We all know that losing weight can be extremely hard and at times seem impossible. There is a lot that goes into losing weight. It is not just watching what you eat and walking two times a week.
It is all about finding what works for you and continuously working at perfecting your weight loss routine. If there was some type of magic routine or pill, then everyone would be at their desired weight.
We all know that’s not the case, so here are 13 reasons you are not losing weight. Some of the reasons will shock you!
- You are Not Getting as Much as Possible Out of Your Exercise Routine or You are Not Exercising Enough
- You are Focusing Totally on Cardio and Not Doing Any Resistance Training (Weight Lifting)
- You Are Eating Too Much Protein
- You Are Eating Nothing but Healthy Foods
- You Do Not Drink Enough Water Each Day
- You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep Each Night
- You Are Not Consuming Enough Fats
- You Are Not Practicing Mindfulness
- You Are Sitting at a Desk All Day Without Moving
- You Eat Too Many Processed Foods
- You Skip Too Many Meals
- You Are Using Too Much Condiments on Your Food
- You Are Drinking Diet Soda
- Wrapping it Up
You are Not Getting as Much as Possible Out of Your Exercise Routine or You are Not Exercising Enough
It is one thing to exercise, but it is a whole different ballgame when you actually try to get as much as possible out of each and every exercise you do. Too often we get in the same routine and think just getting out for a measly walk a couple times a week will do the trick.
Well, sorry to break it to ya, but more than likely this isn’t going to cut it.
Instead, you need to focus on getting as much as you possibly can out of each workout. If walking is your exercise of choice, that is fine. First, get yourself a quality pair of walking shoes. Second, to get the most you can out of your walking routine, you need do things like speed walk as much of your walk as you can, as well as add as many hills as you can to your walk. If you walk on a treadmill at home, then be sure to utilize the incline feature to imitate hills.
At first, this might be hard for you if you are not used to it. In this case, you need to gradually implement each of these into your walks. If you walk 3 miles, start off by speed walking 1 mile of your walk. If you have 1 hill in your walking routine, add a few more at first. From there, you can build up and eventually you will be speed walking the entire 3 miles.
If jogging is your favorite type of exercise, then you should add some sprints into your routine. As we mentioned above, you will also want to incorporate as many hills as possible into your runs.
Whether you are a walker or a jogger, just focus on keeping your heart rate elevated throughout your entire workout and really try to feel like you are pushing yourself to the limit each and every workout.
You should also work on incorporating high intensity interval training to your cardio routine. HIIT is high intensity bursts of cardio with a short recovery time. For example, do sprints with a short rest period in between each sprint.
It is also important to change things up. If you are doing the same old thing for a month straight, your body will get used to it and your routine will not be as effective as it could be.
You are Focusing Totally on Cardio and Not Doing Any Resistance Training (Weight Lifting)
While cardio is important for weight loss, so is resistance training. It is true that on average you will burn more calories by doing cardio vs resistance training. However, when you lift weights you build muscle. Muscle burns more calories while resting than fat tissue does. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the day. When you increase you muscle mass, you increase your resting metabolism.
Another reason it is important to incorporate weight lifting into your workout routine is because the body burns more calories after lifting weights when compared to cardio. Some studies have shown that your resting metabolism stays elevated for up to 40 hours after resistance training. This is not the case with cardio workouts.
It is important to have a well rounded workout routine that has a good mix of both cardio and weight training.
You Are Eating Too Much Protein
Protein does play an important role in weight loss. However, eating too much protein can backfire. If you focus on nothing but squeezing as much protein as possible into every meal, then you are probably over indulging in protein.
When this happens your body will begin to store protein as fats. This makes losing weight harder than it already is.
You do need to eat protein for weight loss, just be careful to not overdo it every single day.
You Are Eating Nothing but Healthy Foods
This may seem odd, but it can be true. If you eat nothing but “healthy” foods and at small amounts, then you can actually slow your metabolism down. This makes losing weight a problem.
The reason this happens is because when you eat nothing but small amounts of healthy foods, your brain will produce more of a hormone called Ghrelin. Having too much Ghrelin in you body will make you fell less full. As a result your body will slow your metabolism down and you will not be able to burn the calories you think you are burning.
This makes losing weight hard.
You Do Not Drink Enough Water Each Day
Over half of the human body is water. Water plays a huge part in the overall health of our body, and even plays a role in weight loss.
It does not matter what diet you are on or how well you follow that diet, if you are not fully hydrated each day, then your body will not burn calories as efficiently as it can.
Drinking water also helps with portion control, especially when you drink a glass or two right before meal time.
Finally, water helps break down fats quickly, so without enough water these fats will not be broken down as well.
You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep Each Night
Just like water is important to our body, sleep is also very important. While you might be used to only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night and feel fine, this is not the case for your body.
Studies have shown that inadequate sleep is one of the biggest factors for obesity. Not getting enough sleep messes with the hormones that control hunger.
Another reason lack of sleep affects weight loss is because when we are tired, our mind often goes to sugar filled energy drinks or foods that are energy rich and contain a lot of carbs and sugars. This is counter productive for weight loss.
You Are Not Consuming Enough Fats
Yes, it’s true, you are not eating enough fats. Healthy fats that is.
Healthy fats are monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats and you body must have these in order to properly function.
Often times those trying to lose weight try to eliminate all fats and choose to go for the “low fat” option at the grocery store. First of all, low fat foods are not helping you.
Low fat foods are often packed with sugars and preservatives and will end up just leaving you feeling hungry. Eating healthy fats is more productive for weight loss than eating everything that is low fat.
If you do not eat healthy fats daily, your body will not function properly and you will be left with cravings and tired. The cravings will get worse and worse and eventually you will cave in and eat the junk food you are craving.
On the other hand, you do want to cut out unhealthy fats. These fats are saturated and trans fats.
You Are Not Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness means you are really focusing and paying attention to what is going on at the present moment.
There are several ways this impacts weight loss. One way is you are not doing things like meditation. This is a great way to practice mindfulness and really be in the moment. Being over stressed can be another reason losing weight can be hard. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress.
Another way practicing mindfulness can help you lose weight is being mindful when you eat. Instead of scarfing down your food without even tasting it, slow down and be mindful. Slowly chew your food and chew in thoroughly. Enjoy every bite, take notice of the different tastes and textures in your mouth.
Doing this will allow you to notice when you are full and you can stop eating. When you scarf down you food like pig that hasn’t eaten in days, you do not allow your body to tell you that you are full when you actually are. This is a great way to improve your portion control.
You Are Sitting at a Desk All Day Without Moving
Too many of us have desk jobs where we sit at our desk all day long, only standing up to use the restroom. Most of the time, we even end up finding ourselves eating lunch at our desk and working at the same time.
If this is you, this is with out a doubt keeping you from losing as much weight as you want to. When you sit at your desk all day with minimal movement, you are slowing down the production of enzymes called lipase.
Lipase enzymes are responsible for breaking down fats. When this process is slowed down, you are left with a higher storage of fats in your tissues which not only makes losing weight hard, but it also makes you gain weight.
In order to prevent this from happening, there are things you can do at work to help with weight loss. You should try to take a break every 30-60 minutes. You should stand up and go for a little walk during this break. Walk to the bathroom, walk down the hall and back, walk upstairs if possible, walk to a co-workers desk instead of emailing them etc.
All of these will help offset the fact that you sit at your desk all day.
You Eat Too Many Processed Foods
Usually the first thing most people do when they go on a diet is start counting calories. Most believe that if they cut down from 2000 calories to 1500 calories that they will lose weight.
Well, the truth is, a lot of the “healthy” or “low fat” versions of foods are highly processed. Processed foods are often packed with sugar, high in trans fats, low in fiber, and are highly addictive. Highly processed foods often taste better than non processed foods, and therefore we tend to over eat processed foods.
All of these reasons make losing weight harder when we are consuming so many processed foods every single day. If you are going to go on a diet, then you should pick one like the dash diet, which does not include many processed foods.
You Skip Too Many Meals
Skipping meals or cutting too many calories can completely backfire and have the opposite effect you were wishing for.
The fact is, your brain and body need fuel, so skipping too many meals or being on a low calorie diet can send your body into starvation mode. This means your body is not getting enough fuel, so hormones in your body will signal it to store fat.
When this happens, losing weight can be nearly impossible. You look at eating less calories or skipping meals as a way to lose weight. However, your body looks at it like there is a problem. Your primitive brain may think there is not enough food for you to eat, and as a result it will try to protect you and go into starvation mode. The more meals you skip and the less calories you eat, the more and deeper you send your body into starvation mode.
All of this can throw your leptin hormones out of wack, making weight loss nearly impossible.
You Are Using Too Much Condiments on Your Food
Condiments can be hidden calories that we really do not put much thought into. However, the every day condiments we are so used to covering our food in, add up throughout the day.
Here are some examples of everyday condiments we use that can add up quickly:
2 TBSP of olive oil you cook your dinner in – 240 calories
2 TBSP of ketchup on your sandwich – 40 calories
3TBSP of creamer in your morning coffee – 80 calories
2 TBSP of mayo in your tuna salad – 200 calories
These are just a few examples of the hidden calories we consume daily and think nothing of it. As you can see, the calories from the condiments we use daily can add up quick, making weight loss harder.
You Are Drinking Diet Soda
We all know someone that will order a #1 from McDonalds and get a diet Coke to go with it, as if that is going to change anything.
Well, diet soda is not as innocent as many think it is…
While diet soda might be calorie free, it is filled with artificial sweeteners. Studies have shown artificial sweeteners to be 200 times sweeter than regular sugar, meaning that you might tend to drink more diet soda than you would if you were drinking regular soda.
When our brain consumes sugars, it expects the calories to follow that sweetness. When this does not happen with diet soda, our brain and body begin to crave the calories and this can lead to overeating or snacking which can lead to weight gain.
Often times when people start drinking diet soda, they look at it as a way to be able to sneak more calories in somewhere else. Hey, I drank a diet soda for lunch instead of regular soda, so I can have a cookie when I get home from work. Studies have shown that those who drink diet soda tend to eat more calories and snack foods than those who do not.
As you can see, there are many drawbacks to drinking diet soda. It is better if you just eliminate soda completely and turn to more water throughout the day.
Wrapping it Up
If you are having a hard time losing weight, figure out which of the 13 reasons above that apply to you and try your hardest to work on them. While fixing 1 issue may not make a huge improvement, fixing as many as you can should make losing weight easier than it has been for you.
On top of the weight loss, you will also be improving your overall health in the process, so it is a win win situation.
Good luck on your weight loss journey, let us know in the comments below if any of the reasons we talked about above are holding you back and how you plan to fix the issue.