ATW Nutrition Coaching
4 minute read
20 Nov 2017
10:22 am

5 surprising reasons you’re not losing weight

ATW Nutrition Coaching

Losing weight seems quite simple, but modern-day life has made it a bit more complicated.

Picture: iStock

At its simplest, losing weight is pretty straightforward. Eat fewer calories than you burn every day and your body will use stored energy for fuel, causing a reduction in body weight.

Unfortunately in practice, it is somewhat more complicated due to various factors of modern-day life.

Here are a few possible reasons you are not able to lose weight right now.

1. You sit too much

Back in the day we had jobs that required real physical effort. Now most of us sit at desks and fiddle with computer keyboards all day long. Small wonder our bodies aren’t in great shape.

Enter exercise!

A man-made activity designed to add in some of the physical effort our bodies require for optimum health. The bottom line here is that you need to be doing 30 minutes of hard physical activity (preferably strength-related) at least five days per week. This will speed up your metabolism and put some muscles on your bones.

Muscle burns calories, so you’ll burn more fat.

2. You worry too much

stress, anxiety, headache

Picture: iStock

Stress is unbelievably bad for weight loss because of the hormonal issues it causes in your body.

Cortisol, the stress hormone, is a storage hormone. So when you’re stressed, you’re storing energy. That’s exactly the opposite of what you want to be doing.

Obviously, stopping yourself from being stressed is easier said than done, but you do need to think about dealing with stress, not just for weight loss but for your overall quality of life. Thankfully, exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress. A fun hobby, spending time with friends, and getting some good sleep also helps.

3. You have too many cheat meals per week

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Cheeseburger and fries. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

If you’re serious about dieting, then your ‘cheat meal’ should be once per week, at most. You don’t need a cheat meal at all, actually. And using food as a reward for good dieting is like using a robbery as a reward for not committing any crimes for a few days.

An alternative is to eat according to your diet whenever you can help it. If there’s an unavoidable situation like an office dinner, you can allow yourself a slight deviation from your plan. But if you’re sitting on a couch eating crisps as a cheat meal … you’re doing it wrong.

4. You eat too many “small meals”  too often

Some people think that if they want to lose weight they need to eat less food, and eat less often. They develop an eating schedule which sees them eating once or twice per day.

Other people believe that they need to eat every two hours in order to keep their metabolic rate up to burn more calories.

Neither of these ideas is problematic, except for the fact that both can lead to eating too much food.

The person who eats less regularly will eat larger meals because she is super hungry by the time she eventually eats. And the person eating five or six times per day could be eating too many calories when they are all added up. Either one of these approaches needs careful monitoring and calorie counting.

5. You drink too much

wine 2

image: stock.xchng

Most of us enjoy the odd alcoholic beverage. A small glass of wine with your dinner is a pretty healthy habit that may even be beneficial in terms of diet. However, if you’re knocking back three or four drinks on an evening, then your lack of weight loss is easy to explain.

If you have alcohol in your system, your body’s only priority in metabolic terms is to burn off the alcohol. And what you want it to do is burn stored fat for fuel. If you are keeping your body busy with burning off alcohol seven days per week, there’s no time for fat burning.

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