Why Can't I Lose Weight?
You’re doing everything you can to lose weight, yet for some reason, the scale just won’t budge. It’s incredibly frustrating not to see results, especially when it may be unclear why your weight loss efforts aren’t working. Before you completely give up, some surprising factors could be sabotaging your weight loss goals. Find out if one of these things is the real reason behind why you might not be slimming down as quickly as expected.
Consuming too many liquid calories.
Beverages such as energy drinks, juices, smoothies, sodas, beer, and specialty coffees are easy to consume. However, they are typically high in calories and can quickly leave you feeling hungry after consumption. You may think it’s not a big deal and skip tracking your post-workout electrolyte drink or morning coffee run, but these calories will add up over time. Make sure you are drinking enough water every day and staying mindful of any liquid you are consuming; this will help eliminate unnecessary calories from your diet that may keep you from losing those last few pounds.
Not building muscle mass.
Resistance training such a weight-lifting is a great way to burn fat and prevent your metabolism from slowing down. Because muscle tissue requires more metabolic energy than fat tissue, a faster resting metabolism means your body will burn calories all day long and not just while working out. While it's not a substitute for other healthy habits like a balanced diet, completing exercises that help build muscle may be the little extra push your body needs to wrap up your weight loss journey.
Stressing too much.
Too much stress from work, family life, or other obligations can result in irregular eating patterns, making it harder to watch caloric intake and lose weight. Emotional overeating or binging can also increase as a response to stressful situations. Eating food releases a feel-good transmitter in the brain called dopamine which may become a self-soothing habit over time. Stress can also lead to depression or anxiety, which may cause increased appetite and further prolong scattered eating patterns. Talk to your doctor if daily stress is becoming unmanageable in your life. Taking time to meditate, get out into nature, pursue hobbies, or implement a better work/life balance can all help to reduce stress and lead to faster weight loss.
Not getting enough sleep.
Sleep and stress can work together to throw off any weight loss plan completely. During sleep, the body repairs cells that lead to growth and hormone release, including the hormones that help control the correct hunger and satiety signals. Not getting enough sleep may result in an imbalance in these hormones, leading to feeling hungrier during the day and weight gain. Adults should prioritize getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night along with a well-balanced diet and exercise to maintain healthy weight loss.
Genetics or medication side effects.
People are genetically predisposed to having a minimum set body weight that is very hard to change. Even with increased exercise and decreased calorie intake, it can be unhealthy to try and force weight loss below this point. Your weight loss plan may be encouraging losing weight too quickly or suggesting a goal weight that would be very hard for your specific body to maintain. Certain medications may also have the unfortunate side effect of weight gain, making it hard to lose weight no matter what. Confirm with your doctor that you don’t have any hidden health issues messing with your weight loss plans.
If you are struggling to loose the extra pounds, checking in with your health care provider can rule out medications or other medical issues that can be contributing. Working with a health coach can also be beneficial to find what modifications will be the most helpful in reaching your goals.