So, you’ve tried it all. You cut out the carbs. Upped the protein. You even work out 3 times a week. You’re drinking more water, and having less sugar. But you’re still not losing weight! If this sounds like you, you might want to re-assess your weight loss plan, and pin point some changes! Here are some reasons you might not be losing weight:
1. You’re not sticking to a plan
Do you have a general idea of how to lose weight, but not a concrete plan? You should! A plan could be as simple as “exercise Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and eat 1,600 calories a day.” It’s a basic idea of how you should be going about your weight loss. Start small – the key to sustainable changes is to plan them out, and do them slowly. First start out with diet tweaks, and then add in regular exercise. Once that makes sense and feels achievable, tighten your plan up: plan out what exercises you’re doing, and the content of your diet.
2. You’re misjudging your portion sizes
Humans, especially dieters, are notorious for misjudging portion sizes––specifically large portion sizes. Research has shown that while we are decent at judging the calories in smaller dishes, we vastly underestimate the number of calories in larger portions and as a result overeat much more than we realize. With practice you can get better at judging portion sizes. Even if you think you know how much you are eating take two weeks to track your food intake with a food journal and measure out and document your portion sizes.
3. You aren’t sleeping enough
Our brains and bodies rely tremendously on a variety of hormones that regulate when we eat and sleep. Because of these circadian rhythms, we function optimally when we eat our meals, sleep and wake at the same time each day. Similarly, too little sleep has been associated with weight gain The biggest spike in (fat-burning, anabolic) growth hormone plasma levels occurs in deep sleep. And a recent sleep study showed that bad sleep patterns are linked to weight gain. Getting on a regular schedule and getting enough sleep is a key component of your healthstyle. Developing good sleep habits and prioritizing sleep may help you get back on track.
4. You think you’re eating healthy, but aren’t
We’re all used to seeing the “LOW FAT!” sticker on packaging and automatically assuming it’s healthy, as well as the “gluten free,” and “whole wheat,” signs. None of these automatically make a food healthier. Healthy food is unprocessed, natural and whole. The best way to eat healthy is to take a good look at your diet, and cut over overly processed foods that are more chemical than natural. Healthy eating is a process that takes time and focus, but before long you’ll be able to spot the foods that are truly healthy, and those that are just capitalizing on the idea of healthy!
Are you guilty of any of these? That’s okay! Now that you’ve identified why you might not be losing weight, take steps to fix it! We’ll be here to help.