Weight loss is a goal often set, especially at the beginning of the new year. Even before New Year’s Eve, many decide to eat healthier and do more exercise and sports next year to lose the excess pounds. But after a few days or weeks, the motivation disappears. And the reason? Losing weight doesn’t work. When this happens, however, you don’t have to feel down and give up on your goal, but ask yourself the question: What can I do? Sometimes, despite dieting and exercising, you just can’t get rid of those last few kilos. And there is almost always a reason for that. In this article we summarize these reasons and also give a possible solution to them.
Reasons why losing weight does not work out
Why don’t I lose weight? This is a question that many of us ask ourselves every day. Weight loss is a process that doesn’t always happen as quickly as you would like. While healthy weight loss can take time, there are also reasons that may be preventing you from getting rid of the excess weight. We have listed the most common of these below.
1. lack of sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep at night , this can contribute to weight gain. A 2006 study found that women who slept five hours a night were more likely to gain weight than women who got seven hours of sleep. Lack of sleep can further slow metabolism, making it more difficult to burn calories. It also lowers energy levels and prevents you from exercising effectively.
When you are tired, you are more likely to eat unhealthy foods, such as sweets instead of fruit. According to another study, people who didn’t get enough sleep ate about 300 calories more per day than those who got more rest.
Important: Getting enough sleep is crucial if you are trying to lose weight. Sleep has both a physical and a mental impact.
The solution: try to sleep at least 7 hours a night. It is also important to go to bed as early as possible and do it at the same time every day. This way, you will feel refreshed the next morning and wake up faster. Stimulants like caffeine should also be avoided a few hours before bedtime. If you have trouble sleeping, you can try a room scent as a sleep aid, for example, or do a short yoga workout before bed.
2. high stress levels
Stress and weight gain or weight loss problems go hand in hand. High stress levels can lead to a number of health problems. Here are just a few ways stress can affect your weight loss program:
- Experiencing cravings: When we are stressed or unhappy, many of us reach for “comfort foods” that are high in sugar and fat.
- Higher cortisol secretion: Just like lack of sleep, too much stress can increase the production of cortisol. Not only does this stimulate appetite, but it can also lead to additional storage of belly fat.
- Skip workouts: If you’re feeling down, tired or stressed, you may lack the motivation to work out.
The solution: meditation can reduce cravings and keep stress at a lower level. With these tips, you can lower cortisol and thus better manage stress.
Please note that chronic stress may not be easily resolved on your own. Talking to a counselor or your doctor can help you identify the stressors and how best to treat them.
3. calorie intake and calorie burning
One of the most important factors in losing weight is how many calories you eat and how many calories you burn – or the concept of calorie intake and calorie expenditure. It may seem obvious that you should simply eat less to lose weight. But if you’re not counting your calories every day, you may be eating more than you think. Research shows that most of us underestimate how much we eat, especially when we go out to eat.
The solution: to lose weight effectively, you must first determine your calorie needs. Online, you can find numerous calorie calculators that use your gender, age, current weight and goal weight, activity level, and height to calculate your recommended daily calorie intake. You can continue to keep a food diary. This way you will think more about what and how much you eat.
4. slow metabolism
Losing weight doesn’t work despite calorie deficit? Then metabolism may be to blame. There can be many reasons for a slowed metabolism, the most common of which is age, especially if you are not maintaining your muscle mass. If you are still eating the same number of calories while your metabolism is dropping, you will gain weight over time.
The solution: strength training can boost your metabolism. Incorporate more muscle-building exercises into your workout routine, such as lifting weights.
5. not exercising enough
Exercise is a crucial element for weight loss. However, it’s hard to know if you’re doing the right workout or burning enough calories. For effective weight loss, experts recommend 60 to 90 minutes of exercise per day. If it is an intense workout, then 30 minutes a day is sufficient.
Take a look at your exercise program. If you are exercising less than recommended, then it may not be enough. However, this does not mean that you need to increase your workout duration all at once. In fact, this is a bad idea if you are not used to this level of effort, as it can lead to injury, burnout, or overtraining.
The solution: you need to increase either your exercise time or intensity to reach the weight loss goals you have set. But start slowly: 10 minutes more on the first day, another 10 minutes after a few days, and so on. Remember, though, that it’s not just about a structured workout. Even if you work out for an hour, it won’t cancel out the next eight or nine hours of sitting. In addition to working out, try to be as active as possible: Take regular breaks from the computer, go for a walk, stretch, and preferably ditch the car when possible.
6. feast on the weekend
It’s not uncommon to be fine during the week, only to be a little too relaxed in your exercise and diet on the weekend. While an occasional break is fine, consistently letting go on the weekend can hurt your weight loss goals.
To lose 500 grams of fat in a week, you would generally need to cut 500 calories a day with diet and/or exercise. If you only do this for five days, then you are eating too much or skipping exercise on the weekend. This equates to one step forward and two steps back. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can never indulge, but you need to stay on track for weight loss to work.
The solution: we have some suggestions on how to stay true to your weight loss plan over the weekend.
- Don’t do a cheat day/weekend – Instead of completely sinning on Saturday and/or Sunday, choose one or two treats to enjoy on the weekend. Then stick to your eating plan the rest of the time.
- Avoid rewards – If you’ve been eating healthy all week, it’s tempting to want to reward yourself. It’s good motivation to look forward to something, but try to reward yourself with experiences like a trip to the movies or the mall instead of food. Because that’s a very common reason why losing weight doesn’t work.
- Keep moving – It’s okay to schedule some time to rest on the weekends, but that doesn’t mean you should sit and lie down all the time. A nice walk with your family or a half hour bike ride may not be structured exercise, but it still counts.
7. possible medical reasons
Losing weight doesn’t work despite exercising and eating healthy? Then it’s possible that a medical reason is keeping you from your dream weight. Weight loss is a complex process that involves a variety of factors. Some we can control, like our diet and exercise. We can also work on managing stress and developing good sleep habits.
However, there are some factors that influence weight loss that we cannot control, such as our genes, gender differences (including the influence of hormones), age-related changes and our individual body type.
The solution: if you are not losing weight despite changes in your diet and activity level, consult your doctor to rule out a medical condition as the cause. This is important not only if you don’t notice a difference on the scale or on your body despite your best efforts, but especially if you are inexplicably gaining weight.
There are several health conditions and medications that are associated with weight gain. Tell your doctor if you gain more than 3 kilograms in a month without changing your diet or exercise.
Diseases and medications that cause weight gain:
- Thyroid disease
- medicines used to treat diabetes
- medicines with corticosteroids
- some antidepressants (SSRIs)
- beta-blockers to treat high blood pressure
- Antipsychotics and anticonvulsants
8. setting unrealistic goals
Losing weight will not work if you have unrealistic goals. For example, you cannot be a 6-foot tall woman and weigh 50 kilograms. It is important that the target weight you set is possible and healthy.
Many people have an unrealistic idea of what it means to be at a healthy weight. If you take away the reasons that have to do with your appearance, are there other reasons why you need to lose weight? Are you at risk for conditions like diabetes or heart disease? Is your BMI in an unhealthy range?
The solution: talking with your doctor can help you make sure your desires and goals are in line with what is not only healthy, but possible for your body. For some people, losing weight can be an important part of getting and staying healthy. But if you are healthy at your current weight, it may be best to invest your efforts in figuring out how to be happy with your weight.
Remember that healthy bodies don’t all look the same, and negative thinking can lead you to believe things about yourself that just aren’t true. Try to focus on all the things you like about your body. By appreciating all that your body can do, you can improve your body image.