10 REASONS YOU CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT (AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT)
If you’re anything like 50% of the population, there’s a good chance your New Year’s Resolutions have something to do with losing weight. So you’ve probably set goals to move more and eat healthier. But even with all that effort, sometimes the scale still won’t budge. What gives?
1. YOUR CALORIES ARE TOO LOW
If your “healthy” diet includes cutting out large amounts of calories, you could be sabotaging your efforts by increasing your cortisol levels and lowering your metabolism. Not only will you feel hungrier, but you’ll also gain belly fat. The fact is, to burn more calories, you need calories. Just like a fire needs kindling, you need fuel to spark your metabolism. And depriving yourself of essential calories stresses your body, which is counterproductive for weight loss.
Rather than cutting calories, focus instead on eating whole, nourishing, minimally-processed foods to help your body release fat and keep your metabolism going.
2. YOUR GUT HEALTH IS OUT OF WHACK
Gut health refers to the microbes that live in your digestive tract. Your microbiome affects how you digest, absorb, and store dietary fats. Weight gain happens for many reasons but more and more studies suggest that poor gut health contributes to obesity. If your gut microbes are out of whack — too much bad versus good bacteria — then you could be struggling to lose weight.
Start improving your gut health by adding more fermented foods like Greek yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha to your diet. And don’t forget to include prebiotic foods like onions, garlic, oats, and bananas to your diet to help your good gut bacteria thrive.
3. YOU ARE DEHYDRATED
There is a link between dehydration and weight gain. When you allow yourself to become dehydrated, your brain removes thirst signals and sends your body hunger signals instead. And those hunger signals usually result in fat and sugar cravings. And that’s not to mention the way dehydration depletes you of energy or that your body needs water to metabolize fat and carbs.
The bottom line, drink enough water, or you’ll continue struggling to burn fat.
4. YOU’RE JUST NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
According to the Sleep Foundation, we’re not sleeping as much as we used to. So, it’s no surprise that the average body mass index (BMI) has increased over the years. Not getting enough sleep triggers your body to produce more ghrelin (the hunger hormone), produce less leptin (a hormone that tells you when you’re full), and slows your metabolism. These three things combine to make it feel almost impossible to lose weight.
It’s just one more reason to aim for a healthy eight hours of sleep each night for weight loss.
5. YOU’RE OVERDOING THE EXERCISE
Overdoing it on the exercise can cause low testosterone levels and increase cortisol. As a result, you’ll lose muscle mass, increase belly fat, and gain weight. You might think exercising daily is what your body needs for weight loss. But you’ll achieve the best results by giving your body time to recover between workouts.
6. YOU’RE EATING TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH PROTEIN
Protein helps build muscle, but it’s important to get the right amount. Protein is very calorie dense, so overdoing it can add too many calories to your diet, resulting in weight gain. However, too little protein in your diet can cause muscle loss and a slower metabolism.
The daily recommended protein intake for healthy adults is 10 to 35 percent of your total calorie intake. However, sticking within a range of 25 to 30 percent may help you burn more calories and help you feel fuller longer.
7. YOU’RE EATING BEFORE BED
Late night dinners and snacking, especially prior to bed, contributes to weight gain. In fact, a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that blood sugar increases with late night eating. The study looked at 20 healthy adults to see how their food was metabolized when eaten at 10 pm compared to 6 pm. All the participants were in bed by 11 pm. It turns out blood sugar levels went up by 18 percent when dinner was eaten later in the evening. In addition, the amount of fat burned overnight was a whopping 10 percent less than when dinner was eaten at 6 pm.
Aim to eat your final meal of the day at least 3-4 hours before bed. And it’s best to make sure your last meal isn’t your heaviest. Opt for lighter meals that are easier to digest so your body isn’t still trying to digest your dinner when you go to sleep.
8. YOU’RE NOT MANAGING YOUR STRESS
Stress management is vital for weight loss. When you’re not managing your stress, then you’re creating excess cortisol. Too much of this stress hormone and you’re suddenly craving more junk food and building belly fat. When you feel stressed, sugar becomes hard to resist. Before you know it, excess weight is sneaking up on you.
Try to reduce stress by prioritizing small acts of self care every day. Simple habits like meditation, walks, and time with friends and family all help you manage stress. And consider creating an evening ritual with Golden Superfood Bliss to decompress before bed to help you sleep better. *
9. YOU’RE GETTING OLDER
This one is a bit unfair since aging is a natural aspect of life. Unfortunately, as you age, weight loss becomes trickier thanks to hormonal changes, slower metabolism, and muscle loss. That’s why it might feel like losing even a few pounds is more of a struggle than it used to be. But there are ways you can fight back against age related weight gain.
Choose a diet that prioritizes healthy protein and fiber over simple carbohydrates and too much saturated and trans fats. Be sure to get enough sleep to increase energy and decrease cravings. And make sure to add resistance training to your workout routine to help build muscle and boost your metabolism.
10. YO-YO DIETING HAS TAKEN ITS TOLL
Yo-yo dieting is a cycle of losing weight, gaining it back, and then starting all over again. According to a study in Obesity Reviews, when it comes to “fad” diets, gaining back weight is common for both men and women. In fact, research suggests that two-thirds of the weight lost is gained back within the year. And almost all weight lost is regained within five years.
It’s time to stop the yo-yo diet cycle. Instead of choosing diets that are highly restrictive or making lots of foods off limits, focus instead on adding in wholesome, nutrient-dense superfoods that fuel your body and help you feel great.