Trying to lose weight consistently can be a tricky tight rope walk. It is a fine balance between eating the right amounts at the right time, doing the appropriate exercises for your goal and getting adequate rest and sleep. Too much or too little of any one thing can nullify the effects of your hard work. Even bodily functions like your hormonal balance and basal metabolic rate that are often unmonitored determine your weight. Sometimes, while trying to lose weight, you might just hit a plateau. You might even be losing weight but measuring it inaccurately or not noticing the effects even though they’re actually occurring. Let’s take a look at the 10 most common reasons why you might not be losing weight.
1. You’re eating too fast
Digestion doesn’t start in the stomach. It begins in the mouth. The amylase in saliva breaks down complex sugars into simple sugars that are easier to digest. This is why it is important to chew your food thoroughly. Thorough chewing ensures that you eat lesser, and know exactly when you’ve had enough, since you actually pay attention to the food you’re eating. Do not rush through your food and most definitely don’t do it while your eyes are glued to the TV.
2. Fat Loss versus Muscle Gain
Sometimes, you might actually be losing fat but not weight. This tends to happen if you’ve recently started a heavy exercising regime, especially involving weights and resistance training. This means that while you lose weight, you are adding on muscle mass, thus keeping your weight constant. It is important to find the best work out that suits your needs perfectly.
3. Inaccurate Measurement
Find a reliable weighing scale (preferably digital) and stick to the same machine when you check your weight. Different scales can fluctuate by several pounds and lead you into thinking that you’re not losing weight simple because you’re not measuring your weight accurately and consistently.
A common reason why people don’t lose weight is because they tend to overcompensate with their diet for the exercise that they’re doing. Eat small regular meals instead of large meals at odd times. Overcompensating with your diet can lead to a vicious cycle of binging and purging which is unhealthy and not favorable for losing weight.
5. You’re dehydrated
Drink adequate amounts of water (5 to 6 liters per day). Water regulates all your bodily functions and your metabolism too. If you’re dehydrated, the body’s metabolism slows down, significantly reducing weight loss. It is proven that adequate water consumption boosts the amount of calories burnt by up to 30%.
6. Lack of Sleep
Adequate rest is just as important as a healthy diet and exercise. Disturbed or inadequate sleep can confuse the body, lower metabolism, cause irritability and increase stress, all factors that play a role in reduced weight gain. Studies have shown that inadequate sleep increases risk of obesity.
7. Excess Salt Intake
In the right amount, salt provides Sodium which is important for healthy neural activity. Too much salt in the diet though, can lead to increased osmosis in the cells that leads to water retention. This can cause sluggishness, and slow down the breaking down of fats in the body which can hamper weight loss.
8. Your Expectations are Skewed
Weight loss is not an instantaneous process. The body’s metabolism takes time to re adjust to your new diet and exercise routine. Most often, it takes at least a week to set off the weight loss process and your weight can plateau after about a month when your exercise leads to muscle gain. Be patient while monitoring your results.
9. Hidden Sugars
Even if you’re not consuming soft drinks and candy bars, there might be hidden sources of sugar that you are ignoring. Processed foods that claim to be ‘healthy’, energy bars, fruit juices and even bread can contain hidden sugars in the form of corn syrup, maltose and starch.
10. Medical Issues
If you’ve disregarded all the above reasons and still can’t seem to lose weight, you might have a medical condition that is preventing weight loss. Hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), hormonal imbalances and sleep apnea are common culprits. Consult your doctor and get relevant tests done to rule these options out.