Possible Reasons You’re Having A Hard Time Losing Weight

Losing weight can be a challenge, especially as we get older. Losing weight can be a little more complicated than just diet and exercise. Sleeping habits, heart rate, and water intake can all play a role in your weight loss journey. Keep reading for common things that may be preventing the scale from going down.

Your Body Composition Is Changing


Losing body fat doesn’t always translate to a lower number on the scale. If you’re doing more vigorous workouts, odds are you’re also putting on muscle. This can cause the number on the scale to stay flat, or even go up a little.

A more reliable way of measuring progress is to take photos to note changes in your body’s progression. An even simpler option is to take notice of how your clothes are fitting.

You’re Focused On The Number Of Calories, Not The Quality


Cutting calories can only get you so far on your weight loss journey. Bariatric surgeon Matthew Weiner told Women’s Health that only about 10% of your overall weight can be lost through cutting calories alone. After that, it’s all about focusing on the quality of the calories that you are consuming.

That’s because the body will start holding onto fat for preservation. Changing what you eat, not just how much, can have a greater impact on your overall metabolism.

You’re Sleeping Too Little… Or Too Much


Not sleeping enough can have a pretty straightforward impact on weight gain since it’s more challenging to exert energy when fatigued. However, it can also impact the scale by throwing off the hormones that control hunger. It may be surprising to hear that the same is true for sleeping too much.

WebMD warns that sleeping less than 5 hours or more than 9 hours per night can impact hunger hormones in a way that negatively impacts weight loss.

You’re Not Getting Enough Protein


Protein is known for helping the body build muscle, but did you know that it also can boost metabolism? This is because of the way protein affects appetite-regulating hormones like ghrelin. A study by the University of Missouri found that those who eat a high protein breakfast have fewer cravings throughout the day. Plus, protein’s impact on muscle growth can lead to more calories burned overall since muscle tissue has a higher metabolic rate than fat tissue.

You’re Not Drinking Enough Water


It may seem counterintuitive to drink more water when trying to lose weight because of water weight. Since sodium and refined carbs are causes of water retention, you’ll likely lose some water weight by adopting a healthier diet. Additionally, drinking enough water helps decrease the urge to consume sugary beverages since you’re fully hydrated.

It can also lead to eating less by sending full signals to the brain. A 2015 study found that participants ate 22% less when they drank two glasses of water before a meal.

You Don’t Eat Frequently Enough Throughout The Day


Spacing out meals can cause your metabolism to slow down so that the calories aren’t burned as efficiently. Alternatively, eating throughout the day helps keep the metabolism going strong. Plus, the body can more efficiently burn off small meals.

Additionally, waiting too long can lead to intense hunger that causes you to overeat. It’s easier to exercise portion control when you’re only moderately hungry. You’re also less likely to give in to a craving or to grab something unhealthy because it’s quick.

You’re Not Resistance Training


While cardio is often thought of as the ultimate calorie-burning form of exercise, not building enough strength can impact weight loss, too. Resistance training can be hugely beneficial to weight loss because it increases muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism. Without exercise, muscle mass can be lost alongside body fat, slowing down weight loss over time.

Strength training techniques such as plyometrics, isometrics, and weight lifting can help tone the body and maintain long-term fat loss.

You’re Eating Too Much Of A Good Thing


Eating healthy whole foods is a great way to lose weight, but only if you’re paying attention to how much you’re consuming. Appeasing a sweet tooth with fruit is helpful, but it’s still sugar that will impact your insulin levels and can affect weight loss when eaten in excess. Similarly, munching on nuts instead of chips is great, but eating them in excess can lead to overconsumption.

Be sure to stick to healthy servings as well as foods.

You’re Not Eating Enough Whole Foods


Some labels can be deceiving by suggested processed foods are healthy or diet food. While not all processed food is created equally, they still don’t hold a candle to whole foods. Whole foods can help expedite weight loss since they are often more filling than processed foods.

A 2019 study found that participants who ate whole foods consumed fewer calories than those who relied on processed foods, even when their nutrient intake was similar.

You’re Distracted While Eating


Eating while watching television, scrolling through a phone, or doing another distracting activity keeps your focus away from the food you’re consuming. This can make it easy to overindulge without even realizing it. Mindful eating has grown in popularity not just for weight loss, but for overall health and wellbeing.

It involves eating without distraction, chewing slowly, and paying more attention to flavors and textures. These practices help the brain realize when it’s full, increasing satisfaction.