Most people have a difficult time losing weight and sculpting the body that they really want. The truth is that your mindset and how you approach your fitness efforts ultimately lead to your success. Being aware of how you diet, what you eat, how you exercise can determine not only your physical outcome but your mental one too. When you eat better, exercise more and start living a healthier life for good, the bad habits that have prevented you from achieving your weight loss goals in the past fall to the way side and permanent weight loss becomes a reality! Looking for answers as to why your weight loss is so hard? Here are 7 reasons why you might be having a hard time losing weight.
Reason #1: You Think You Eat Healthy
Oftentimes people think they “eat healthy,” but in actuality, they don’t do a good enough job at evaluating what they are actually putting in their mouths. Eating healthy to lose weight means you need to eat whole and natural foods and ditch the processed “diet” foods. Ideally, all of your food should be fresh and come from natural sources. That means eating the steel cut oatmeal and not the refined quick oats, buying fresh organic chicken breasts and not the frozen ones that have been injected with salt and fillers. Being cognizant of the quality of the food you are eating will make a difference in how quickly you are able to lose weight.
Reason #2: Your Not Eating For Your Body Type
You may not be following a ‘macro-style’ of dieting, but counting your macros is a good way to keep track of what you are actually eating. Weight loss is a bit of a science—you need to create a deficit, but you also need to be sure that the amount of calories from each food you are putting in your body is effective for your body type. Some people respond better to low carb diets, while others respond better to higher carb diets. The best way to figure out what is best for your body is to track your caloric macronutrient intakes over a few days and see how your body responds. Make adjustments to your fats and carbs and keep your protein to about 40% to 50% of your total calories.
Reason #3: You Have Too Much Stress
Stress may seem like it only has an effect on your emotional wellbeing, but in actuality, stress triggers cortisol. When cortisol levels are high, the pathways of fat burning completely shut off. High levels of cortisol can also trigger muscle catabolism, which is when the body uses lean muscle tissue as fuel. If you want to be sure you are staying in the fat burning zone and maintaining your lean muscle tissue, then be sure to make time to de-stress and unplug. Consider taking a yoga class, make time to decompress and get in a full 8 hours of sleep every night.
Reason #4: Your Estrogen Is Out of Control
Estrogen has the power to give us curves, allows us to make babies and keeps us in touch with our emotions. However, too much estrogen can cause you to experience mood swings, a decrease in metabolism and difficulty losing weight and burning off fat. When estrogen is in excess, it blocks certain enzymes in fat tissue from doing its job. What’s worse, if you are already overweight, you are even more likely to suffer with higher than normal estrogen levels. Excess estrogen can also result from age, biochemical imbalances and excess estrogen exposure from estrogen-like chemicals in the environment. Lower your estrogenic load by consuming a high fiber diet, eating lots of green cruciferous vegetables and buying organic when possible.
Reason #5: Your Body Composition Is Changing
If the scale isn’t budging, it could mean your body composition is making a change. This is a good thing. If you have been following a calorie-reduced diet and working out in the weight room regularly, then most likely you are adding muscle and decreasing body fat. Start paying attention to how your clothes fit: Are they loser or are they still tight? Start taking measurements with a measuring tape to see if you are losing overall inches. This is a good indication that your body is changing in the right direction.
Reason #6: Your Body Has Hit A Dreaded Plateau
If you do the same cardio routine and the same workout program day in and day out, eventually, your weight loss and changes will reach a standstill. To continually progress, keep things fresh by challenging yourself with new exercises and new routines and discover new ways to do the same old. Instead of always running on the treadmill, take it outside. Tired of performing workouts with dumbbells? Use machines or try performing bodyweight exercises. Use HIIT instead of always doing LISS cardio sessions. The possibilities are endless!
Reason #7: You Give In To Your Cravings Too Often
When it comes to dieting, the first few weeks is often the hardest, because we have to break habits and re-train our brains. Eating healthier foods and establishing a new pattern of eating can lead to hormone changes that can cause shifts in cravings and hunger. Learn how to deal with your cravings by establishing new habits, like reaching for a glass of water, chewing a piece of gum or keeping your body focused on something other than food. You will find that once you get through a few weeks on a diet and are consistent, those cravings will subside!