If you’re reading this, then you know how hard it is to lose weight and excess body fat. You feel like you’re doing everything right. You’re eating the right foods, you’re working out every day, you’re drinking tons of water, and you’ve cut way back on the sweets. But you’re just not seeing the results that you’d hoped for. It’s no secret that with the right nutrition plan, exercise program, and supplement regimen, that you can lose body fat and gain lean muscle mass, so you can feel confident with your body. But, sometimes other factors may be at play in your weight loss that you may have never even thought about. For those of you that feel like you can't lose weight, no matter what you do, here are some reasons why you can't lose weight, which may be interfering with your health and fitness goals.
1. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
One of the reasons why it may feel like it’s impossible to lose weight is that you’re not getting enough sleep. It’s proven that decreased sleep duration and poor sleep quality is directly linked to obesity and increased body fat. Sleep is a restorative process of the brain, and without getting enough quality sleep you make poor decisions, including decisions about when, what, and how much you eat [R]
When you’re tired you skip workouts; you get takeout for dinner, or you have an extra cookie before bed to satisfy your late-night cravings. Eating is directly correlated with synchronizing circadian clocks and when you eat late because the kids we’re kicking and screaming when it was time for bed, well you’ve just desynchronized your central and peripheral circadian clock, which leads to increased body fat [R]. Nice work.
To date, there have been over 50 epidemiological studies that have examined the association between sleep duration and obesity. The majority found a direct relation between shorter sleep duration and increased body fat. Here is a whole list of the most recent cross-sectional and prospective studies if you want to read it for yourself.
So what should you do? It can be hard to get a full eight hours of sleep every night, when you have a million things to do, screaming kids that won’t let you get a good night sleep and other distractions! Here are some basics that should help you get the sleep you need, so you can turn start losing weight and seeing some results.
- Turn off all your electronics at least an hour before bed. If you’re like me, that can be extremely hard! Just make it a habit, and put your cell phone to rest.
- Save the bedroom for it’s best for, sleep and having a good time, if you know what I mean.
- Create a bedtime ritual. Wash your face, brush your teeth, read a book, so you wake up refreshed and ready for your day.
- Stop eating at least two hours before, bed.
- Take a natural herbal supplement like a ZMA (zinc, magnesium, Vitamin B6). ZMAs help with attaining more restful sleep. I suggest using ZMT since it provides ZMA as well as muscle building ingredients to help build lean muscle mass and help improve overall health and vitality.
RELATED ARTICLE How To Get Better Quality Sleep In 6 Easy Steps
2. You Have Higher Than Normal Stress Levels
Stress sucks! And even worse, stress doesn’t care about how clean you eat or how many calories you burned during your last workout. When you’re severely stressed out your body naturally releases cortisol, or what most people call “the stress hormone.” Increased levels of cortisol is directly associated with increased insulin levels, causing your blood sugar to drop, and forming you into a carb craving monster. (They’re called comfort foods for a reason). Increased stress levels, could definitely be another reason why you can’t lose body fat. Stress could also be the reason why you have the inability to lose weight despite your diet and exercise.
The bottom line is that when you have added stress levels, your body produces more insulin. More insulin leads to more cravings, which causes you to eat more sugar or carb infused foods, adding more body fat, and throwing you on a roller-coaster of sugar crash and burn.
If you have a hard time getting your stress under control then get back to the basics. The most important thing to remember is to make time for yourself every day, to exercise, or meditate.
RELATED How To Control Cortisol Levels
3. Your Metabolism Needs A Jump Start
Often times, when your body has been through repeated stressors and filled with toxins from processed foods filled with hormones, pesticides, and artificial dyes, your body may just need a simple thermogenic to jump-start your metabolism.
Several studies have shown that ingredients natural weight loss ingredients such as Green Tea Leaf, Garcinia Cambogia, Cocoa Extract, and Yerba Mate, can help suppress appetite, promote the natural thermogenic process and aid in weight loss.
RELATED ARTICLE Benefits Of Garcinia Cambogia
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4. You Don’t Eat Enough Food
Often times, people think that restricting calories is the answer to losing weight. But what most people don’t realize is that cutting too many calories can actually put a halt to your weight loss and be another reason why you can’t lose body fat. Food is fuel, and you need calories to burn calories in order to spark your metabolism. If you don’t eat enough food during the day, your metabolism will actually slow down. Without food your body will go into starvation mode, creating more body fat, as it breaks down lean muscle mass to reserve energy stores. Plus who wants to starve themselves, when there are so many good foods to eat? Don’t be a bummer when you go out with your friends, because you’re on a food restrictive diet! Eat good food, it’s good for you and will actually help you lose more body fat.
Not eating enough food will also cause you to overeat when you are hungry. Skipping meals throughout the day will build your hunger and instead cause you to overeat or make poor food choices. Instead eat smaller meals throughout the day, to keep you satiated. Keep a food journal, to find out where you’re falling short and when, so you can adjust the type of foods you eat, and when you eat them.
RELATED ARTICLE How To Write A Food Journal
Try and aim for a healthy calorie intake. If you’re getting less than 1500 calories a day, and your working out hard, you’re not eating enough. A nutritious meal plan, whether for weight loss or health maintenance, should include lean proteins, healthy fats, and quality carbohydrates. If you need more advice on creating a great nutrition plan, read more here., or start your health and fitness journey off right and get one-on-one nutrition coaching at The Swole Kitchen.
5. You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
You could be eating all the right foods, and you may have the perfect diet, but if you’re not getting enough water throughout the day, you’re not going to lose body fat [R]. Water helps increase metabolism, and if you’re dehydrated, your metabolism will naturally slow down, leading to increased weight gain and added body fat [R].
If you feel like it’s impossible to lose weight, then you should definitely start drinking more water. Part of the reason why some people ingest so much food, is because they’re actually thirsty, not hungry. Drinking more water will help keep you satiated, and full in times when you’re body needs to hydrate.
6. You May Be Overtraining
Too much of anything can be bad, and that also includes too much training. Without the proper nutrition, overtraining can cause your body to use lean muscle mass for fuel and store more body fat, resulting in excess weight gain. If you’re training hard each and every week, then you need to be eating enough food, to help replenish the fuel your body needs to build lean muscle mass, not lose it.
If you’re overtraining, then it’s vital to get more food into your diet. The last thing you want to do I restrict foods, when your body is craving vital nutrients to rebuild, and repair lean muscle mass.
Why You Can't Lose Weight: Takeaway
Let's face it, losing weight is hard. But, if you can’t lose weight no matter what you do, then I suggest taking a deeper and closer look at your eating and exercise habits throughout the day. Write down your activities and track what you eat. With more information, you'll get a better understanding of what your baseline is and what you've done and how you can better improve yourself. From there, incorporate some of the practices above to lose more body fat and reach your fitness goals.
It may feel like it’s impossible to lose weight no matter what you do, but part of your weight loss journey is managing your daily routine, to find out how you can improve your outcomes.
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