlying problem if you have difficulty trying to lose weight. Your thyroid glands are responsible for your body’s metabolism.
When you suffer from hypothyroidism, your thyroid’s ability to produce necessary hormones slows down which in turn slows down your metabolism and leads to weight gain. Hyperthyroidism makes you tired, achy and lethargic and leads to even further reduction in your metabolic rates.
If you think you might suffer from hypothyroidism because of sudden weight gain, it would be wise to consult an endocrinologist to see how you can fix this.
5. You’re not getting enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D has been traditionally linked to bone health. It helps the body gain sufficient amounts of calcium and phosphorus which are critical for building and maintaining strong bones.
A recent study however has linked Vitamin D deficiency to weight gain. The study conducted involved about 4,000 women aged over 65. It found that women with inadequate amounts of vitamin D in their bodies were prone to gaining more weight than women with high levels of the vitamin.
Our bodies produce its own vitamin D through direct exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is not found in a lot of the foods we eat and in instances where regular exposure to adequate sunlight is impossible, supplements are the way to go.
6. You have very poor gut health
Our guts have been described by experts as our second brain. If your gut health is poor, there’s a very high chance that you might be struggling with your weight. How do you know if you have a bad gut?
If you suffer from constipation, bloating, irritable bowel movement or excess gas, your digestive system has a problem that causes you to gain weight, have skin issues and even suffer from depression.
Consult with a gastroenterologist to find out how you can fix this. Conditions such as leaky gut syndrome, dysbiosis, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease and diverticulitis are all signs that your digestive system has gone haywire and may be a reason for your difficulty in losing the weight.
7. You’re too stressed
Handling the pressures of our day-to-day activities can result in stressful conditions that may unwittingly cause us to gain weight. Problems at work or at home might be too much to handle and before you know it, you might be saying hello to your belly bulge.
When we feel a lot of pressure, we tend to overeat. Chronic stress can actually boost hunger. Our bodies go on survival mode when it reaches a certain level of stress, and our “stress hormone” or cortisol levels rise resulting in higher insulin levels that makes us crave for comfort foods that are most likely unhealthy.
During times when you feel like the pressure is too much, take a walk, meditate or get support from family and friends. This will be much better than finding comfort in a slice of cake or from that double cheeseburger.
Knowing the root of the problem helps you find ways to fix it. If you have been struggling to maintain a healthy weight loss strategy but find that you just can’t seem to keep it up, these might be some of the reasons why.
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