If you can’t lose weight, despite all your efforts, there may be more to the puzzle than just diet and exercise. Here are 6 tips to help you shake off those stubborn pounds.
You’ve been killing your workouts and sticking to a healthy diet plan, but the number on the scale simple will. not. budge. Now what? Well, first of all, you’re not alone. Many people simply can’t lose weight no matter what they seem to do, and it’s one of the most discouraging predicaments to be in. After awhile, they either give up or they develop an unhealthy body image and push themselves too hard, still getting nowhere close to their weight loss goals. Here’s the thing. Diet and exercise may not be the only tools to achieving your goal weight. In fact, something entirely different may be at play. Here are 6 reasons why you may not be shedding pounds.
6 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight
1. Thyroid Problems
According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, more than 30 million Americans have thyroid conditions that are left undiagnosed. The thyroid secretes several hormones, which have an affect on metabolism, growth and development, as well as body temperature. The thyroid regulates metabolism, but an inactive thyroid reduces the basal metabolic rate in humans, which can lead to weight gain. Your basal metabolic rate accounts for 70 percent of the calories burned each day. Hypothyroidism is often hard to detect, but inexplicable weight gain and a feeling of constant fatigue are the two biggest indicators. If you often feel sluggish and gain weight easily, consult with your doctor and check to see if your thyroid is functioning properly.
2. Water Retention
Before jumping to any other serious conclusion concerning your inability to lose weight, first consider the effects of water retention. Water retention is when your body holds onto fluids in the circulatory system, tissues, and cavities of the body, which can cause you to look bloated and pudgier as well as add a few pounds on the scale. There are many reasons why water retention may occur, such as consuming too many sodium-rich foods, allergies, pre-menstruation, medications, inflammation, not drinking enough water, or physical inactivity.
To combat water retention, start by reducing your intake of sodium whilst increasing your intake of water. If doing this doesn’t work over a few weeks, consult your doctor for more advice.
Antidepressant medications are known to cause weight gain and may be the factor holding you back from your goals. Antidepressants typically cause an initial weight gain of 5 to 15 pounds, with a gradual accumulation in the years thereafter.
If you aren’t taking medication for depression, then simply being depressed could be making it hard for you to lose weight. In 2010, the American Journal of Public Health found that people who felt sad and lonely gained weight more quickly than those who reported fewer depression-related symptoms. Many people turn to food when they feel down and are often less excited about achieving their goals.
4. Nutrient Deficiency
Even if you are eating a healthy diet, you may still be missing out on certain nutrients. A balanced diet requires planning in order to assess where you are getting essential vitamins and nutrients. Having low levels of magnesium, iron, or vitamin D can negatively affect your metabolism and thus cause you to gain weight.
Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and lean meats. Meanwhile, expose your skin to the sun at least 15-20 minutes per day.
If you want a more thorough solution to potential nutrient deficiencies, reach out to a nutritionist and have him or her assess your diet, pinpointing where you can improve.
When you are stressed, you may overeat unhealthier foods (especially fat and sugar). Women, more than men, turn to food to comfort their stressed souls. If you have a stressful job or personal life, take inventory of your diet throughout the day, taking note of the times you nibble without awareness or indulge with easy justification.
Even if you are eating a healthy, balanced diet while under stress, you can still have trouble losing weight. Stress can cause inconsistent, chirpy breathing, depriving the body of necessary oxygen. When the blood is fueled with a good amount of oxygen, the blood flows faster and the metabolism becomes more efficient. Meanwhile, a stressed body can negatively affect digestion, tightening your core and making it harder to maintain regularity.
6. Stuck in Your Ways
It may be hard to understand why you are stuck on a weight loss plateau when you are attached too staunchly to your rituals. You exercise daily and eat healthily, but have you ever stopped to consider whether your exercise routine is (or has ever been) effective? Or, is your so-called “healthy” diet actually all you think it’s cracked up to be?
When it comes to exercise, there can be a lot of hype and not-so-much actual exertion. If you aren’t raising your heart rate high enough, moving your body in continuously unique ways, or pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, your workout may be futile for weight loss. Be honest with yourself and evaluate how your workout routine tends to go – do you challenge yourself? If you are doing the same old treadmill jog or passive elliptical stroll, maybe you’re muscles have become equally as bored. If you workout at a gym, ask a trainer to evaluate your routine and learn what you are doing right or wrong. If you tend to exercise outdoors, try a new sport!
As far as your diet is concerned, there are so many reasons why you could be going about it all wrong. If you heavily restrict any one part of your diet – calories, fat, carbs, etc. – you may be depriving your body of essential nutrition! Instead of fearing expertly-marketed diet taboos, embrace them in their wholefood forms. Instead of butter and cooked oils, opt for avocado, cold-pressed oils, and nuts, seeds, and legumes. Instead of white bread, crackers, and rice, opt for whole-grain bread, quinoa, millet, or rye. Stop counting calories and focus on quality, not numbers.
Related on EcoSalon
Eating Like a Peasant: A Healthy Lifestyle You Can Afford
The No-Diet Diet Plan: Foodie Underground
Do We Really Know How to Eat Healthy? Foodie Underground
Woman Losing Weight image from Shutterstock