Diet and exercise, diet and exercise. That seems to be all that is talked about in terms of how to lose weight these days. But there are other factors that contribute to weight loss, or weight gain. Why can’t you lose weight? It could be any number of the thing I am going to fill you in on today. These may seem like small, tedious things..but over time they add up. And if small things added up each day can make a big change for the good, it can also make a big change for the bad.
I like to call these common, but uncommon reasons you can’t lose weight. Some of these topics may come as second nature to you in terms of overall health. Yet you might also think that these simple things couldn’t possibly be the reasons for your 10 extra pounds you can’t lose or the inches that keep stacking on to your waistline. Simple or not, it is science. Years of research proves that if the body AS A WHOLE is not working together to keep you healthy, it is going to do everything in it’s power to work against you. And the number one sign of your body working against you…weight gain.
Ah yes, it always comes back to hormones. Most importantly, the thyroid. Our thyroid hormones regulate our metabolism. If we are not living a healthy lifestyle and keeping our hormones level, ur metabolism is not functioning properly. And if our metabolism isn’t functioning, then we are going to lose/gain weight. Our thyroid hormones are essential to the burning of calories and the way we use our food as fuel. I have several blogs explaining hormones in the body; cortisol and weight gain, naturally balancing hormones, and adrenal fatigue.
Vitamins and minerals are necessary for body function, otherwise they wouldn’t be VITAL. You wouldn’t see shelves at the store lined with pill bottles if they weren’t important. Vitamin D is especially important for metabolism health, and therefore controlling our weight. It has actually been proven that those who are obese, or overweight have lower levels of Vitamin D. So make sure you are getting adequate sunlight, or taking a supplement.
This can come down to not only are you exercising, but what are you doing the rest of the day? Humans are not meant to sit around as much as we do; we sit in cars, we sit at desks, we sit and eat, we sit and learn. All. We. Do. Is. Sit. Movement is crucial for not only weight loss, but also just mobility in general. We are meant to walk, jump and run, so we need to do it. Walk at lunch. Walk the dog. Go workout for 30 minutes. Do squats while you brush your teeth. Just move your body, it is going to help you in so many ways!
The more I dive into researching health and the human body, the more aware I am of my surroundings. I can now tell when someone is overweight or if they are just inflamed. Most people who have a very protruding stomach that is hard, is due to inflammation and not just fat. This inflammation comes from eating foods that cause inflammation, foods that don’t necessarily agree with you. This could be because too much fast food or processed food, but it could also be due to eating healthy foods that you are sensitive to. The best way to find out if inflammation is the reason for your weight gain is to do an elimination diet. The Whole30 is a great place to start for eliminating foods that cause inflammation.
When we sleep, we recharge. Just like you plug your phone in every night to charge the battery, you need to also plug yourself in. Give yourself those 8 hours every night. At night, in those 8 hours, our hormones are rebalancing and our body is getting back to homeostasis. We recover from the damage we did the day before and when we wake up in the morning it is a new day. If we do not get those full hours of sleep, our body is not going to balance back out. And if we don’t balance back out, we are just going to day after day drive ourselves further into the ground. Sleep is crucial for weight loss. Read deeper into the importance of sleep!
Low carb? Keto? Fad diets are just that…a fad. They get you fast results, and great results at that, but they are not sustainable. These diets cause you to make serious restrictions without changing any of your lifestyle to get you fast results. But once you get those results, and you go back to your old ways, all the weight (plus some) piles back on! Doing fad diets over and over again with restrictions and binging cause damage to your hormones and metabolism. This damage can take years to fix, depending how many times you have gone through the diet “cycle.” Fad diets cause you to be weight conscious, but what is important is being health conscious.
Eating and cooking at home means you know EXACTLY what is in your food. You know what it is cooked in, you know the ingredients, you control the portions. But when you go out to eat, you lose all control. Your food could be slathered in butter, and oil. It could include a lot of high calorie sauces and could be a portion fit for two. Most of the time we go out to eat we are consuming at least 1/3 more calories than we expect. So if you stop for coffee everyday and get a sandwich, eat what the office orders in for your meeting and then meet friends for dinner you, you are bound to over eat. And if you do this multiple times a week, you won’t ever see the day of losing weight! So make sure you start eating and cooking at home. This could be a huge piece of your weight loss puzzle.
Most people don’t track their food, heck, most people don’t even read their labels! And if you don’t do that, you likely are grabbing food that you either grew up eating or is super convenient for you. and Convenience usually means processed, and processed means sugar/carbs and fat. But what you are missing; the key ingredient, the nutrient that levels blood sugar and keeps you full, is protein! Make sure you are adding protein to your meals and snacks. Protein is great for building muscle and changing body composition, but it is also necessary for all body functions.
Something you may see as small or simple, can add up to be the reason for your weight gain. Take a step back and notice your life as a whole. Are you getting in movement? Are you eating healthy food? Are you sleeping? Are you drinking 4 cups of coffee a day? Check into all 8 of these aspects of your life to see if it could be the reason you can’t lose weight!