IS THE MARKER ON YOUR SCALES REFUSING TO BUDGE?
The 11 reasons you’re not losing weight
There are many possible reasons why you’re struggling to shed kilos. These include:
YOU’RE MISJUDGING PORTION SIZES
You might think you’re opting for healthier foods, but if you’re eating large amounts of those foods, it could mean you’re not losing weight. Research has shown we tend to vastly underestimate calories in larger portions and end up overeating. Using smaller plates and keeping a food journal can help you to keep on top of what you’re consuming.
YOU’RE RELYING ON EXERCISE TO LOSE WEIGHT
Studies have shown that exercising alone isn’t going to help you lose much weight. You have to exercise strenuously to burn off high-calorie foods – for example, it’ll take around 48 minutes of cardio exercise to burn off an order of large fries from a fast-food outlet.
The other issue with exercise is that it can stimulate appetite, so that you end up eating more after a workout than you would have if you hadn’t been so active. For best results, exercise should be used in conjunction with a healthy eating plan.
YOU’RE NOT SLEEPING ENOUGH
There’s a link between lack of sleep and weight gain – too little sleep interferes with the production of hormones that regulate appetite and send your brain the message that you’ve had enough. Make getting around seven to eight hours’ sleep a night a priority.
YOUR DIET IS TOO RESTRICTIVE
Cutting out too many calories can lead to cravings that are hard to resist. Allowing yourself an occasional treat can help you to avoid binge eating. For example, eating a few squares of dark chocolate could stop you pigging out on a familysized bar of chocolate.
YOU’RE KIDDING YOURSELF THAT YOU’RE EATING HEALTHY FOODS
Just because something is good for you, doesn’t mean you should overindulge. Yes, nuts have health benefits, but they are also high in calories. If you’re eating a whole bag in one go instead of a handful, you’re not going to lose weight, in fact you could put it on. Eating lots of “diet” foods is also a mistake. Many so-called low-calorie foods are actually full of sugar, so you’re not going to lose weight by eating them. YOU’RE DRINKING EXCESS CALORIES
You might be paying careful attention to what you are eating, but ignoring what you drink is a big mistake. Sugary soft drinks, in particular, are one of the major contributors to obesity. Alcohol, especially beer, can also be fattening. Fruit juices are also high in sugar and should be diluted or avoided if you are trying to lose weight.
The best drink for weight loss is water.
YOU’RE NOT EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN
Protein can boost your metabolism, which may lead to you eating fewer calories in a day. Protein also affects the hormones that regulate appetite. Studies show that people who eat a high-protein breakfast are less hungry and have fewer cravings during the day. Eggs are a great source of protein for breakfast.
If you are fretting because you’ve been trying to lose weight and you’ve hardly shed any, it might be time to re-set your goals, making them more realistic. While some people can steadily lose a kilo a week, others may find despite their best efforts, they only drop a few hundred grams.
Don’t give up, just focus on the fact that you are doing something right because you are losing weight, even if it is not as much as you’d like.
Try working out with weights once a week or giving up alcohol during weekdays and see if that makes a difference.
But don’t get discouraged – over time, the amount you are losing will mount up and you’ll soon be able to notice a difference.
YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO EATING
Many of us eat on the run or while we’re doing other things, such as watching
TV or checking social media. When your mind is elsewhere, you tend to eat fast and eat more than you need.
Numerous studies have shown that mindful eating, in which you pay attention to what you are eating, how it tastes and when it makes you feel full, can lead to significant weight loss. Get into the habit of eating without distractions and knowing when to stop.
YOU’VE GOT A MEDICAL CONDITION THAT IS MAKING WEIGHT LOSS HARDER
Some medical conditions lead to weight gain and make it trickier to shed the kilos. These include:
• Polycystic ovarian syndrome • Cushing’s syndrome • Hypothyroidism
• Syndrome X (or insulin resistance)
• Chronic stress.
You may need to get treatment for these before you start to see any drop in weight.
YOUR MEDICATION IS MESSING WITH YOUR
It’s not only medical conditions that can cause weight gain – so can some prescription drugs. Those that can cause issues include: • Medication used to treat type 2 diabetes • Schizophrenia or antipsychotic drugs • Beta-blockers, which can be prescribed for high blood pressure and some heart conditions • Antidepressants
• Hormone replacement therapy • Birth control pills • Corticosteroids taken for conditions like asthma • Anti-seizure medication. If medication seems to be to blame for weight gain, and inability to lose it, your doctor may be able to prescribe another drug that won’t have the same effect.
It may also mean that you have to put more effort into trying to shed the kilos.
Yes, it is possible to get past a weight loss plateau.
A few squares of dark chocolate could help curb that sweet craving.
You need 48 minutes of cardio to burn up one large serve of fries.
Mix up your exercise routine and try weights once a week.