8 Big Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight
Not losing weight with your current weight loss efforts? Maybe it’s time to look at some areas you haven’t yet considered. Weight loss plateaus can be extremely frustrating, and that’s because lots of factors can go into losing weight.
Take a look at these eight important reasons the weight might not be coming off:
#1 You’re Eating Junky Foods
The quality of the food you eat is so important. While there’s no need to have a 100% perfect diet all the time, it helps to focus on eating foods that provide your body with nutritional benefits rather than empty, high-calorie foods.
Eat LESS refined foods like:
- Packaged foods with added sugars
- White breads and pastas
And eat MORE whole foods like:
- Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables
- Whole, unrefined grains
- Lean proteins like chicken breast and beans and legumes
- Healthy fats like flax or chia seeds, fish and fish oil, and unprocessed oils
Even if a food is branded as “healthy,” it’s better to focus on whole foods that don’t need a label or that contain ingredients that aren’t sugars or processed oils. Eating healthy whole foods will help naturally regulate your appetite.
#2 You’re Drinking Your Calories
Sugar- and calorie-laden drinks can be one of the most detrimental reasons for not losing weight. Because our bodies and brains don’t register calories we drink like they do calories we eat, it’s much easier to drink an excess without being satisfied.
If you’re still not losing weight but drinking sugar sodas, fruit juices, or other drinks with added sugars (even natural sugars), it’s time to let those go. Opt for water, unsweetened tea, or black coffee instead. These can still give you something to drink without adding any extra calories to your day.
And speaking of water, this leads us to our next point…
#3 You’re Not Staying Hydrated
Most people are dehydrated and not drinking enough water throughout the day. The feeling of hunger can often be dehydration, so keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times to stay hydrated.
Plus, drinking water may even help you boost your body’s calorie burn throughout the day. So, drink up!
#4 You’re Binging or Emotional Eating
Binge eating and emotional eating are very common reasons these days for people not losing weight. If you struggle with these or any form of disordered eating despite knowing what you need to eat to be healthy, it might be time to look at the emotions underlying the binge.
Ask yourself questions like:
- “Why am I eating when I’m not hungry?”
- “What emotions am I feeling right before a binge?”
- “Did I eat enough healthy foods throughout the day?”
If you can’t work through this on your own, consider talking with a coach or therapist to work through the emotions surrounding your eating.
#5 You’re Eating Mindlessly
Mindful eating is one of the most important tools for losing weight and eating just the right amount of food for your body. But many people eat without really focusing on their food, so it’s easy to overeat or still not feel satisfied after eating.
Try eating your next meal or snack slowly, without distraction from other people, the TV, or your smartphone. Focus on all the senses of the food as you take each bite, paying attention to how your hunger and fullness changes while you eat. This is also a great tool for working through binge eating.
#6 You’re Not Sleeping Enough
If you sleep less than 7 ½ hours a night, it could be greatly affecting your ability to lose weight. Lack of sleep triggers certain hormones that increase your appetite during the day. You’re also more likely to overeat in an effort to get more energy because you feel tired.
Try to start going to bed earlier, at least 7 ½ hours before you need to get up the next morning, to give your body the rest it needs.
#7 You Have Too Much Stress
Another factor that can affect your waistline is significant life stressors. Maybe you have a job you hate, a crazy schedule every day, or you deal with people in your life who are difficult. These types of stressors can increase cortisol, the stress hormone, in your body.
Cortisol has been linked to an increase in visceral fat around the abdominal area. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to look for more balance in your life. Even if there are some things you can’t completely avoid, look for areas where you can improve your situation or at least increase your self-care practices.
#8 You’re Not Lifting Weights
Many women are still afraid of strength training and primarily do cardio. But if you have weight loss goals, you’re missing out on a ton of metabolism-boosting benefits from weight lifting. Adding strength training to your workouts helps you build lean muscle, which increases your calorie and fat burn throughout the day.
If you’re struggling to lose weight, try out some of these additional methods to fill in the gaps. Above all, make sure you’re taking care of your mind and body during the process as you follow these tips!