Four Reasons You’re Struggling to Lose Weight
Whether you’re looking to shed fifteen pounds or fifty, losing weight can be a frustrating process. This is especially true when you think you’re doing everything right and the scale just doesn’t seem to budge — or, more irritatingly, it moves in the opposite direction.
There are lots of lifestyle factors that can explain why you’re struggling to lose weight. Read on to learn about four of the most common ones and discover some actionable tips on how you can change them.
1. You’re Stressed Out
Chronic stress and anxiety often lead to an increase in your body’s production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is not inherently bad, but when it’s produced in excess because your body is always in “fight or flight” mode, it increases your body’s likelihood of storing extra fat, particularly around your stomach.
In addition to leading to excess weight, fat storage in the stomach has also been linked to an increased risk of serious health conditions like stroke and heart attack.
If you’re trying to lose weight but not succeeding, you might want to see if there is anything you can do to relieve some of your stress — or at least manage your stressors better.
Taking up meditation and yoga can be great for relaxing and learning to handle stress in a healthy way. Or, you might want to consider taking a vacation or treating yourself to a massage over the weekend.
You can also get the stress-busting benefits of a massage from the comfort of your own home with a personal neck massager. Lots of models even have customizable levels to address stiffness in the neck and shoulders and help you feel more at ease.
2. You’re Not Sleeping Enough
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re also more likely to have elevated cortisol levels, which will increase your chances of storing belly fat. Research shows that losing just thirty minutes of sleep each day can lead to weight gain.
In addition to affecting your cortisol production, sleep deprivation also hinders your body’s ability to repair and recover. This means that, if you’re exercising a lot but not getting adequate rest, your body could be inflamed (and registering a higher number on the scale) as a result.
Finally, insufficient sleep also makes it harder for you to deal with cravings, and you may find yourself more likely to reach for a doughnut or candy bar following a night of poor sleep.
Practice good sleep hygiene to fast-track your weight loss goals. This includes going to bed and waking up at the same time each day and dimming the lights and turning off all electronics a few hours before bed.
3. You’re Overestimating Your Calorie Burn
Are you guilty of treating yourself to a burger or a bowl of ice cream after a tough workout?
Many people overestimate the number of calories they burn during their workouts and reward themselves with calorie-dense food that essentially undoes all of the effort they put in in the gym.
If you want to get a more accurate idea of how many calories you’re burning during your workouts, it may be worth it to invest in a heart rate monitor. This will help you know how much you should eat after a workout to avoid canceling out your hard work.
4. You’re Overeating Healthy Foods
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to overeat healthy foods like avocados, meat, and nuts. These foods are nutrient dense and should absolutely play a role in your diet, but they’re also calorie dense. Make sure you’re practicing proper portion control.
You don’t need to obsess over the food scale and weigh and measure every single thing you eat. But, remember basic portion sizes — a serving of meat should be about the size of your palm, a serving of fat is about the size of your thumb, etc.
Are you making any of these four mistakes? If so, that could explain why you’re struggling to lose weight. Luckily, making some simple changes to your routine — like the ones outlined above — can have a big impact on your weight loss. Give them a try today!