Do you feel like you are constantly trying to lose weight but your body simply won’t respond? I have been going through this and delving in to this in the Wellness Revolution Program (join here) to help you conquer these issues. Also, have a look at the 9 common reasons below which may be stopping you reaching your weight loss goals:
1. You aren’t getting enough sleep.
We have discussed this in previous steps but getting enough quality sleep is essential to losing weight. When your sleep rhythm is disrupted this leads to fluctuations in your hormones, messes with your metabolism, and can increase your levels of stress – all of which can lead to an increase in the production of the stress hormone cortisol which is linked to excess weight gain (especially around the stomach region).
2. Excess Levels of Stress
Stress is a silent weight gain monster that rears it’s evil head at the most inconvenient of times. The vicious cycle of stress leading to weight gain, then stressing over weight gain leading to more weight gain… is a cruel mind game.
Every day take time out for yourself. Try taking a bath, walking, meditating, doing yoga, just do something you enjoy. And Breathe (breathing is the quickest and easiest way to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and immediately calms you down).
Also stress can lead to other issues like adrenal fatigue. This happens when our adrenal glands (which regulate our bodies stress hormones and response) are over-stimulated by too much intense or prolonged stress (either by one major stressor like a death, or constant stressors like being overworked, unhappy, and even excessive exercise without adequate recovery). This leads to issues like weight gain, being tired (regardless of how much sleep you had), feeling rundown, heart palpitations, excessive sweating, low blood pressure and/or dizziness on standing, dark circles under the eyes, cravings, a lack of sex drive, struggling to get through the day without stimulants like coffee or energy drinks, being more alert at night time than during the day, and issues with our metabolism. If you feel this is an issue for you, seek help to sort this out stat!
3. You could have a medical issue.
Some health problems can prevent/hinder weight loss, or cause weight gain (as can some medications). If needed perhaps a trip to a Naturopath, a Doctor, or a Holistic Doctor could be in order to rule out any of the following; Hypothyroidism, Insulin Resistance, Chronic stress, Cushing’s syndrome, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Depression, Leaky Gut or Adrenal Fatigue. Sometimes, there is also the possibility of Body Dysmophic Disorder and you may not actually see your body as it truly is, if this is the case I highly urge you to seek assistance.
Further, it is important to be aware that your metabolism may be suffering from years of abusing your body with the latest diet fads and products and as such you need to be patient, listen to what your body needs, and fuel/nourish it appropriately.
4. Are you Too Strict or Trying Too Much?
By being extremely concerned with every single thing you eat and its “benefits/status,” you no longer truly enjoy the food, the experience, or the nourishment it provides other than its “labeled” sense of worth. This is termed “Orthorexia Nervosa” and it can have very damaging effects to your stress levels and on your social connections (which are essential to your state of wellbeing).
Also by constantly exercising too much at too high of an intensity without enough rest, you can place excessive stress on your body which can counteract your actual intentions. Make sure to allow yourself time out to relax and incorporate lower intensity exercise in to your training routine. Yes, sometimes less can help you lose weight.
5. Your Diet Is Too Strict
Poached chicken and steamed veggies isn’t what you need to lose weight at every meal. By eating a restricted diet you don’t allow your body (or mind) the variety it needs which can lead to a whole host of wild cravings and nutrient deficiencies. Eat a wide variety of real whole foods.
6. You’re Eating Too Much
Be honest with yourself with this one. Are you eating too much for your individual needs? Or are you are eating too many “healthy treats?” I’ve been there; Bliss balls and nut butters are my weakness, and whilst they are healthy, too much is counterproductive. Also avoid filling up on “diet” products, like diet soda or zero calorie snacks, as these are loaded with chemical sweeteners and ingredients that wreak havoc on your body’s hormones.
If needed, use a food diary to notice what and how much you eat. If you find you struggle with controlling portions with caloric dense healthy foods, like nuts, you may need to eliminate them from your diet until you’ve resolved any binge eating or emotional issues and can control how much you consume.
7. Your Water Intake May Be Incorrect
When trying to lose weight you are constantly told “drink more water”. Whilst this may be what is needed for some people to flush out excess waste and toxins, some of us may actually be drinking too much water which leads to a mineral imbalance in the body, and in turn dehydrating ourselves by over-hydration. personally I have even had the negative effect of gaining weight because my body was so out of whack. A “normal” intake usually falls between 2-3 Liters, but find what works for your body and your specific needs like exercise levels, climate, and your body’s composition.
8. You may have Digestive Distress
If you feel bloated, constipated, or “off” have a look at the quality and quantity of your food, the combinations of foods, and include anti-inflammatory foods and healthy probiotics to your diet (like bone broth, fermented vegetables, and kombucha).
Your gut is the key to your whole state of health and by looking after it you help to minimize a whole load of other health complications.
9. Perhaps You’ve Reached Your Bodies State of Homeostasis
If all of the above aren’t an issue for you perhaps you may need to look at whether you are at a healthy weight, how you feel, and perhaps re-evaluate if your body has reached its specific level of homeostasis. Your body may even naturally fluctuate depending on the seasons (like holding on to a few extra kilos in the cold as a way to naturally insulate your organs from the cold). Don’t have a 6 pack but actually feel pretty good? Your body may be exactly where it needs to be.
Always tune in to your body and find out what is going on for it. It is the vehicle for your soul and needs to be treated accordingly. Look after it and it’ll look after you.
Edited version originally on MindBodyGreen