Weight loss is a different experience for everyone. That’s what makes it tricky. Some people respond well to a specific diet, whereas others respond better to a certain type of training. It’s all about finding what works for you. Yet sometimes it can feel like you’re doing absolutely everything you should be and nothing seems to work. Here are five factors that may be preventing you from losing those extra pounds.
Not eating enough food
You might be surprised to know that eating too little food can actually cause you to gain weight. Our body has what’s called a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR is the rate your body burns calories while at rest — essentially, the amount of calories your body needs to survive and function. When too few calories are taken in, it switches to starvation mode.
When your body thinks it’s being starved, it will slow your metabolism down to compensate for the decrease in energy input (or food). Then, when you do eat, your body stores all this energy as fat rather than burning it in an attempt to keep you alive. Now, you’re trying to lose weight, so you don’t want your body storing any more fat than absolutely necessary!
Avoid diets that tell you to eat less than 1500 calories. Take care of your body and give it all the food it needs.
Too much exercise
You can, in fact, exercise too much. It’s known as overtraining, and is a real condition that can result in the following symptoms:
When you overtrain, your body doesn’t function as efficiently. Metabolic imbalances can cause a slow down in your metabolism, and your body becomes too exhausted to burn any calories. Then it stores extra fat which results in weight gain — the opposite of your goal. Burning too many calories from over exercising will likely result in the body entering that starvation mode. Being fatigued and sore also won’t help you feel like working out. Remember, rest is just as beneficial as exercise when it’s appropriate. And while we’re on the subject...
Not enough sleep or recovery time
It’s all too common for those trying to lose weight to never take rest days. While working out every day may sound like it’ll help you reach your goal quicker, the most likely scenario is burnout. Realistically, you see people head to the gym every day for a week, then not again for a whole month. When you don’t allow your body to rest, it suffers.
Sleep is also a crucial factor when it comes to weight loss. It’s recommended that adults get seven or more hours of sleep per night. Some people can manage just fine on five hours a night, so this does vary among different people. But if you’re not getting the amount of sleep that your body needs, it’s not going to function well, resulting in it not burning calories the way you’d like. Get your rest and recovery in, and you’ll be one step closer to your weight loss goal.
Not drinking enough water
Hydration is one of the most common culprits causing weight loss struggles. Water is involved in a lot of functional processes in the body, including your metabolism. You should be drinking half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound you weigh. So, someone who weighs around 120lbs should be drinking 60-120 oz of water a day. A body lacking hydration will not function well, once again meaning it won’t burn calories as efficiently. It’ll also make you pretty bloated.
It can be difficult to drink enough water, especially if you don’t drink enough already. Going from one to eight glasses a day can be a lot when you first start out, so here are some tips to make sure you stay hydrated:
-Set hourly reminders to drink water — until it’s a habit!
-Buy a reusable water bottle and carry it around with you
-Set daily water drinking goals, for example to drink 24 oz by 11 am
There is a lot of information out there regarding weight loss. Most of it is good, but be aware that some of it is terrible advice. The best thing a person can do to lose weight is to educate themselves on basic nutrition and exercise. There are millions of resources out there to learn more about what you should and shouldn’t be putting into your body.
Find resources that are backed up by research and avoid unsustainable fad diets. You can also check out the Fitness Buddy app for trustworthy nutrition and exercise content.
Maddy has worked in the health and fitness industry for 5 years. She has a bachelors in Exercise Science and has recently received her Masters in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with a wide demographic of clients as a Personal Trainer and loves helping people reach their goals and continue to grow. She is an outdoor enthusiast and dedicates her workouts to rock climbing, hiking and whatever new experiences may come her way.
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