Why You May Not Be Hitting Your Weight Loss Goals
Weight loss can be a long process that does not always move as fast as many of us would like. While hitting your weight loss goals can take time, seeing minimal progress is a sign that something is holding you back. There are several reasons why this may be the case and we are going to look at some of them below.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Among all the reasons why people gain weight, lack of sleep is one that is often overlooked. Studies have found that getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night can contribute to weight gain due to several reasons. Scientists think that losing sleep in the middle of the night might make you feel hungrier than you are. This leads you to eat a lot more when you wake up.
Sleep deprivation has been shown to affect the production of cortisol, one of the hormones responsible for regulating appetite. Additionally, not getting enough sleep might make you feel weary the next day or lead to low energy levels. This can cause you to skip exercise or move around less leading to weight gain.
To improve the quality and quantity of the sleep you get, you should try going to bed at the same time each night, avoiding caffeine a few hours before going to bed, and ensuring your bedroom offers a conducive environment designed for sleep.
Trying to Overcompensate with Exercise
A common mistake people make is eating a meal of, say, 800 calories and then trying to compensate for it in the gym. This strategy does not work because a lot of people miscalculate the number of calories they burn in the gym. Depending on the intensity levels of your workouts and the types of workouts you do, you might end up utilizing fewer calories than you eat. At the end of the day, you might find yourself burning off just the calories you eat and nothing more, meaning that the scale does not move whatsoever.
To avoid this, do not give yourself a pass for a meal with lots of calories, intending to burn off those calories in the gym. In many cases, that is not the way things will work out.
Not Paying Attention to Calories
Hitting your weight loss goals can be summed up as utilising more calories than you consume. All foods, including healthy meals, have a certain number of calories. Choosing the right food is a great first step to losing weight but that does not mean eating an unlimited amount of food because you are eating the right foods. It is important that you check the calories of each of the foods you eat.
For example, eating salmon with a plate of pasta is certainly healthy, but this meal contains around 700 calories. Now, if you eat three meals containing similar calorie numbers, you will be well over 2000 calories for the day, which are a lot more than the average person needs.
Keeping track of the number of calories in every meal is tedious and time-consuming and this is why some people opt for meal replacement options that contain a fixed number of calories. Some of these options include shakes, cereals, soups and noodles. Meal replacement bars are another popular option because they are usually ready to eat meaning they are convenient for those with an insatiable appetite and who do not want to take the time out of their day to prepare complicated meals.
The meal replacement bars you choose should offer all the nutrients required for a balanced meal. Shake That Weight, for example, has a line of meal replacement bars that are full of essential vitamins and minerals as these are the two nutrients often sacrificed in other meal replacement bars. Meal replacement bars made by Shake That Weight also come in a variety of flavours and contain a fixed number of calories so you are better able to keep track of how many calories you consume in a day.
Ignoring Condiments and Other Extras
While you may be calculating and keeping track of the number of calories in the foods you eat, a lot of people forget to count the number of calories in condiments and other extras. For example, a tablespoon of ketchup contains about 20 calories. If you use an average of 3 tablespoons of ketchup per meal on two or three meals a day, the number of calories starts adding up.
The idea here is not to remove condiments and extras such as mayonnaise from your meals, but rather to keep an eye on how much you are eating and include them in your calorie calculations.
Portion distortion happens when a small box of something like cereals or snacks looks like it should be eaten in one sitting but it is in fact for 2-3 servings. In some cases, the numbers on the box indicate the number of calories contained in one serving, so eating the whole box in one go means you will consume 2-3 times the number of calories listed on the box. This is a trick used to make foods look like they have fewer calories than they do because companies realise a lot of people do not pay attention to serving instructions.
Stress and weight gain are related because stress triggers a few things in us that lead to weight gain. These can include cravings that arise out of a need to use “comfort foods” to deal with the stress. Many of these foods are high in fats and sugars which are bad for your weight and health.
Also, like sleep deprivation, stress increases the production of cortisol. Cortisol increases appetite, leading us to consume a lot more food. Cortisol has also been shown to cause an increase in abdominal fat storage. Stress can also make us feel demotivated which makes working out seem daunting.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Water is arguably the most important fluid in the world. Our bodies need it for a lot of biological processes, one of which is metabolism. If we do not take enough water, our metabolism gets affected and this has a detrimental effect on our ability to lose weight.
In addition to helping maintain homeostasis, water also helps with portion control. When you drink enough water, you end up not feeling as hungry as you would if you did not. Lastly, water is very important for staying hydrated during exercise and recovery thereafter. Faster recovery means you will be able to exercise more often, directly leading to weight loss.
You Are Drinking Your Calories
As with ignoring condiments and other extras, a lot of people do not pay attention to the number of calories in what they are sipping. A glass of orange juice is healthy but it contains about 165 calories per glass. Fancy coffee drinks also contain a lot of calories so if you find yourself struggling to lose weight and you consume sizable amounts of either or both, it is time to start tracking what you drink to see if they are the culprit.
Losing weight is a higher personal and challenging journey. For a lot of people who do not see as much progress as they should be, the culprits are often in their foods and habits. Keeping count of your calories, reducing stress, exercising and getting enough sleep are all great ways to start seeing some positive movement in your weight loss journey.