Weight loss is a challenging journey. You may be trying to eat fewer calories and burning as many as possible in your exercise routine. However, the results may not reflect on the scale or in the mirror.
If you’re struggling with obesity, your weight loss difficulties may have underlying causes you may not be aware of. Here are a few hard facts you must know to succeed in your weight loss plan.
1. Chronic Stress
Stress increases the release of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid that increases fat and carbohydrate breakdown to release more energy to fight stress. Unfortunately, this induces cravings for comfort foods such as sweets and unhealthy, salty, oily snacks, resulting in weight gain. Chronic stress causes excessive hunger and makes you tired. Eventually, it will derail your weight loss plan. The best way to tackle stress is to take time for yourself. Meditate to relieve stress and improve your inner peace and calm. It will help you stay motivated to achieve your weight loss goals.
2. Metabolic Issues
When you cut down your calories, your metabolism slows. Your metabolism also goes down as you age. Even if you are eating fewer calories, your weight will not reduce because of this. Muscle mass is closely linked to your metabolic rate. Muscles are the engine for metabolism. So, you need to prevent muscle loss to enhance your metabolism. Start lifting weights, stretching, and doing strengthening exercises to overcome your metabolic issues.
3. Starvation, Crash Diets, and Skipping Meals
When you cut down your calories drastically, it backfires. Skipping meals and crash diets will never give you long-term results in weight loss. The main problems are such diet fads are hard to maintain, and you will lose essential vitamins and nutrients. A balanced diet should be rich in micro and macronutrients to keep you healthy. Otherwise, you will crave sugary and fatty food.
4. Underestimating portion sizes
It is another reason to increase your frustration in the weight loss journey. You should maintain a food diary or use a food tracking app, and analyze how much you are eating. Unintentionally you consume more calories if served in larger portions. To avoid excess calorie consumption, do not keep serving bowls full unless they have fruits, veggies, or raw salads. While eating outside, look for restaurants that serve small or medium portions.
5. Medical Conditions
Medical conditions, including thyroid problems such as reduced secretion of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), often slow down your metabolism. Cushing’s syndrome caused by the overproduction of steroids also makes you gain weight. Consult your doctor and conduct simple blood tests to check your hormone functions. For an underactive thyroid, your doctor will prescribe medications that you need to take regularly.
Few medicines actually make you gain weight without your knowledge. Examples are antidiabetic medicines (insulin), antipsychotic, or antidepressant and epilepsy medicines. It may be either due to increased appetite or maybe you lack exercise.
7. Hitting a Plateau
Your body gets adapted to your weight loss process and defends itself against weight loss. It may be either because you stop eating a balanced diet or stop exercising or if there is a slowdown in your metabolism. However, the most commonly observed reason for hitting a plateau in a weight loss journey is not adhering to your diet.
Remember, all bodies are unique, and weight loss is a slow, steady process that requires commitment and discipline every day. A weight loss plan that has worked for others may not work for you. Nurture a positive attitude and pay attention to facts in this list to work smarter and tackle the factors keeping you from losing weight.