Losing weight seems like it should be easy: eat less and move more. But people who try it soon find out that it is anything but straightforward. Shedding the pounds often requires making wholesale changes to your lifestyle, altering many of your most cherished habits - such as eating a gallon of ice cream in front of the television in the evening.
Sometimes, though, you can stick doggedly to your protocol and still find that the number on the weighing scales isn’t going down. What the heck is going on?
In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common reasons people don’t lose weight, no matter how hard they try. The purpose is to help encourage you if you’re struggling to shed the pounds and provide you with the insights you need to achieve lasting success.
While dieting is the primary approach for weight loss, evidence suggests that it probably isn’t a good idea. Ninety-five percent of people who go on diets end up gaining all the weight that they lost and more within five years. In many cases, it is better never to have gone on a diet in the first place.
Traditional dieting doesn’t work for two reasons. The first is psychological. The average person can’t live the rest of their days in a reduced-calorie state, eating frugally all the time in the hope that they will get the figure that they want. Eventually, they give in to “temptation” and eat something that they want. Then, when they fail, they throw their hands up in the air and give up. Slipping up once tends to be interpreted as “not having the willpower to see the diet through.”
The other reason traditional diets don’t work is biological. After a few months, your body is crying out for calories, and it will do pretty much whatever it can to get them. You feel compelled to eat, and there’s not much you can do to stop it. It’s basic survival.
Here’s a tip: don’t diet. Instead, change your routine in sustainable ways. Focus on making 80 percent of your meals healthy, and don’t sweat the rest. Eventually, you’ll lose weight naturally, become more robust, and, hopefully, won’t have so many cravings for junk.
You’re Not Eating Whole Foods
Have you ever looked at someone in their forties and fifties who is lean and asked yourself how they do it? You might be tempted to chalk it up to genetics (which is sometimes the case), but more often than not, it’s related to their dietary habits.
For years, scientists have known that people who eat so-called “whole foods” have far leaner physiques than those who do not. Whole foods seem to foster metabolic changes that keep fat at bay and make it easy to maintain an ideal weight. Just eating plants “as they come out of the ground” seems to change the body in a way that refined foods do not.
Swapping to whole foods is pretty straightforward. Instead of eating cereal from a packet in the morning, swap to oatmeal. For your lunchtime sandwich, ditch the white bread and choose wholemeal instead, with homemade hummus and salad filling. And for dinner, base your meals around beans and vegetables. Eat fruit for dessert. Avoid anything heavily processed or that comes ready-made in a packet. It probably isn’t doing you much good.
You’re Struggling To Sleep
Research suggests that people who struggle to sleep tend to be the most prone to gaining weight. When you don’t get enough shut-eye, you put your body into fat storage mode and disrupt your whole rhythm. Instead of eating most of your calories towards the beginning of the day, you save them for the end, leading to even more sleep disruption.
Getting enough sleep is an essential component of weight maintenance. If you’re struggling with your sleep, try to stop eating around four hours before you go to bed, avoid blue lights and, if you’re stressed, find an activity that allows you to unwind.
You Have Unrealistic Expectations
Before and after shots of radical body transformations on social media make it seem as if it is simple to go from one kind of body to another. The truth, however, is that people who achieve these incredible feats of weight loss often spend years trying to achieve it and do grueling workouts to make it happen.
While diet is the most crucial component of any weight loss regime, many people supplement too for added effect. Ordering Orlistat online, for example, is a way to reduce the amount of fat that the body absorbs from the diet, reducing total calorie intake. Don’t be surprised to find that when you dig a little deeper, many people on these transformations use more than food and exercise to shed the pounds. Sometimes losing weight calls for radical action.
You Spend All Day Sitting Down
Sitting down all day is not good for the human body. We’re designed to be always on the move, looking for food, especially in the morning.
Most people, however, roll out of bed, get in their car, drive to work, sit at their desk all day, and then drive back to slump in front of the TV in the evening - an insufficient level of activity to stay lean.
The good news is that you don’t need a tremendous amount of activity to keep your metabolism and weight in check. Many doctors recommend getting up from your desk every hour or so to take a quick stroll. It doesn’t have to be for very long - just something that gets your blood flowing and challenges your cardiovascular system for a few minutes. A brisk walk to the water dispenser ought to do the trick.
You’re Eating Out Too Much
There’s a big difference between the food you prepare at home and the food you eat out. Researchers have found that home-cooked foot contains vastly less salt, sugar, and fat than equivalents made outside of the house - and more calories.
If you want to lose weight, therefore, you’re better hosting dinner parties than going out to the nearest food joint with your friends.
You Have A Medical Condition That Makes Weight Loss More Difficult
Some people have medical conditions that make weight loss significantly more challenging, these include polycystic ovarian syndrome, sleep apnea, and the most famous, hypothyroidism.
If you’re struggling to lose weight, it might be because you have one or more of these conditions. If you’re not sure you have a disease, go to the doctor’s office to find out.
You Eat For Emotional Reasons
If you have a stressful life - as most people do - you may find that you eat for emotional reasons. While you know that some of the foods that you put in your mouth are getting in the way of your weight loss plans, you do it anyway because it makes you feel better.
Eating for emotional reasons is more common than you might think. Furthermore, many people do it without even realizing it. They get home from work, feel bad, and then immediately go to the fridge to find a quick pick-me-up. More often than not, the foods that they choose are unhealthy.
The trick here, strangely, is to use diet to adjust how you feel. Often the better you eat, the more in love with life you become, and the less stress affects you.
If you struggle to lose weight, these insights should help. Don’t fall into any of the above weight-loss traps if you can avoid it.