Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows how difficult the whole journey can be. It should be as simple as burning more calories than you consume, but it rarely feels that is all there is to the process. Although calorie intake and expenditure are the basic elements of weight loss, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration too.
In this article, we will look at some of the less considered factors affecting weight loss or weight gain. These factors greatly contribute to a person’s success with losing weight; however, only very few people actually pay attention to them. If you have been dieting and exercising but seem to be stuck with unsatisfying results, taking these factors into consideration may be just what you need.
Water And Weight Loss
Water is a natural appetite suppressant. If you constantly fill your stomach with water, you are less likely to feel hungry all of the time as the human brain is not wired to differentiate between hunger and thirst. Aside from suppressing your appetite and stimulating your satiety, water also helps boost your metabolic rate. While each person’s hydration needs are different, experts generally suggest 64 ounces or 8 glasses of water a day. Although you are free to space out your intake of water all throughout the day, new studies have found that drinking 2 glasses of water before a meal is best for weight loss. Also as the body struggles to separate hunger from thirst you might just be thirsty and water to the route to feeling sated while not adding to your calorie count.
Sleep And Weight Loss
You may think that sleep and weight loss are so far-off, but there is substantial scientific evidence suggesting a strong association between the two. One study reports that people who sleep 5 hours or less per night generally weigh more than those who get a 7-hour sleep. Other research has shown that inadequate sleep compromises efforts to lose weight through dieting. The link between sleep and weight loss is attributed mainly to hormones. The production of the hormones leptin and ghrelin which work to control feelings of hunger and fullness is said to be influenced by how much or how little sleep a person has. When you do not get enough sleep, your leptin (satiety hormone) levels tend to be low, and your ghrelin (appetite hormone) levels high. This means that you are likely to overeat as your appetite is stimulated and satiety is suppressed. So if you want to keep your natural weight loss mechanisms in place, make sure to get around eight hours of sleep every night.
Friends And Weight Loss
As they say, everything that is happening in your life is in one way or another influenced by the people around you and this includes weight loss. Your friends have a lot to do with the outcome of your weight loss efforts. If you are surrounded with people who have no desire to lose weight, it is very likely that you will end up veering away from your weight loss goals. If the people you hang out with eat a lot of unhealthy foods all the time, it would be very hard for you to integrate the lifestyle changes that you need to get to your ideal weight. So, if you are serious about shedding off those excess pounds, find yourself a set of friends that will help you achieve your goals. Find friends who have the same desire for weight loss or a healthy and active lifestyle this way you can still enjoy great company without compromising your want to lose weight.
(Photo credit: Peter W.)