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Published on March 8, 2019

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

More by this author

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 November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

More About Boosting Memory

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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