It seems so easy for weight to creep higher without effort, but losing those extra pounds is far more difficult. It’s tough when you aren’t experiencing the results you want. There are many potential reasons you’re not losing weight, some more obvious than others. Each individual is different, but some more common causes can create the struggle and slow or stop weight loss.
Weight loss is calories in versus calories out.
Consuming 3500 calories more than you burn will cause you to gain a pound, and a 3500 deficit causes you to lose a pound. It’s the primary reason for both weight gain and weight loss. Making poor food choices is often at the root of the problem. Understanding the effects of processed food and food high in added sugar can provide a solution. Not only do foods high in calories and low in nutrients add weight, but they also often make you feel hungry and spike insulin levels, leading to insulin resistance and the accumulation of belly fat. Avoiding all processed food and food with added sugar while focusing more on whole foods can help get your weight moving in the right direction.
If you’re eating a healthy diet, but gain weight, your metabolism may be a problem.
It’s common to hear people say their problem is slow metabolism, and it may be true. That doesn’t mean there’s no hope. You can boost your metabolism in a variety of ways. One of those ways is exercise. When you exercise, you increase the calories you burn and boost your metabolism in two ways. The first is immediate, especially if you’re doing intense strength-training or HIIT training— high-intensity interval training. Those types of workouts increase metabolism for hours after the workout ends. The second way is by increasing muscle mass. Muscle mass requires more calories than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the higher your metabolism.
Stress can cause problems.
When you’re under stress, your body sends out hormones to prepare the body for fighting or running. It’s called the fight-or-flight response. These hormones that change in the body and are burned off with movement, whether it’s exercise or running from danger. Cortisol is one of those. It can cause weight gain. The changes made by the fight-or-flight response are good if you’re in danger where running or fighting helps you survive but most people experience chronic stress from family, job, and everyday situations and never burn off the stress. That floods the system with cortisol, which can increase fat storage, limit fat burning, increase blood glucose levels, and lead to insulin resistance.
- Lack of sleep can cause weight gain. It can increase ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and decrease the production of leptin, the satiety hormone. Lack of sleep can affect metabolism, so you don’t burn as many calories.
- Some people eat too fast or don’t realize how much they mindlessly consume. Keeping a food diary can help identify overeating.
- Dehydration, even mild dehydration, can affect hormonal balances that slow metabolism, and lead to weight gain. Carry water and sip on it frequently. Drinking a large glass of water before a meal can reduce the amount of food eaten.
- Always check with your healthcare professional to ensure your weight gain doesn’t come from a medical issue or hormonal imbalance you can’t control.
For more information, contact us today at Urban Athlete