There are some people we can eat whatever they want and don’t gain weight. Then on the other extreme side of the spectrum, other individuals seem like they always are gaining weight no matter how much they cut back on what they eat. As a consequence, some people stay thin without having to put in a lot of effort, while others struggle to avoid gaining any weight.
Our weight primarily depends on how many we calories we consume – it is a matter of how many calories we burn up and how many we store. However, each of those two things is influenced by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. The interplay between all of these factors starts as soon as we are born and continues throughout our entire lives.
If you consume more energy (calories) than you expend, then you will gain weight. Your excess calories get stored in the form of fat throughout your body. The body stores fat inside of specialized fat cells called adipose tissue, and that is in the body at all times, either by creating more or enlarging them.
To lose weight, you need to generate a calorie deficit. Losing 1/2 pound to 2 pounds per week or about 1% of your body fat every 2 weeks is a good weekly goal to have. The number of calories that you need to eat to achieve this should be approximately 250 to 1,000 less than your daily calorie burn. This can be achieved by increasing your daily activity by taking more steps per day or performing other types of non-exercise activity. Pacing and standing burns 2-3 times or more calories than sitting down for the same amount of time. You can also create a 250 to 1,000 calorie deficit by increasing your workout intensity or time and be decreasing your intake of food by around 200 to 300 calories a day.
Despite our best efforts to lose weight, we are not always successful due to certain reasons that get in our way without even realizing it.
Reasons why you don’t lose weight:
– Lack of sleep: This can be a major contributor to gaining weight. Experts believe that sleep deprivation might affect cortisol secretion, which is a hormone that regulates appetite. Whenever you are tired from lack of sleep, you might move around less or skip exercising, and that means you burn fewer calories as well.
– Chronic stress: Weight gain and stress tend to go hand in hand, although not everyone is aware of this. Chronic stress increases cortisol production, and that increases appetite and also causes your body to store extra fat around your abdomen. It causes you to crave foods that are high in fat and sugar. These so-called comfort foods can help you feel better. You also may skip your workouts since you feel too stressed out to do any exercise.
– Overeating: Researchers have found that a majority of people underestimate the amount they eat, especially when eating out. Scrutinizing your diet carefully is the only real way you can know how much you are actually eating. You need to space your meals out so you don’t stay hungry for too long. Or you might overeat at your next meal. Try to eat smaller meals more frequently.
– Exercise: Another critical aspect of weight loss is exercise, along with your daily activity levels. If you are not losing weight, then you either need to increase our workout intensity and time to match your weight loss goals or change your weight loss goals so they match what you are doing. To lose weight, you need to build lean muscle by performing some type of strength training also with cardio exercise. The more muscles that your body has, the more fat it will burn.
– Sedentary habits: Sitting for any length of time like in front of a screen, behind a wheel of a car, or at a desk can be harmful. Along with exercise, you need to also stay as active as possible. It is also important to limit your screen time. So take a break every 30 minutes or so from setting. If you spend more than 8 hours per day sitting that could be another reason why you are having difficulties losing the amount of weight that you want to.
– Weekend indulgences: It is fine to have a treat once in a while but if you mindlessly indulge in treats over the weekend then it can harm your weight loss goals. The trick here is planning your indulgences so you can have fun while still staying on track with your weight loss goals.
– Having unrealistic goals: Weight loss is affected by many different factors which cannot always be accounted for or measured with the tools that are available. Your body might be in the middle of making changes that a tape measure or scale cannot measure yet. Experts agree that focusing on losing 0.5 to 2 pounds per week is a realistic weight loss goal. If your goal is to lose any more than that then you would need to cut your calories so low it may not be something you can sustain. Conversely, you might be losing inches even if you aren’t losing weight. If you are not getting the results you expect, then it is critical to determine if it is something that you are expecting from your body that it cannot deliver.
– Plateaus: At some point, practically everyone hits a weight loss plateau. As your body continues to adapt to your work out, it becomes increasingly efficient and, therefore, it doesn’t expend the same number of calories to do it. Some of the most common reasons for that include performing the same workout every day, overtraining, and not consuming enough calories. Plateaus can be avoided by trying something totally different at least once per week and changing the type, duration, intensity, and frequency of your workouts.
– A medical condition: If you are doing everything right and still aren’t seeing any changes after several months then this is especially important to be aware of. You might have a health problem or a medication you are taking is hampering your weight loss efforts. You should consult with your doctor to rule this possibility out.
These days in the media, there is an endless number of meal replacement plans, supplements, and diets that claim to guarantee rapid weight loss. However, a majority of them lack in scientific evidence. In fact, many naive individuals fall prey to these claims and end up facing harmful side effects as a result. However, having a thorough understanding of the reasons that can thwart your weight loss efforts can have a positive impact on your weight loss goals and program.