For the new year, there tends to be a focus among many to develop weight loss goals. Some you out there might be thinking, why am I not losing weight? I’m exercising. I eat healthy(ish). What other changes could I possibly make?
Here are five reasons you might not be losing weight, and what you can do about it.
1. You’re not drinking enough water.
One of the main culprits of the weight war is not drinking enough water. Water does many things for our health. For instance, during mealtime it can help keep you from overeating by filling up some of your stomach.
Water also flushes out those kidneys throughout the day. If you do not get enough water, your kidneys cannot work at top notch so your liver has to pick up the slack. When your liver gets involved, fat is not metabolized as efficiently when your liver has to work overtime in the body.
Aim to drink 6-8, 8oz. glasses of water per day. Stay hydrated by bringing a water bottle with you during the day. And to prevent overeating, consider drinking one glass of water about 10 minutes before mealtimes.
2. You don’t get enough sleep.
Sleep impacts just about every single process in the body, including weight. When we do not get enough sleep, everything is out of whack. When we get enough sleep, the body produces a growth hormone, which encourages maintaining healthy weight. It also keeps our immune system functioning to help fight off disease. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night for a good night’s rest!
3. You’re not accounting for your genetics.
You knew this one was coming. Our genetic makeup can influence many factors such as eating preferences, metabolism, and body type. Genetics can play a role in weight gain or resistance to weight loss. However, our lifestyle behaviors and dietary patterns play a major role in our genetics.
4. You’re not eating enough.
This may be surprising to hear in our society, but underfeeding your body could be contributing to weight gain. When we are not consuming enough calories or in the correct patterns, our body may be holding on to those pounds as a defense mechanism. Be sure to eat at least three meals at about the same time each day and include nutritious snacks in between. We also want to make sure that we are properly fueling before and after a workout with the right amount of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
5. You tend to be inconsistent with your eating habits.
For many, consistency is key. Sticking to an exercise and diet plan that is realistic is the golden ticket for weight loss. If you do not like your exercise plan, you are not likely to keep it up for life. Or maybe you eat perfectly throughout the week, but throw it all to the wind by the time the weekend rolls around. Research has found that journaling the foods you eat and exercise for the day helps to keep accountability, consistency, and encourages sustainable weight loss. Aim to journal for ten minutes each night to recap the day and plan for tomorrow. Mindful eating may also help to keep consistency, which you can read all about here.
Eating and exercise should be an enjoyable experience. Find methods that you truly love in order to set yourself up for success. If weight loss is negatively affecting the quality of your life, then it is time to reassess. Quit obsessing over a particular number on the scale and focus on general healthy and sustainable lifestyle behaviors.