Despite eating lesser, having salads for lunch, monitoring your diet every day, rejecting your favourite sodas and chips, and walking three miles every day this week, the weight shown on the weighing scale still remains the same. Seriously… why?!
As it turns out, there are much more factors that affect weight loss — diet and exercising are only two of them. Age, current weight, and gender plays a significant role as well. Obesity expert Matthew Weiner, MD, bariatric surgeon at Tucson Bariatric, explains that the best way to predict how much weight you can lose reasonably is by calculating based on 10% of your total body weight. For example, if you currently weigh 150 pounds, you can expect to lose about 15 pounds reasonably through dieting and exercising. Your body will then naturally begin to resist losing much more weight as it will work to maintain your fat and energy stores to preserve your body. Dr. Weiner also mentioned that younger adults can sometimes push more and lose up to 20% due to a higher metabolism rate, but slower for post-menopausal women (5 to 7%).
We’ll also have to study the difference among both gender when it comes to losing weight. Weight loss is generally less speedy for females compared to males. This is because men have more lean muscle tissues, which enables more calories to be burned off than body fat, even during rest. However, when you look at the total amount of weight loss over time, the playing field is similar.
While healthy weight loss does take time, there might be some underlying reasons that you might not be losing weight effectively. Here are the top 7 reasons that might be affecting your pounds shedding journey:
1. Overestimating Your Muscle Weight
Fat has a higher density, whereas muscle is similar to water, this is never an apples-to-apples comparison ratio. Hence, when you think that you’re working on building muscles and refusing to reevaluate your weight loss strategy might be the reason why weight wouldn’t budge on the scale.
Dr. Weiner explained that “a good thought experiment is comparing one pound of muscle to a 16-oz soda (which has a similar density)”. Consider switching your diet a bit to create a calories deficit or try HIIT workouts to get your heart rate up and accelerate the fat burning process.
2. Not Keeping Track of What You Eat
What happened to your regular salad for lunches? But have you also overlooked the fact that you treated yourself to post-dinner desserts? Track your calories intake in a visible and tangible way (food journal or an app). This will help to keep you accountable, on track and eliminate our sinful food indulgence.
3. Too Little Plant-based Protein in Your Diet
Overconsumption of animal-protein, where the fats typically come with it, having too much of such can lead to weight gain and other health problems like diabetes. Instead, load your diet up with plant-based protein like nuts, seed, legumes and whole grains without worry about negative effects on your health!
4. Eating Too Many “Healthy” Foods
Always remember the cliche phrase — too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Just because you replaced your post-dinner ice cream treat to Greek yogurt, does not mean that you can have two portions of it. The basic rule of “fewer calories in, more calories out” still applies even when you’re abiding to healthy eating.
A study conducted in 2019 by International Journal of Obesity observed nearly 2,000 weight loss participants over the course of 12 months, found out that those with less variability in their sleep patterns were more likely to gain success in losing weight.
Researches speculated that:
• Losing sleep may make people feel hungry (even when you’re not), and reaching out to eating more food than what you need.
• Affects the secretion of cortisol — one of the hormones that regulate appetite.
• Being sleep deprived makes you tired and being tired causes you to feel sluggish, skips exercises, or simply move around lesser, burning lesser calories.
6. Having a Desk-bound Job
Even though you log a solid one hour of exercise almost every other day, most of your time is mostly spent sitting in front of your computer/laptop = lower metabolism. According to a study conducted by University of Missouri–Columbia, your body stops making a fat-inhibiting enzyme; lipase when you sit for just a few hours. Hence, never underestimate the power of keeping your body moving regularly between intervals.
7. Not Drinking Enough Water
Is it an urban legend or can drinking water really help with losing weight? A 2014 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found several links between the consumption of water and losing weight.
Water has many benefits, in this case, it helps you to suppress your appetite so that you’re less likely to overeat. When your body is in a dehydrated state, your kidneys can’t function to its prime and the body will turn to the liver for additional support. And due to the liver working extra harder, more of the fat consumed will be stored, rather than burned off.
Remember that healthy bodies are not all similar and negative thinking can trick you into believing things about yourself that are not true. There are many factors that can influence your weight loss progress, some may be more obvious than others. Take some time considering all of what we have just listed as you work to make changes that will benefit you and are results-oriented.
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