Trying to lose weight by eating right and exercising are difficult enough on their own. Sticking to a strict workout schedule and diet are a daunting task on their own for a lot of people.
It is a victory in itself when you’ve come to master (for the most part) those two things.
It is incredibly frustrating when you’ve been on a consistent regimen but you still aren’t losing all the weight you want to lose.
Most people know that in order to lose weight you have to eat right and you have to exercise. What a lot of people don’t know is that there are many other things in your life that can prevent you from losing weight even when you are maintaining your diet and working out consistently.
It is easy to get so caught up in doing the things we know will help us lose weight that we forget about the little things that could be preventing weight loss in a BIG way.
Ive come up with 5 things that could be affecting anyone who is trying to shed those extra pounds. It doesn’t matter where you are on your weight loss journey, these 5 things could be affecting you!
Check out this list to see if these 5 reasons might be affecting your weight loss.
1. You’re Eating Too Much Healthy Food
I want to tread very lightly when it comes to this subject. It is very easy for people to develop a bad relationship with food and I do not want that for anyone! Especially because I have experienced this myself and it took a long time for me to get out of this mindset.
Food = Fuel and you need to eat enough even if your goal is weight loss.
That being said, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. Let’s take a look at all my personal favorite “health foods”. I love fruit, nuts, avocados, dark chocolate, etc. I indulge in these foods all the time because they are good for you. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are also packed with calories.
As much as everyone hates the “C” word, they matter when it comes to weight loss and muscle gain. Unless you’re working out for upwards of 5 hours a day (which I don’t know anyone in their right mind who does) you cant really afford to eat as much of all these types of foods as you want.
Weight loss comes down to calories in vs calories out.
If you’re eating way more calories than you’re burning, it doesn’t matter if they are coming from a snickers or an avocado, you will still gain weight.
2. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
I cannot stress enough how important sleep is for your health in general. I know how hard it is to get enough sleep in today’s world where everyone is busy and life is fast paced. It’s easy to skimp on the ZZZs and run on coffee (lots and lots of coffee). But let me tell you why this is affecting your weight loss journey a lot more than you think. Sleeping improves concentration, productivity, immunity, and this is the body’s time to restore and rejuvenate itself.
So why is sleep so important for losing weight? Sleep and weight loss ties into the body restoring and rejuvenating. When you sleep, your body regulates your hormones. There are two hormones that affect appetite and hunger and they are called ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin is the hormone that increases appetite and leptin is the hormone that decreases appetite.
When you’re not sleeping enough it means these hormones are getting out of whack.
The regulation of leptin (which decreases your appetite) depends on sleep. Studies show that even going 6 days of not getting the recommended hours of sleep can decrease the blood levels of leptin significantly.
This means that lack of sleep = increase of appetite.
Now that you know how important sleep is for weight loss, here are some ways you can get better sleep:
- No caffeine after 2 pm
- No electronics 1-2 hours before bed
- Stretch before bed
- Drink calming tea
- Exercise in the morning
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule
By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to sleeping better and losing more weight in no time!
3. You’re Too Stressed Out
Being a worry wart negatively affects your life in more ways than one. First of all, having a lot of stress and anxiety can overall make life not enjoyable. Second of all, it can cause weight gain.
When you are chronically stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Yes, we are back to hormones. Cortisol is the stress hormone and it can actually boost hunger and make you hold on to weight.
When there is a boost in cortisol, the insulin levels in the blood begin to rise. The increased insulin levels make your blood sugar drop which cause cravings for fatty or sugary foods. (This explains why you like to eat junk food like ice cream or chips when you’re stressed)
Cortisol also makes you hold on to weight because your body goes into survival mode.
It is impossible for people to never get stressed, but it is possible to relieve chronic stressors.
Some ways to decrease stress levels:
- Regular exercise
- Manage time/finances
- Aromatherapy (Try my favorite essential oils for sleep and stress relief here)
4. You’re Skipping Weights
I would like to think that every woman has realized by now that lifting weights will not make you bulky. There are so many fitness gurus like Buff Bunny and Nikki Blackletter who prove that lifting heavy can get you some serious body goals. These women are lean and toned but not bulky at all. Did I mention they do very minimal cardio? Ya, thats right. Minimal cardio.
Don’t get me wrong, cardio has so many benefits and is wonderful for heart health, but you don’t need to do hours of cardio to lose weight.
The reason these women can do minimal cardio and still lose fat is because the more lean body mass you have, the faster your metabolism is.
So the more lean body mass (aka muscle mass) you have, the more weight you can lose.
Lifting weights actually keeps your metabolism boosted for up to 38 hours after exercise. This means you are burning more calories just doing everyday activities because you lifted weights earlier.
Weight lifting really is the best way to tone up and lose fat so pick up those weights and get going!
5. You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
So you know the saying that your body is made up of 70% water?
That brings us to the final reason you aren’t losing weight.
I don’t need to tell you that drinking water is important. You know that. But drinking enough water can help you lose weight.
Drinking water before and during meals can help you get full faster and stay full longer. Eating foods that have a lot of water in them can also make you feel fuller longer.
Studies also show that drinking cool water speeds up your metabolism.
How much water is enough water though?
The recommended amount of water is around 8 eight ounce glasses of water per day. This adds up to around 2 liters.
That seems like a lot but if you’re sipping on water all day its very doable.
A lot of people think that drinking water is boring but it doesn’t have to be!
You can add things like fruit or chia seeds to make your water less boring and give it some flavor. The chia seeds are a bonus because they swell in your stomach and make you feel fuller longer while adding a little bit of protein as well.
These 5 things are easy enough for anyone to do and can really make a change in your weight loss journey.
Try them out and let me know how they work for you!
This post contains affiliate links but all opinions and recommendations are 100% honest and my own.