Trying to lose weight can be daunting, and at times you might feel is a mission impossible.
As we age, our hormones change, and we lose muscle mass. Both are important in keeping up your metabolism.
Making small changes can make a big difference in developing a healthy lifestyle.
“For some people, they need to have less saturated fat in their diet or else they will gain weight no matter what, for some people they need to have fewer carbohydrates, it just depends on their genetic makeup”Teresa Spano, a naturopathic consultant with Lee Health.
But before you give up you might consider what are the reasons why you are not losing weight.
There could be common reasons that you are overlooking.
Here are 14 possible reasons why you are not losing weight.
1. You don’t have enough muscle
Muscle is capital in weight loss.
Cardio is really good for your heart and can help burning fat.
The more muscle mass you have, the faster you burn calories.
Developing muscles will lead to your body burning calories even after you stop exercising.
But you don’t need to go all-in and become a bodybuilder, light resistance training will give you muscle without the bulk.
For every pound of muscle you gain, your body will burn an extra 50 calories per day.
2. You are eating too little
You might think that eating less might help you shed the pounds but it can actually do the opposite.
But you will need more food to sustain your muscle gain and what you burn off through cardio.
The golden rule for weight loo is that you have to burn more calories than you are eating.
But eating too little can slow down your metabolism and a slow metabolism can slow down your weight loss.
3. You are not sleeping enough
According to a study published in the Harvard School of Public Health, there is mounting evidence that people who get too little sleep have a higher risk of weight gain and obesity than people who get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
4. You go to bed on a full stomach
You should try to eat a couple of hours before you go to sleep. It is not good going to bed on a full stomach, you should digest the food prior to getting into your bed.
If you feel hungry near bedtime, get some fruit, vegetables or make a smoothie. You’ll feel the fat start to shed naturally.
5. You are sensitive
Begin with eliminating food sensitivities before dieting.
Several recent studies suggest a connection between childhood obesity and food allergies.
Food sensitivities may also lead to inflammation and water retention.
To compound the problem, over the counter antihistamines bolster appetite and dull energy.
6. You are not drinking enough water
Drinking water won’t make you lose weight by itself, but it will aid weight loss for several reasons.
Drinking water will help to control your portions because oftentimes when you think you are hungry what happens is that you are thirsty.
Also, drinking water before meals will help you feel fuller.
Staying hydrated means that you are not gulping any high-sugar drinks.
Yet another reason to drink water is that your body needs to flush out toxins, detox, and water is perfect just for that.
7. You are stressed out
Being stressed can make you think you’re hungry when you’re not and lead to emotional binge eating.
Exercising helps reducing stress and produces endorphins that help make you happy.
Mental stress contributes to gain weight and obesity, according to research published in PubMed.
Chronic stress prompts a rise in the cortisol hormone, which can tear down muscle fiber, impair blood-sugar metabolism and boost the brain chemical neuropeptide Y, which sparks cravings.
8. You are leaving out important food groups
It is easy to fall prey to the latest fad on carb-free diets and low-fat foods.
You may think it is a good idea to cut out all carbohydrates and most fats, but doing so you may cause nutritional deficiencies.
But the problem is not the carbs, it’s actually starchy, refined white carbs and portion size that are the main problem.
Whole grain contains a lot of fiber, resulting in feeling full for a longer period.
So don’t skip out on healthy fats and carbohydrates because there are benefits to eating both.
9. You are having too many ‘diet’ foods
Diet foods might cut out the fats but they are laden with sugars to make up for the taste.
Many of them have zero nutritional value, such as diet coke for example.
You’ll find that extra sodium, preservatives and chemicals are also added to the fat-free and diet meals at your grocery store.
It’s healthier to prepare your meals at home using fresh food to ensure you get the recommended daily dose of balanced food groups.
10. You are ‘toxic’
Every day there are more human studies showing an association between the presence of chemicals and obesity.
Exposure to pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may impair metabolism.
They have been shown to poison the mitochondria so it cannot burn fuel. When fuel is not burnt turns into fat.
11. You are skipping breakfast
Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After a good night’s sleep, your body needs sustenance to give you energy.
So what you eat in the morning will kick start your day and impact how much you snack during the rest of the day.
A breakfast rich in fiber and protein will keep you satiated for longer and boost your metabolism.
The alternative of skipping breakfast would trick your body into thinking its starving and will cause you to retain fat when your metabolism slows down.
12. Your thyroid is sluggish
The thyroid affects the metabolism of every single cell in the body.
You can diet as much as you want, but if your thyroid is out of whack, you are not losing weight.
Some symptoms of a sluggish thyroid include eyebrow thinning, constipation, weight gain, dry skin and irregular periods.
13. You have hit a hormonal rut
Restricting calories and losing body fat can wreak havoc on insulin, leptin, ghrelin and other hormones, prompting a surge in hunger and a slump in metabolism.
14. You are eating out a lot
Going out with friends and family is really fun and a big part of our social culture.
But too many nights out can hamper your ability to lose weight.
Some restaurant’s food is processed with sodium, trans fat, and chemicals that are not healthy at all.
If you can’t or don’t want to cut back on your social lifestyle, try to order food that requires fresh ingredients like salads, and healthy meat options like grilled chicken.