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6 Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight, And What To Do About It

6 Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight, And What To Do About It

With my experience as a family doctor I know that most people can’t lose weight because they are not working in harmony with their body and mind. For example, going on a restrictive diet is not in harmony with your physiology, and 9 times out of 10 it leads to insignificant weight loss or weight gain further down the road. By eliminating these 6 mistakes you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding with your weight loss.

You Didn’t Set a Clear Goal

goal

    If you don’t make a decision about exactly where you’re going, how are you going to get there? Imagine attempting to go on vacation without knowing the destination, because you haven’t given it thought and come to a decision. When patients come to me for help because they can’t lose weight, my first question is “What do you want?” They often say something like “To be thinner“. This is really vague and it’s like saying you want to go somewhere hot and sunny for your vacation. There’s no clear destination! Your mind needs a definite goal to lock on to. Otherwise you have no focus, no reason to start taking action, or to continue taking it if you manage to make a start in the first place. A definite goal could be something like “I fit into my favourite jeans again and love the way I look!” This is a clear destination.

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    You Didn’t Create a Roadmap

    road map

      Some people get the first bit right, and have a clear goal. But they still can’t lose weight. The next common mistake is not making a plan to get from where you are now, to where you want to go. Most people’s plan is ‘go on a diet and exercise more‘. Did that work last time? Why do you think it will work this time? Think of all the steps you take to make it to your vacation. There are more than 2 aren’t there? You need to create a step by step plan to follow to successfully lose weight. You might want to include the next 4 things in your plan. But you need to make this your plan, and you need to give yourself some time to work it out.

      You Didn’t Identify Your Emotional Eating

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      can't lose weight

        Hands up if you ever eat when you’re not hungry. If your hand isn’t up I don’t think I believe you! You can’t lose weight when you regularly eat if you’re not hungry. These days food is constantly available, and as a result eating to satisfy genuine physical hunger isn’t the only reason people eat. People eat for many other reasons including boredom, stress, and unhappiness. All food eaten when your body doesn’t need it is destined for your fat stores. You need to know this is going on and make a plan of how to overcome this. This may be something you need to learn more about. A friend of mind put on loads of weight when he started working from home. When he needed a break he realized he was going to the fridge and eating. At work he used to have a quick chat with colleagues. This is eating due to boredom. His solution was to go out for a quick walk with his dog when he needed a short break from work.

        You Didn’t Hydrate Yourself

        glass of water

          This is perhaps the easiest thing you can do to improve your health and speed up your weight loss, but are you drinking eight glasses of water each day? There are two reasons keeping yourself properly hydrated helps you lose weight. Imagine a plant that hasn’t had enough water, it is wilting. This is you if you’re not hydrated. Now imagine that same plant standing strong because it’s had enough water. When you’re hydrated you have more energy. When you have more energy you move around more. And you can work out the rest! Not everyone realizes that early hunger and thirst feel the same – it can feel like you’re hungry for food. If you don’t realize this, and you haven’t been hydrating yourself adequately, you’ll end up eating more than you need, with obvious consequences. Keep hydrated, and then the hunger you feel is for food and not water.

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          You Didn’t Avoid Foods That Increase Your Appetite

          white bread

            Refined carbs, like white rice, sugar, fries and things made out of white flour increase your blood sugar dramatically, and very fast. High blood sugar is harmful to your body, so your body’s response is robust – it produces a load of insulin which brings your blood sugar back down quickly. The result is a rebound low blood sugar. This has you feeling really hungry, often only a short time after you’ve eaten. This drives you to eat more, even though you may have already eaten more calories than you need. Cut right down on refined and processed food,because people who eat a lot of this can’t lose weight. Eat whole foods instead.

            You Didn’t Kick Start Your Fat Burning Enzymes

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            sprint

              When people think exercise they often think about going out for a jog, or doing extended cardio workouts in the gym. This type of workout burns fat. But hang on a minute. If your body needs fat for this kind of exercise isn’t it going to make more available for the next time you do it? You body is highly adaptable. If you start doing something that needs fat, your body will make it available. This is why some people can’t lose weight even though they do a lot of cardio workouts, or they pile on a load of weight if they stop. When you do short bursts of high intensity exercise, e.g. like sprinting for 20 seconds 6 times with rest of 60 seconds in between, you don’t burn a lot of fat while you’re doing it. You burn glucose. However, you do burn fat for up to 24 hours after this kind of exercise, and you don’t encourage your body to lay down fat. If you’re exercising for the purpose of weight loss ditch the prolonged cardio workouts and switch to interval training.

              Featured photo credit: Rain run/antony_mayfield via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on July 10, 2020

              How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

              How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

              We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

              We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

              So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

              Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

              What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

              Boundaries are limits

              —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

              Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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              Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

              Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

              Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

              How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

              Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

              1. Self-Awareness Comes First

              Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

              You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

              To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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              You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

              • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
              • When do you feel disrespected?
              • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
              • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
              • When do you want to be alone?
              • How much space do you need?

              You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

              2. Clear Communication Is Essential

              Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

              Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

              3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

              Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

              That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

              Sample language:

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              • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
              • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
              • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
              • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
              • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
              • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
              • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

              Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

              4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

              Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

              Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

              Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

              We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

              It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

              It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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              Final Thoughts

              Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

              Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

              Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

              The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

              Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

              Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

              They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

              Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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