Weight loss is a process — one that doesn't always happen as quickly as you might like. While healthy weight loss can take time, there are reasons you might not be losing weight that is worth considering as you gauge your progress.
When you lose weight, your body fights back.
You may be able to lose quite a lot of weight at first, without much effort. However, weight loss may slow down or stop altogether after a while.
There are many things that can influence weight loss, some of which may be more obvious than others.
This article lists 7 reasons why you’re not losing weight.
1. Losing Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial if you're trying to lose weight, not just because of how it affects you physically, but mentally as well.
Lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain. A 2006 study found women who slept five hours a night were more likely to gain weight than women who got seven hours of sleep.
Sleep deprivation can make you feel cranky, confused, irritable, and can even contribute to depression, which can affect your activity level and food choices.
2. Feeling Stressed
Stress and weight gain, or lack of weight loss, go hand in hand. Here are just a few ways stress can impact your weight loss program.
- Increasing cortisiol: Like sleep deprivation, too much stress increases the production of cortisol. Not only does this increase appetite, but it can also cause extra abdominal fat storage.
- Food cravings: When we're stressed or unhappy, many of us reach for "comfort foods" that are high in sugar and fat.
- Missing workouts: Feeling down, fatigued, or stressed can make a workout seem too daunting.
3. Not Keeping Track of What You're Eating
Keeping a food diary can be helpful when you are trying to lose weight.
Awareness is incredibly important if you are trying to lose weight. Many people don’t have a clue how much they’re really eating.
Studies show that keeping track of your diet helps with weight loss. People who use food diaries or photograph their meals consistently lose more weight than people who don’t.
4. Slow Metabolism
One of the keys to a fast metabolism is your lean muscle mass.
Metabolism can slow for a number of reasons, one of which is age, particularly if you don't preserve your muscle mass.
Some estimates show that muscle mass declines about 4 percent each decade from ages 25 to 50, which is important as lean muscle burns more calories than fat.
5. Weekends Off
To lose one pound of fat in a week, you would need to cut 500 calories with diet and/or exercise each day. If you only do so for five days, then overeat or skip your workout for the next two, then it's like taking one step forward and two steps back.
It's not uncommon to find yourself doing well during the week only to get a little too relaxed in your exercise and diet over the weekend. While an occasional break and treat are fine, consistently letting go on the weekend could be hurting your weight loss goals.
6. Not Weight Training
Strength training is an effective way to lose fat. It prevents the loss of muscle mass often associated with weight loss and helps maintain long-term fat loss.
Lifting weights can also help prevent metabolic slowdown and ensure that your body stays toned and muscular.
7. You're Binge Eating
Binge eating involves rapidly eating large amounts of food, often much more than your body needs.
If you frequently binge on food, it may explain why your scale doesn’t seem to budge. Even if something is healthy, its calories still count. Depending on the volume, a single binge can often ruin an entire week’s worth of dieting.
This is a significant problem for many dieters. Some of them binge on junk food, while others binge on relatively healthy foods, including nuts, nut butters, dark chocolate, cheese, etc.