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Why Am I Not Losing Weight? 7 Reasons Revealed

Why Am I Not Losing Weight? 7 Reasons Revealed

Does this describe you:

You’ve made some great changes to your diet and started a good exercise program but you’re not losing weight. Or you’ve been able to lose a little bit of weight but it seems like you always regain it back… then you wonder, “why am I not losing weight?”

There may be a few reasons why.

The big thing to acknowledge, first off, is that you have made the decision to start getting healthy. This is the first big obstacle to overcome and if you’ve got underway with working out, or making changes in your diet, you’ve cleared the biggest hurdle.

It’s so much easier to keep eating poorly and to just sit on the couch. The fact that you’ve taken action to improve yourself, and your health, speaks volumes and will be the driving force behind your success.

Of course, everyone needs some extra info and knowledge to approach weight loss in the best way. So if you’ve been wondering why you aren’t losing weight, here are 7 things that may be causing it.

1. Working out Too Much

You’ve started a new workout routine and you’re getting the hang of it. It’s exciting to get in tune with your body through physical activity and getting feedback by feeling better after. It’s also great to see some increases in strength and even some lean muscle.

If you’ve been enjoying it, and seeing some positives, it might make sense in your mind to start working out longer and harder. If three days a week have felt great, then why not five? Why not seven straight days of strength training and cardio?

If one hour of a workout has been great, why not just do two? Or three? This would be a sure way to lose more weight and get fitter.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way and you’re better off allowing your body to rest. When you workout too much, you can make things taxing on your central nervous system. You put your body into a situation where it’s constantly being stressed and releasing stress hormones. When you don’t allow proper rest and recovery this can throw your whole body out of whack.

Overtraining can lead to injuries, muscle tears and strains. It also can weaken your immune system and make you more prone to sickness. You want to avoid this overtraining syndrome to be able to keep losing weight.[1]

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When you’re stress hormones are up it’s more difficult to lose weight as your body wants to preserve what it has. So allow yourself time to rest and recover to improve your fitness and your weight loss.

2. Not Getting Enough Sleep

This is going to piggyback off point number one. If you are not getting adequate sleep, you can create this same overtraining syndrome in your body.

If you are not sleeping enough, your body starts to think there is some sort of trauma happening, or else why wouldn’t you be asleep?

This can also lead to higher stress hormones levels and over time they can get pretty nasty. They can lead to a lot of inflammation in the body and may be at the core of a lot of bad diseases. Along with that, this stress hormones also make weight loss very difficult and your metabolism also starts to slow.[2]

You can imagine if you combine overtraining and a lack of sleep; you can pretty much kiss losing weight goodbye.

Make it a point to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. This means creating a good wind down routine, sticking with it, and starting it at the same time each night.

Look to cut out blue light from electronics that can disrupt sleep and avoid alcohol and caffeine later in the day.

Keep your room as dark as possible and a touch on the cool side to promote better rest and rejuvenation. With your body full rested and repaired you set the stage for better weight loss and improved fitness.

3. Not Eating Enough

This may seem confusing as if you’re eating less, surly you should be losing weight? This all comes back to metabolism and again, that stress hormone issue.

Think of your body fat as a back up fuel source. When times of stress or trauma hit, it can be broken down and used as energy by your body.

When you restrict too many calories, your body thinks there’s another form of trauma, or maybe a drought, happening since you’re not feeding yourself. Body fat storage can be your bodies way of contingency plan.

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When you don’t eat enough, your metabolism slows right down as your body doesn’t want to waste what it has. Everything becomes about conservation at this point and losing weight is not going to be top on your bodies priority list.

Add to this overtraining in the gym and it can really stall your weight loss. Your body will be fighting against you to hold on to what it has. This is where injuries and sickness can also happen as your body may be trying to slow things down as much as possible.

Allow yourself to be fed and nourished. Your body needs consistent fuel in order to function properly and lose weight.

4. Not Building Muscle

We’re not talking giant bodybuilder muscle here, but good lean muscle as this can be part of what helps you to lose weight.

First off, just the act of having to build the muscle through strength training is going to take a full body effort. This burns a lot of calories which will help in weight loss.

Also, the style of training that helps to build muscle — a high-intensity style — is going to put your body into a better state hormonally. Your body will be able to burn calories long after your workout is done.[3] Your metabolism will now be higher and losing weight will be more achievable.

Along with this, just having more muscle increases your ability to burn calories. Lean muscle is metabolically active even at rest so when you have more muscle you’ll be burning more calories even if you’re sitting still.

5. Not Eating Enough Protein

You probably hear about protein all the time and its main goal is not just to build muscle.

Protein is important for so many different functions in the body; from building hormones and the structure, function, and regulation of tissues and organs in the body.

Protein also has a thermogenic effect, meaning that it takes calories just to eat and digest it.

Have you heard of the “meat sweats”? This is that thermogenic function in action as it takes a lot of energy for the body to digest and absorb protein. This act of muscle protein synthesis can be a big calorie burner in the body.[4]

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The next benefit it provides is that just eating protein through the day can also boost your metabolism by 80 to 100 calories a day. This has another good effect as it makes you eat several hundred calories less a day from other food sources.

Protein helps to fill you up and keep you full. You’ll be less hungry at various points in the day and can take in less overall calories helping you to lose more weight.

Protein can also be good at holding off cravings and can keep blood sugar more stable. This way, you won’t get those big peaks and drops that can lead you to craving more carbs and possibly gaining more weight.

It’s a good idea to get a good serving of protein at breakfast as this can help you lose weight. You’ll stay full through the morning and less likely to turn to that mid-morning snack or cravings for sugar.

6. Eating Too Much

If you’ve been serious about losing weight, you’re probably more aware of your food portions and calorie intake. The whole calorie counting issue is a bit of complicated area and it’s not as simple as calories in calories out and not all calories are created equal. 100 calories of walnuts is going to act different in your body than 100 calories of a Coke.

But it’s still important to be aware of how much you’re eating as it may surprise you the amount of calories you’re taking in and not knowing.

The first big thing, for losing weight, is to stop drinking your calories. This means cutting soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, specialty coffees etc. This are fast acting calories that don’t fill you up and can make you hungrier. You’ve taken in hundred of calories without really knowing as there’s no solid structure of protein and fiber to help keep you full.

Since these drinks are all sugar, they can spike your blood sugar leading to a crash. This crash phase is where you tend to crave more of those fast-acting carbs in the form of simple sugars or refined carbs. This is going to make weight loss difficult so do yourself a favor and switch those drinks to water.

You can try to track your calories for a few days just to get an idea of where you stand. From here, you’ll know how you need to restructure things.

Take almonds for example, they are a great healthy snack and having a small handful can be great. But say you do this multiple times over the day. Just one cup of almonds has around 530 calories which may be more than you were planning to take in.

You don’t have to be a slave to tracking food and calories but get a general idea where you’re at and adjust as needed.

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7. Eating Too Many Carbs

You may be sick of hearing about everything to do with carbs but when it comes to you not losing weight, you need to be aware of them.

If you’ve been having issues losing weight, or have blood sugar issues such as type 2 diabetes, you may want to go lower carb.

This is something you want to talk over with your doctor, but the majority of the carbohydrates we’re exposed to are not needed at all.

Things like white bread, white rice, white flour and white sugar etc. are providing you no nutrition and are very high glycemic. This keeps your blood sugar elevated and makes it harder to lose weight.

Keeping things lower carb can have positive effects on triglyceride levels and cholesterol along with controlling blood sugar and losing weight.[5]

Carbs based around your workout can still be great for energy but look to the best choices. Aim for things like steel cut oats, wild rice, sweet potatoes and quinoa.

Summing It Up

“Why am I not losing weight?” is a common question heard around gyms and health clubs everywhere. There may be some reasons why as shared here but it’s easy to get back on track with your fitness and weight loss goals.

You may need to just start sleeping more, watch the liquid calories, add in more rest days and watch the carbs. Either way, there should be some solutions to why you aren’t losing weight.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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Jamie Logie

Jamie is a personal trainer and health coach with a degree in Kinesiology and Food and Nutrition.

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

How to Overcome Boredom

How to Overcome Boredom

Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

What is Boredom?

We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

1. Get Focused

Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
  • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
  • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

2. Kill Procrastination

Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

Here are some ideas:

  • Do some exercise.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn something new.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
  • Do a spring cleaning.
  • Wash the car.
  • Renovate the house.
  • Re-arrange the furniture.
  • Write your shopping list.
  • Water the plants.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Sort out your mail & email.
  • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

3. Enjoy Boredom

If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

Reference

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