By Mosope Idowu
Reasons why you are not losing weight is something almost everyone on a weight loss journey might have been concerned about at one point or the other. Every now and again, I come across someone who is frustrated with his or her weight loss journey. They often say things like, “I eat healthy…I exercise regularly…. but the numbers on the scale just aren’t changing”. When I encounter such people, I try to work with them to get to the root cause of their impeded weight loss.
Here are five of the top reasons why this occurs:
You’re Eating Too Many Calories
Eating “healthy food” in unhealthy proportions is a common mistake that people make. Just because something is “healthy” doesn’t mean you should eat it without control. Many people introduce healthy food but maintain poor eating habits. It is important to know the nutritional content of your food and watch your portion sizes when you eat.
You are not in a Calorie Deficit
In order to lose weight, you have to be in calorie deficit. That means that you need to burn more calories than you consume or eat less calories than you body needs to maintain it’s current weight. I could get scientific and tell you how much less food you should eat but the truth is that every body is different. The best way to ensure that you are creating a healthy calorie deficit is to eat the right portions of healthy notorious food and get some physical activity – recommended is 30 minutes a day.
Your Stress Levels are High
When your stress levels are high – be it due to an extremely busy schedule, dissatisfaction with certain situations in your life, or depression and anxiety – it is very difficult to lose weight. High stress increases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes the body to start storing fat and calories in preparation for impending disaster. It is important to identify the stress triggers and situations in your life and find effective ways to eliminate or reduce them.
You’re not getting enough sleep
Many people are not getting the required minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep causes a hormone imbalance that puts your body into “survival mode” and slows down your metabolism, makes you more lethargic and forces you to binge eat. We all lead very busy lives but it is important for our wellbeing to ensure that we are getting enough sleep if we want to shed those stubborn pounds.
You’ve hit a Plateau
One major reason for a plateau is that your body has reached its “optimal weight” and does not want to lose any more. In this case, you can still change you body composition by increasing resistance and strength training. Another reason for a plateau is lack of variety in your exercise regime. If you do the same thing every day you body will adapt and you will no longer see results. You should ensure that you do a variety or exercises – cardio, resistance and flexibility training – in order to keep seeing constant results.
Mosope Idowu is the founder of bethelfitmum which caters to busy mums with young children who have limited time and feel overwhelmed by the demands of life, but desire to improve their fitness.