My mother and I have been on a strict dietary regimen the past couple of weeks. Initially, I lost about 5 pounds or so. My mom lost about 2 pounds. It has been a difficult road since then. It seems that neither of us are losing any more weight, which is really frustrating for the both of us.
I have been on several “diet plans.” And whenever it seems like I have stopped losing weight or if other people tell me they have stopped losing weight, at least 10 reasons come to mind. These are areas that must be adjusted in order for us to continue losing weight….
Jenelle’s Top 10 Reasons of why you are not Losing Weight:
1. Your body has to get used to your new regimen.
Many times, our bodies just have to adjust when we throw something different at it. When we change up the amount of calories we consume, or introduce different foods, or add in exercising, it may just take a little time to adjust…but it shouldn’t take weeks…
2. You are not physically active enough.
You may have decided to start exercising recently in efforts to lose weight, but oftentimes, if an individual has not changed their eating habits, they are only exercising enough to maintain their current weight. Change your eating habits to see results. If you have already changed your eating habits, you may need to lengthen your exercise regimen just a bit (it should be at least an hour on at least 5 days a week; I try to go for a little bit longer on the weekends (1.5-2 hours)).
3. You are still eating too many calories.
Just like in #2, many people decrease their calories in efforts to lose weight, but only enough to maintain their current weight. A general rule I like to use in losing weight is 1200-1500 calories/day. But this will definitely depend on what your current weight is. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more details…
4. You are eating too few calories.
This is kind of funny, eh? Eating too many calories is not good, but also eating too few calories is not good. The reason being is that the actual act of eating enables your body to burn more calories! When I hear people tell me they only eat 1-2 times a day, and they wonder why they aren’t losing weight, I tell them that it is probably because their metabolism is very slow because their bodies are used to only eating a few times a day. I suggest eating at least 5-6 times a day. 3 regular meals with small 100 calorie (or less) snacks in between.
5. Hypothryroidism slows down the rate at which your body burns energy (calories).
I have a family member who has been trying to lose weight for years. She asked me for assistance and when I asked her about her diet and associated health issues, I found the culprit…her thyroid. Many make great strides to eat less calories, eat healthier foods, and exercise, but see no success from having this issue with the thyroid. I can’t really help a whole lot with this one, but I do know there are surgical procedures done, but I am still unsure of how to combat weight loss efforts if a person has this issue. I will have to do more research on this…
6. Your hormones are out of whack!
Unbeknownst to me (and I call myself a nutrition professional (much sarcasm, for disappointment in myself)), your hormones can play a significant role in your ability to lose weight (thank you Saundra Myles). Some ways to balance your hormone levels are to limit stress, and get some sleep. Regular exercise may also help with regulating your hormones. If all else fails, your doctor may be able to prescribe meds or some type of regimen to help with this.
7. Speaking of medications, taking certain medications can cause you not to lose weight.
My mom is actually taking a few medications. I told her that she needed to check the instructions that come with the medications because they usually will tell you side effects that may include water retention and weight gain.
8. You aren’t going to the bathroom enough.
So we are back to BMs (bowel movements). You can be eating all of the healthiest foods in the world, limiting your calories, and exercising like an athlete in training, but if you are only using the bathroom once a week, your weight loss will probably be limited. Here, simply put, weight loss could obviously come through having a good BM. Oh yes, also, drink more water (8-10 cups/day), which could help with you having more BMs (if you are eating the right foods).
9. Your body has gotten used to what you have been doing.
I was in Minnesota doing a seminar and a lady told me she had loss close to 100 pounds or so. Her problem (she stated) was that she had stopped losing weight after the 100 pounds and was unsure of what to do in order to continue losing weight. She was still eating healthy and less calories, and was exercising, but no weight loss. My answer to her was simple.
-Eat less and Exercise more
-Change up your exercise routine to a higher intensity.
That same answer applies to you.
10. Lastly, my favorite one: you are cheating on your “diet” more than you know.
I like to proclaim that I eat healthy. And when I try to lose weight, I like to “proclaim” that I am eating less calories. But there were those days when I got cravings…several cravings throughout the day. What I didn’t realize was that giving into these cravings was adding more calories than I knew. If you only “go on a diet,” and don’t make lifestyle changes of healthy eating, you will have cravings frequently and will probably “cheat” more than you know. People who do extreme dieting may often eat few calories, but may “splurge” and have high calorie or high fat snacks that pack the calories. That “cheating” adds up to more calories eaten, and less weight lost. If you make a lifestyle change of just eating healthy, and eating less calories, you don’t have to “splurge,” you can just set a standard of incorporating the things that you like to eat (that may be higher in sugar and fat) on a regular basis (i.e., only on Saturdays you eat 1 piece of cake, or I heard one person tell me they eat 1 hershey kiss a day to satisfy their craving for chocolate).
I know this blog was rather lengthy, but I hope it was helpful for those of you who are frustrated with weight loss efforts. Until next time…