It is the desire of most people, to maintain a specific body figure that is free of excessive fats. Of course, this comes with some price. You need to drop some foods and perhaps be in the gym a lot for workouts. It can be frustrating if you are consistent in your workouts yet the pounds are stay constant. Everyone expects to see some results if they are maintaining a certain momentum in their diet and exercise.
Your body can only lose a certain amount of weight if the excess calories you are taking daily are converted into fat. That means that your body has to burn more calories than the amount it is taking in. However, you have to understand that weight loss is a gradual process and may not be as quick as you want, but this doesn’t mean stagnation in your weight loss.
When you are having difficulty in shedding weight, there could be some factors that are influencing the process. The following could be the reasons why you are still overweight despite the many exercises and eating healthily:
1. Lack of enough sleep
According to a study conducted in 2006, women who were sleeping for seven hours shed weight faster than the ones who sleep for five hours. According to the study, lack of sleep usually affects cortisol, which is among the hormones that regulate appetite. Typically, lack of sleep causes some hunger, which makes you take food even when not necessary.
Getting enough sleep is important for anyone who is aiming to lose weight. Sleep has a physical and mental impact, that’s why when you have not slept enough, you tend to feel confused, depressed, irritable, and sometimes increased appetite on a particular food.
Poor sleep can eventually put you at risk of diabetes and obesity. A study that was involving 472 adults who were obese concluded that sufficient sleep led to some weight loss.
According to the report released by the National Sleep Foundation, every person aged between 18-65 years should sleep for at least 7 hours and a maximum of 9 hours. Those above 65 years should sleep for 7-8 hours.
2. You are Stressed
That is another cause of increased weight despite doing some workouts daily. A study by Eating Behaviors Journal concluded that meditation decrease the urge to eat and general emotional eating. That is the direct opposite of what happens when you are stressed. Typically, weight gain and stress usually go hand in hand. Stress often causes the production of cortisol, which increases your appetite and causes some fat deposits around your belly.
Stress also comes with cravings. Many people usually feed on comfort foods, which mostly tend to be sugary and full of fat. Besides, when stressed, you feel fatigued to the extent that you skip your workouts and exercises. That is where meditation comes in to reduce the level of stress. Nevertheless, in the case of very chronic stress, you will need to see your family doctor and counselor who will identify the cause of your stress.
3. Taking too many calories
Excessive calories are the leading cause of overweight. When it comes to weight loss, it is a matter of how many calories you are taking and how many are being burnt by your body. Research has shown that many people usually underestimate how much they eat. According to a study by JAMA, 95% of people never knew how much calories they were eating in most of their meals.
Writing down what you are eating and how much you are losing is a great motivation to reach your weight loss goals. You will also need to analyze your diet carefully. That is where you can use a dietitian to give you an overview of your eating habits. He or she will also recommend the right food to take.
Most of the calories are found in sugary drinks. You need to avoid taking sugary drinks for they influence weight loss negatively. These sugary drinks will never satisfy your hunger nor provide you with enough energy. Research shows that sugary drinks can easily cause obesity, heart disease, and diabetes type 2.
4. Not doing enough exercises
Regular exercising is one way to lose weight. A study in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercises journal shown that most of the researchers usually recommend exercising for at least 225-420 minutes every week if you want to lose a significant amount of weight.
You need to get involved in both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises will involve endurance exercises that will focus on your arms and legs. They include jogging, skipping, and cycling, among others. You repetitively use your leg and arm muscles to shed weight. Anaerobic exercises will involve intense activities mostly in the gym like heavyweight lifts and sprinting, among others. You subject your muscles to intense workouts for a short time.
Aerobic exercises will need oxygen supply to ensure you get enough energy while anaerobic depends on the glucose in your muscles for energy. According to a study by the American College of Sports Medicine, anaerobic exercises alone cannot cause some weight loss, but aerobic exercises affect weight loss directly. That means you need to combine both to get tangible results.
5. You’ve hit a plateau or you have a medical condition
If you are sleeping well, taking the right diet, doing the right exercises, and you don’t have stress, then you may have a medical condition. Various factors can influence weight gain, including genes, age, hormones, and body type. Some of the health conditions that are linked to weight include thyroid conditions, some medications used in treating diabetes and high blood pressure like antidepressant medications, steroid medications, beta-blockers, and antipsychotic medications, among others.
It is a common thing to reach a plateau where you no longer lose weight despite your exercises. You may have noticed slow weight loss, which eventually stops. Some of the causes of plateaus include performing similar exercises and workouts, taking fewer calories, and overtraining. Every 4 to 6 weeks, you need to change your training program.
Your body will need new challenges for it to progress. You will need enough fuel and calories that will sustain your activities; otherwise, your body will conserve the calories rather than burning them. Besides, your body will decrease the number of calories it burns if you are exercising too much without taking enough diet that is rich in calories. You can also increase the exercise duration and/or intensity if you are looking forward to breaking the plateau.
There are two virtues that you need to cultivate if you want to see the results of your hard exercises and dieting; consistency and patience. As mentioned earlier, weight loss is gradual, and you may feel disappointed rather too fast, especially when hit plateau. However, you don’t have to be hard on yourself. This is where you need to endure while doing the required exercises, sleeping enough, avoiding stress, and dieting.
In case you are not achieving your goals, you need to ask yourself whether they are realistic. Some people set unrealistic goals where you want to lose weight after two months. You need to give yourself enough time before seeing results; otherwise, you will be frustrated with the whole process.
Don’t allow disappointment to crawl in; always look at the benefits you have gained since you started the weight loss program. It may not necessarily mean a drop in some pounds but an improvement in your health.
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