6 reasons why you are not losing weight
You have been following a diet for a month now but see no results. Why I’m I not losing weight? You’re about to give up and burn the book you bought that told you you’d lose weight in no time. Just wait a minute and read up. Here are 6 reasons why you are not losing weight and what you can do to rectify the situation.
1. You overeat (even with good food!)
It is not because you eat healthy food that you are going to lose weight. Losing weight, in its most basic form, is about calories in versus calories out. The best thing to do is to start counting your calories, at least for a while. It will give you a clear idea of how much you eat and if it’s too much. Be prepared for a surprise, as almost everyone underestimates how much they eat.
In a study done in New England, they found that adults and children underestimate their meals by about 175 calories while adolescents were underestimating by around 250 calories. That means that on average an adult will overeat 525 calories in a day consisting of three meals. That’s 3675 calories a week, or about a pound of fat you could have lost had you not overeaten! Counting calories, until you’re used to portions, makes a difference.
2. You’re starving yourself
To lose weight, as we’ve seen, you need to eat fewer calories than you spend. But if you eat too few calories, your metabolism slows down making it harder for you to lose weight. It does not mean you won’t be losing weight at all but rather that you’ll be dropping it at a slower pace.The bottom line is that to lose weight; you need to feed your body with what it needs: a variety of healthy foods.
3. You’re still eating too much sugar!
You are eating much better than before. But you are not losing weight. Upon inspection of your daily diet, we find that you drink at breakfast a large glass of orange juice. At lunch, it’s a “healthy” fruit smoothie, and for dinner, you give yourself a break and have a diet Pepsi. You had more sugar than your body needed, just from drinks. And that’s on top of the food you ate which also probably contain sugar.
Carbs and sugars make you crave food, and you are more likely to overeat if you are addicted to sugar. You’ll just want more and more. Each gram of sugar that you eat binds to about 3 grams of water, and it’s why low carb diets are so effective in the short term: You get rid of all that water retention caused by carbohydrates. You might switch to zero calories drinks instead, and that’s a start. As their name often implies, they contain zero calories. To make the taste somewhat similar to what we are used to, they replaced all the sugar content with artificial sweeteners which STILL causes cravings and signals your brain that you have eaten sugar.
It is better to drink coke zero than a regular coke if calories are a concern. But it’ll do nothing to help you with your sugar addiction and cravings (ultimately leaving you wanting cake and all the sweets!). The best solution? Dump all drinks and only have water.
4. You don’t eat enough protein
Eating protein is the most critical nutrient when you want to lose weight. Getting a proper protein intake at every meal plays a decisive role in your metabolism by boosting it. In turn, it will help you burn more calories over time and impact several weight-regulating hormones. Protein has a high satiety effect and eating a right amount at each meal will keep you full for a more extended period and make it more likely that you won’t overeat. Studies have found that those who eat protein at breakfast will have fewer cravings throughout the day. Protein keeps you anabolic, and to lose weight, you must be in an anabolic state.
5. You’re stressed!
Stress is linked to an increase of cortisol release in your body. Remember when I said you want to be in an anabolic state to lose weight? Cortisol counters that. It’s trying to make you catabolic. High level of that hormone will attack muscle mass, slowing down your metabolism. It will also tell your body to store fat, mostly in the abdominal section. A study in the British Medical Journal stated that people with chronic work stress have more than double the odds of developing metabolic syndrome, which defines a group of factors that increase the risk of type II diabetes.
Stress and its effect on hormones also increase appetite, and as we’ve seen, unwanted weight gain. What can you do? Relax. 20 minutes of meditation a day can help you alleviate the symptoms of stress and make your weight loss goals much more accessible to reach.
6. You are not weight training
It is true that you will lose weight by following a diet. Look closely at before/after pictures of people who have lost weight; you’ll often see that they also underwent a training regimen to goes with their diet. That’s because people who weight train while following a diet lose up to 450% more weight than those who do not. Training protocols that use high-intensity interval training method which triggers the afterburn effect amplify their results. The afterburn effect is when you create an oxygen debt in your body while training.
As all debt must be paid, your body will work harder for up to 72h following your workout to recover. You’ll be burning calories 24/7 on top of the calories burned during the time of your workout. You don’t have to go overboard with your training. If you are not used to exercising, start with something small. In my free weight loss guide, I included a workout that will trigger the afterburn effect and that you can do at home with no equipment.