It’s a question many of us ask when we are in the middle of a weight loss process and make little progress or the benefits feel less intense after a while. Weight loss is a process and a healthy weight loss may eventually take time. Consider that every person is different, they have different caloric needs, they burn calories at their own pace and influenced by the level of physical activity they do.
Let’s see what are the things that can influence the weight loss process in a negative way and prevent you from losing weight:
1. You are losing weight – it’s just happening slowly. In fact, losing weight too soon is a sure way to regain weight at the end of a too restrictive diet. Healthy weight loss eventually takes time.
2. You have a medical condition – I put this factor at the beginning of the list because, most often than not, what’s written in our genes, the influence of hormones, age (it’s more difficult to lose weight as we grow older). If you’re not losing weight after you do the calories math (calories intake minus calories expenditure), you might want to see your doctor to rule out a possible medical condition. You might be experiencing a hormonal inbalance or a disfunctional thyroid, which may slow down your metabolism.
3. The calories balance – which is influenced by diet (what and how much you eat) and exercise. The truth is that you may be eating too much or too often or exercise too little. Doing the calories math (calories intake minus calories burn) is important sometimes, especially if you’re struggling to loose weight. You may be eating too many calories or even worse, plain calories (food with no nutritional value), especially in social environments. The calories burn is determined by your metabolism (your body’s ability to burn fat) and also by your level of physical activity.
4. You’ve hit a plateau – no matter how much weight you lose in the beginning, almost everyone reaches a plateau eventually. Your body may get accustomed to eating the same food or performing the same exercises. Variety is key – make sure you vary the foods and exercises and eventually change the intensity or their duration.
5. You aren’t drinking enough water – water acts as an appetite suppressant, helping you keep your cravings under control. It prevents you from overeating and accelerates metabolism. Some medical advice even argues that you cannot burn fat properly if your body is dehydrated.
6. Lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain. This is because you tend to compensate the lack of energy with overeating. According to a 2006 study, women who slept five hours a night were more likely to gain weight than women who had seven hours of sleep.
7. Stress – chronic stress can increase the production of cortisol ; this can have a number of negative consequences such as increased appetite, extra abdominal fat, cravings, fatigue. If you feel tense, you’re more likely to have an unhealthy treat as a quick fix. Exercise and meditation are usually the best ways to combat chronic stress.
Losing weight can be challenging sometimes, especially when you want quick results or are not fully committed to the process. Although sometimes we need to take shortcuts (for example when you need to attend an event and need to lose some pounds fast), most often a healthy lifestyle, making the right nutritional choices usually pays off in the long run. And The Diet of the Common Sense can be a good place to start, since it’s flexible and based on principles that you can implement at your own pace.
Studies & Research:
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