You’ve reached a frustrating point in your efforts, and you HAVE to ask yourself, “Why am I not losing weight?”
You’ve tried everything, but you just can’t seem to catch a break! What do you do? How do you find a solution for a problem that seems like it has NO solution?
We feel your pain. And so many others do, too! So the first step is to remind yourself that you’re not alone, the second step is to keep reading—we probably have some answers for you.
The Problem: You’re Not Sleeping
Are you getting at least 7 hours of solid shut-eye? Not just 7 hours of laying in bed just “kind of” resting or drifting in and out of sleep. We’re talking about 7 SOLID hours of sleep.
If you’re not getting this kind of rest every night, you’re putting your body at risk for serious carb, sugar, and the necessary caffeine cravings the next day.
This is because your body goes into a survival mode when it feels that it is running on fumes. A craving for foods that will give instant energy (carbs, fats, sugar) kicks in.
Not to mention how tired and useless you feel when your body isn’t well-rested. How do you have the mental acuity and physical energy to make healthy choices and be active?
The Solution: Turn off the TV, get comfortable, and go to bed. Set a goal every night. Maybe on week nights, you go to bed at 10:30, no matter what. Before bed, perhaps you wind down by reading, listening to music, or another “ritual” that you’ve established.
If your problem isn’t going to sleep, but rather staying asleep, talk to your doctor about sleep medicine, relaxation techniques, and possibly herbal remedies to help you get a good, deep sleep.
The Problem: You’re Skipping Meals
This isn’t universally known, but it’s one of the BIGGEST diet “no-no’s” out there. People who are trying to shed weight quickly often turn to skipping meals and slashing their calories to the extreme.
And this might work in the short term. However, your body is smart. Your body is ultimately looking out for your survival in the long term.
So, for the long term, if you continue to skip meals your body prepares for starvation by storing the food you DO eat as fat. Eventually, your metabolism slows to allow your body to store this fat and burn it slowly.
The Solution: Shoot for 5 small, nutrient-rich meals a day, instead of three big ones.
Regularly feeding your body every 3-4 hours throughout the daytime will keep your metabolism up, it will keep your body from going into starvation mode, and it will prevent binge-eating as a result of stress hunger.
The Problem: Condiments
Sure, that blackened salmon arugula salad is incredibly healthy…until you dump that creamy, high-fat, high-sodium, sugar-packed dressing all over it.
Condiments are very sneaky. Mainly because nobody would think of barbecue sauce or ranch dressing as food items that would contain high amounts of sugar. But they do!
The most harmful condiments are typically the creamy, thicker, and have ingredient labels that’s seem to go on forever. Unfortunately, ketchup isn’t just smashed up tomatoes, and your favorite marinade probably has several ingredients that you can’t pronounce.
The Solution: The easiest way to avoid all the added sugar and preservatives in dressings and marinades is to read labels carefully or, even better, make the dressings yourself.
If you’re eating out, though, go for vinaigrettes and other non-creamy dressings such as Balsamic Vinaigrette, Italian dressing, and oil and vinegar.
The Problem: You’re Stressed
If you’re under a lot of mental stress, your body responds by releasing the hormone, cortisol, which increases the amount of glucose in your blood, slows metabolism, and allows for extra fat storage.
Not to mention the carb cravings that trigger “stress eating”.
The Solution: Stop thinking of your mental health and physical health are two separate realms. When you keep your mind happy, healthy, and stress free, everything benefits—including your weight loss efforts.
Try taking time every day to relax, get organized, and wind down.
The Problem: You’re Seeing The Numbers Wrong
For three months, you’ve been on a strict diet, you’ve been working out for an hour every day, and your clothes even seem to be fitting more loosely. You look like you’ve lost some weight! Then you step on the scale.
And the number from three months ago, before you started your journey, hasn’t moved.
The Solution: You haven’t lost any WEIGHT, per say. Rather, you’ve just moved the weight to another area—your muscles.
Muscle tissue is much more dense than fat tissue. This means that muscle takes up less space, packs more mass into that space. Fat, however, takes up more space and isn’t nearly as dense as muscle.
This is why you’re clothes fit loosely, but you haven’t lost weight. You’ve relocated that weight for healthier purposes!
The Problem: You’re not Getting Enough Protein
When it comes to serious weight loss, counting calories isn’t enough. You need to be counting your nutrients, carefully weighing what kinds of nutrients take up space in your diet.
For the most part, you’ll need to maintain a healthy balance between fats, carbs, and protein, but oftentimes, carbs and fat take up more space than protein.
This is a problem because there is no better ally than protein when it comes to nutrients that help you stay full, fuel fat burn, and grow/repair muscle.
Upping the protein in your diet isn’t terribly difficult, it’s just something you have to become more conscious of doing.
Make sure that 20% of your daily calories are coming from protein in the form of meat, eggs, nuts, and low fat dairy products.
To really feel the benefits of protein, make sure you have a protein-rich snack right after you workout, since this is the time when your muscles are most sensitive to nutrients.
The Problem: You’re Not Getting Enough Water
Remember all those blogs we’ve published in which SOME part is really obnoxious about water and weight loss? Here we are again, marching to the tune of A LOT OF WATER.
It’s calorie-free, you can get it just about everywhere, it suppresses your appetite and 60% of your body is made up of it.
Water helps your kidneys filter out impurities, it helps your muscles to perform better during a hard workout, and it helps your brain function.
Also, research has shown that water significantly suppresses cravings and appetite.
Make a water “schedule”. Write down how much water you hope to drink in a day, and write down reminders or set alarms on your phone (whatever it takes, we’re all for it) to remind you to step away from whatever you’re doing and fill up your water bottle.
Because you’re going to start carrying a water bottle everywhere, right? The correct answer is “yes”.