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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

Why Can’t I Lose Weight? 8 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Fit

Why Can’t I Lose Weight? 8 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Fit

It’s only natural for anyone in such a situation to wonder “Why can’t I lose weight? Why am I struggling to get fit?”

You may even want to give up but don’t!

I am here to provide you with help in figuring out why you are struggling with getting fit and will some realistic solutions.

First, it is important to highlight that being skinny doesn’t automatically make someone healthy or fit. In-fact, that’s far from the truth as a small frame doesn’t guarantee either.

However, it is a known fact that there are more health risks associated with obesity. With this in mind, losing 10 to 20 pounds could improve your health condition and overall fitness. For example, excess fat can cause inflammation and you risk causing damage to your joints and tissues. By losing and keeping weight off, you will lessen your chances of having illnesses such as arthritis, inflammation, and damaging your joints.

Now that we have discussed the importance of weight loss, let’s move on to the interesting part – 8 possible reasons why you aren’t losing weight.

1. Are You Starting Your Day with Breakfast?

Here’s the deal about dieting. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and if you’re not eating the most important meal of the day, you are probably doing yourself a disservice.

You may think skipping breakfast will help you shed those pounds. However, by noontime, you will find yourself famished, causing you to eat more during lunch. Studies have shown skipping breakfast is correlated with obesity.[1]

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You want to have the first meal of the day within an hour of waking up. Eat something that’s fiber-rich and packed with protein to carry you until lunch. Grab a fruit, a vitamin-rich smoothie or a whole-wheat toast with eggs along with some Greek yogurt.

2. Does Your Metabolism Affect Your fitness?

How fast you burn calories will depend on your metabolism. If your metabolism is slow, then perhaps it is the reason you’re not losing the weight as quickly as you would like to.

There are many factors affecting your metabolism, for example ageing, or how active your lifestyle is. If you’re not as active as you once were, you may experience a decline in your muscle mass. As a result, your metabolism slows down.

If you want to speed up your metabolic rate, lift weights and stay away from low-calorie diets.

3. Can Genetics Affect Your Fitness?

Yes, it is possible you inherited the slow metabolism from your parents or even your grandparents. You can’t control this kind of inheritance.

Unfortunately, with a slower metabolism, you will have to work harder than those with a fast metabolism to lose weight.

4. Does Gender Reduce Your Chances of Losing Weight?

Sounds silly, right? It’s not! This is a great question and the answer is complicated.

According to a study, it seems it’s a lot easier for men to lose weight compared to women.[2] On the other hand, when women lose weight, they keep it off longer than men. The big differences are where and how men and women lose weight.

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Men lose weight on their abdominal area first. Women, not so much. The stomach and hips are the hardest areas of the body for women to lose weight and to train. Therefore, if you’re a woman who wants to lose weight on her stomach, strap on binding corsets and waist trainers, they really do help.

Remember, weight loss is not all corsets, the best way to lose weight alongside wearing shapewear and exercising is to create a calorie deficit.

5. Are You Eating Before Going to Bed?

Having a snack too close to bedtime is a no-no. If you’re eating before bed, it could be why you are struggling to drop those pounds and get fit. By eating before going to bed, you’re making it difficult to burn fat.

A study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the US, and the University of Murcia in Spain concluded that consuming food during the circadian evening plays an important role in body composition.[3]

Try eating dinner about two or three hours before you lay down for the evening. Anything less will raise your blood sugar and insulin levels and your temperature.

Snacking after dinner will also increase caloric intake depending on your snack of choice. If you must munch on something, choose your snacks wisely.

6. Can Stress Affect Your Fitness?

Some people get stressed out and they eat, but here’s the kicker. They reach for comfort foods and most of the time, it’s junk food like ice cream and chocolate cake.

Instead, if you find yourself stress eating, make a conscious effort to reduce your stress levels by taking an alternative route and instead of stress eating, reduce stress by exercising or meditating.

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Stress plays a vital role in our health and fitness, where necessary seek the appropriate medical help.

7. What if You Have Trouble Sleeping?

Sometimes when you worry or suffer from certain illnesses, you may have trouble falling or staying asleep. This can affect the metabolic rate as well and your energy levels.

When you don’t have enough energy, it makes working out less desirable. This could be another reason why you can’t lose weight.

Did you know people who don’t get enough rest eat about 300 or more calories a day versus individuals who get enough sleep?

For example: After coming home from a hard day at work, no one wants to cook. It is easier to stop by the first fast-food restaurant and eat that 1200 calorie burger combo meal. Maybe even eating that 300 calorie chocolate bar for dessert.

If you find yourself eating out often, could this be yet another reason why you struggling to get a good night’s sleep. Take away food generally contains a lot of hidden calories making it harder for your body to burn through the night.

8. Could Your Thyroid Be Contributing to Why You Are Not Getting Fit?

An under-active thyroid can influence your ability to lose weight. This condition is known as ‘hypothyroidism’, not to confuse with hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid). Let me explain.

An overactive thyroid affects your ability to gain weight, not lose it.

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With hypothyroidism, your body retains water and salt buildup. Because of this, you gain pounds, making it difficult to lose them. This condition, along with other chemicals in the body, affects your energy levels and your metabolism.

If you suspect this is the reason why you are struggling to get fit, talk to a medical professional about it. The doctor or nurse practitioner will know exactly what to do.

Summing It Up

There are many factors that affect whether you gain or lose weight. To give you the best chance of losing weight effectively, you should aim to identify and control these factors.

There are a number of benefits to losing weight and getting fit. For example, by dropping a few pounds you will take pressure off your knees and other joints in your lower body. As well as increasing your overall health condition by reducing illnesses such as stress, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Finally, remember it’s not all about what you eat. Whilst diet is vital in the process of losing weight and getting fit, it is not the only factor to consider when losing weight. You need a well balanced fitness program consists of diet and exercise. Therefore, performing regular exercise such as lifting weights a few times a week and will help meet your goals quicker.

Please use these useful tips to help you lose weight, get fit and achieve your dream body.

More Weight Loss Tips

Featured photo credit: Debby Hudson via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Adnan Munye

Personal Trainer and Fitness Expert

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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

Tasty and Healthy Weight Loss Snacks to Reach Your Goals Fast

Tasty and Healthy Weight Loss Snacks to Reach Your Goals Fast

The decision to become healthier by way of weight loss is a struggle for many people. We have been told most of our lives that healthy food choices mean giving up the food and snacks that make us happy or we will be unable to achieve weight loss success. However, weight loss snacks can actually help you lose weight.

If the right choices are made, you can enjoy snacking and still lose weight!

This article will guide you through identifying healthy and flavorful weight loss snacks that will contribute to your weight loss goal.

How Healthy Snacking Helps You Lose Weight

If you make smart choices and choose healthy snacks for weight loss, it can be the thing that aids you in your weight loss journey.

Keep in mind that balance is everything. Too much snacking or the wrong kinds of snacks can backfire. We will get into that soon.

Not only do you not have to give up snacks, but you can eat the snacks that you actually love.

12 Best Snacks for Weight Loss

No matter your dietary preferences, snacking with mindfulness and awareness is important. This should go without saying.

However, no matter your diet, fruits and vegetables should be the number one choice! Fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy life and body. When a little variation is needed, incorporating exciting, tasty, and healthy snacks can still be good for your weight loss goals.

Whether you’re a carnivore, vegetarian, or vegan, there’s something on this list for everyone. Let’s get into a few snacks for your weight loss goals!

1. Rice Crackers and Cheese

Rice crackers are usually made with brown rice, which is a great source of carbohydrates and filling fiber. Fiber makes you feel full for longer. Cheese has so many essentials: calcium, protein, and vitamins A and B. Paired together, rice crackers and cheese can help you get there with the combination of protein, fiber, carbs, and vitamins.

Weight loss tip:

Remember that this is a snack. Always go with the serving recommendation on the label. It is much easier to track calories and fat.

2. Boiled Chicken Breast

Chicken has enough grams of protein to aid in muscle growth, and it’s one of the cleaner and leaner meats to eat. Chicken breast also aids in the reduction of cardiovascular disease.

Snacking on boiled chicken can aid you in your weight loss journey. Topping with lemon juice, pepper, and ginger is a very impactful flavor combination but also a wonderful anti-inflammatory combination[1].

Weight loss tip:

Emphasis is placed on chicken breast because white meat chicken has less fat than dark meat chicken. Fatty meats will hurt you in trying to achieve your goal.

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3. Soup

Having soup for a snack can contribute significantly to your weight loss goal. Soup is hearty, filling, and more appealing than water to many (however, it’s important to continue to drink water!).

You sip soup slower than water, and because of that, soup is known to help you feel fuller for longer. That means less eating!

Weight loss tip:

Be mindful of sodium/salt/msg. High levels of sodium in a diet alters the metabolism, and a healthy metabolism is key for fat absorption. If you do find your soup is lacking salt, add a pinch of sea salt for a flavor boost.

4. Tuna Salad

Tuna is high in potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps maintain blood pressure and blood flow; it also counteracts sodium. Additionally, it is high in vitamin B and low in calories and fat.

Weight loss tip:

Be mindful of how you eat your tuna. Be cautious of the amount of mayonnaise used. The best way to snack on tuna is with a fork (so you can eat slowly and mindfully).

5. Steamed Shrimp

Shrimp has so many health benefits and can truly aid you in your weight loss goals. Shrimp is super low in calories and very protein-rich. Shrimp is really a combination of protein and water; you won’t find fatty pockets on shrimp.

As a snack, shrimp will provide many vitamins and minerals with the added benefit of feeling completely satisfied.

Weight loss tip:

Be mindful of the serving size and of the seasoning that you use. Seasonings high in sodium will alter the amazing benefits. Consider using lemon juice, ginger, and garlic.

6. Smoked Salmon

This snack comes ready for you to eat! It’s tasty and healthy, packed with antioxidants (antioxidants remove damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism). Our bodies have to function properly to aid us in our weight loss and health goals. Smoked salmon is one of the best healthy snacks for weight loss!

Weight loss tip:

Smoked salmon requires nothing to be added. It is packed full of flavor from the get go. Adding things like sodium will contradict the amazing benefits. The best way to eat smoked salmon is with a fork.

7. Greek Yogurt and Fresh Fruit

Greek yogurt is packed with protein. Eating this alone is already very healthy due to the process of making it, which includes draining out the lactose! Lactose is the sugar found in milk. Adding fruit to it adds natural sweetness without separately added sugar, and of course the benefits that come with fruit!

Weight loss tip:

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Yogurt has sugar in it, and too much sugar is damaging to your weight loss goals. Be mindful of portions and toppings. The wrong toppings will contradict the benefits.

8. Steamed Veggies with Garlic and Parmesan Cheese

Steaming your veggies takes away the need for butter and oil. Adding a little parmesan cheese and garlic gives these veggies a lot of flavor and the benefits found in dairy. Not only are you giving your body two important necessities, but you are also going to feel very satisfied for a longer period of time[2].

If you need a little flavor boost, mix in a little olive oil for an addition of good fats.

Weight loss tip:

For those that don’t eat dairy, try a drizzle of Italian dressing or topping it with guacamole. As always, be mindful of portions.

9. Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs are a great snack for weight loss, especially if boiled without the use of butters and oils. Eggs are packed with protein, low in calories, and have essential vitamins, such as B and D. They make for a great weight loss snack because, in addition to the nutrients, you will feel full and satisfied.

Weight loss tip:

Eggs are high in cholesterol. To reduce the amount of cholesterol intake, avoid eating the yolk. Most of the benefits are in the egg white.

10. Smoothie Bowl

Smoothies are amazing. You can get your six servings of fruits and vegetables in one smoothie! A variation to the norm is a smoothie bowl[3]. Many times, we crave things like ice cream, so why not make the healthiest version?

Recipe tip:

Create your favorite blend and top with fresh fruit chunks, granola, coconut flakes, or a nut and seed mix. You can even add a dollop of almond butter!

Weight loss tip:

There is plenty of natural sugar in the fruit and toppings. Be mindful of putting in added sugar.

11. Chia Pudding

Chia seeds

are an amazing little seed. They are rich in omega’s, carbohydrates, and protein. They’re also high in fiber. Consuming chia seeds for a snack can really help you achieve weight loss success. You will consume a superfood that will leave you feeling full for hours!

Recipe tip:

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To make chia pudding, simply use a 4 to 1 ratio:1 cup of plant-based milk to 1/4 cup chia seeds; add a little agave for sweetness.

Let it sit for a couple of hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes. Make it for the day or for the week! Want to add a little flare? Blend some fresh fruit and top!

Weight loss tip:

Be mindful of the amount of sweetener/sugar used.

12. Baked Peach and Cherry Delight

Fruits and vegetables are key for every diet. This is the way to true health and healthy weight.

Peaches contain niacin, folate, iron, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and copper, so they are basically vitamins! Cherries are a wonderful antioxidant; combined you have delicious vitamin that will leave you happy and satisfied.

Recipe tip:

Simply cut up a few peaches, add half a can of cherry pie filling, and add 3 tablespoons of lemon fruit filling for sweetness. Mix and bake on 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes.

Weight loss tip:

Both peaches and cherries are naturally sweet. The lemon fruit filling is sweet as well. No additional sugars or sweeteners are necessary.

8 Tips for Healthy Snacking and Weight Loss

So how can you get started with healthy snacking while reaching your weight loss goals? Here are some tips for you:

1. Set Your Goal

Before getting started, you have to know what you want. What is the goal? How many pounds per week? How many pounds total?

If you aren’t sure how to set realistic goals, you may find helpful information in this article.

2. Set a Deadline

What date/season are you wanting to have the weight off? It’s important to set a target date so that you are focused.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Mindful eating is about eating mindfully. It is about being fully aware of what you are experiencing, your cravings, and physical cues. Eating for purpose and not boredom or pleasure is key for your goals.

The importance of mindful eating at snack time is massive. Rachel Zimmerman, an R.D. at Indiana University Hospital at IU Health states the following:

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“Just because snack foods like dark chocolate, nut butters, and avocado have earned nutritional kudos for being good sources of heart-healthy fats and other nutrients, that doesn’t mean you should eat a ton of them.”[4]

The most important step is mindfulness. The key to getting started is being mindful when making snack choices. For a guide to mindful eating, you can take a look at this helpful article: The Best Benefits of Mindful Eating for Weight Loss and How to Start Now.

Mindfulness isn’t something that is taught to us. It is something that you seek to learn and incorporate in your day-to-day living. Many of us don’t know the truth about food and the role that it plays in our lives and in our health. This creates unhealthy habits.

Food is usually used as a substance for pleasure instead of nourishment. We devour most things in front of us without being mindful and aware about what we are actually consuming[5].

A Mindful S.N.A.C.K. - Carla Naumburg, PhD

    4. Mind Your Plates

    Use smaller plates so that you’re not eating portion sizes that are too big. If you load a small plate, you are still controlling your portions but enjoying a plate full of food.

    5. Have Breakfast

    We have heard it since the beginning of time: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It is!

    A 2013 study showed that people trying to lose weight were more successful in reaching their goals when they incorporated breakfast in their daily routine[6]. This step alone can help you in your weight loss goals and make you want to snack less.

    6. Pack Your Snacks

    Packing your snacks and preparing for the day is key. You want to have healthy options when you start to crave food. Packing things like healthy granola bars, crackers, fruit, etc. will alleviate the bad choice of a candy bar or chips from the vending machine.

    7. Reward Yourself

    It is so important to reward yourself for a job well done. When you work hard throughout the week and see the benefits on the scale, reward yourself! Losing weight and changing eating habits is difficult. When a mission is accomplished, get out there are pat yourself on the back!

    8. Drink Enough Water

    Water is absolutely necessary for health but can also aid you in losing weight. Try drinking a cup of water before snacking. You may find that you weren’t hungry at all, just thirsty (many times, dehydration shows up as hunger).

    The Bottom Line

    Remember, fruits and vegetables should be your number one choice for snacking. Be mindful of your choices, and remember to try water first.

    Snacking for weight loss is healthy and can help you reach your weight loss goals fast. Snacking isn’t a negative; if done right, it is all positive!

    More Weight Loss Snacks

    Featured photo credit: Louise Burton via unsplash.com

    Reference

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