You’re going to the gym regularly, you’re trying to watch what you eat and you’re getting good sleep in every day, but the extra kilos still aren’t budging.
So what are you doing wrong? This is a common frustration and everyone’s cause for a weight loss plateau is different. You know yourself better than anyone else, so it’s up to you to assess how you’re going about things and decide what’s not happening/working; but don’t forget to ask for help from a personal trainer, dietictian or nutritionist if you need it.
We take a look at 10 reasons why you might not be losing weight.
- You don’t eat at the table
Whether it’s eating in front of the television, in your car, on the run while standing up or at your work desk, it can be more difficult to gauge the point when you’re actually full when you’re distracted which means you could be eating more than you should. Try to keep eating as a separate activity and make time to do it.
- You only do cardio exercise
Weight loss should be a balance of cardio, resistance training and nutrition (with a bit of flexibility training dropped in for good measure!). Doing weight bearing exercise helps speed up your metabolism, strengthens your muscles, and if you push yourself it can help you burn calories for up to eight hours after your training session! And don’t forget to continually make your workouts more difficult to avoid a plateau!
- You wear your ’round the house’ clothes to the gym
Wearing baggy clothing may seem more comfortable when you exercise, but it’s not very flattering and you’re likely to have forgotten what you look like under there! Not to mention that it’s difficult to see progress when you’re all covered up and lost in clothes. Find some fitted clothes designed for physical activity that make you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror.
- You still drink soft drinks, even if they are diet versions
Researchers from the University of California and San Diego State University found that artificial sweeteners used as sugar substitutes in diet drinks could possibly lead to excessive eating because of the chemical reactions they can cause in the brain. Check the full story here. This is the first study that has indicated the human body may possibly have issues distinguishing the difference between real sugar and ‘fake’ sugar. Try cutting the soft drinks out of your diet and see if it makes a difference. Remember that water is always the best option!
- You’re eating healthy foods; just too much of them!
Just because a food is healthy doesn’t mean it has no calories. A pottle of yoghurt has around 150 calories, a whole avocado – as nutritious as it is – can have more than 200 calories. And food labelled ‘low fat’ doesn’t mean you should be eating more of it than the full fat version! Watch your serving sizes and overall portion sizes to make sure you’re not overdoing it.
- There’s not enough food on your plate!
Just as eating too much food isn’t ideal for weight loss, eating too little can be just as counter productive. Your metabolism will be all over the show, it’s not sustainable in the long term, and you’ll likely feel starving by the time you get to your next meal (and possibly overeat). In fact, your body may even hold on to whatever calories you give it a little tighter, if it’s not sure when it will next get fed a decent meal. Eat at regular times and make sure you’re eating a normal-sized portion.
- You’re skipping the fruit and veges
This is the most common area to disappear from people’s diets. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the best food groups for you to eat! The fibre helps aid digestion and clear all the waste (which can add up to a few kilos itself!) from your intestines, you get a vast array of vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy and functioning correctly, plus you’re more likely to lose weight and keep it off long term.
- A walk around the block each day is enough exercise, right?
Unfortunately, not when it comes to weight loss. Although it’s great for establishing an everyday habit of doing some kind of physical exercise, to see a real difference in weight loss you should be doing an activity that gets your lungs puffing and your heart pumping for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis.
- You’re on an ‘almost’ diet all the time
You know better than anyone else whether you cheat when it comes to eating healthy, nobody else – including your GP or your personal trainer – can control this for you, it’s all up to you! If you’re not 100% committed to your cause, don’t expect 100% of the results you want. This is also for anyone who goes from one diet to another, to another; find yourself a healthy ‘everything in moderation’ diet that you can stick to for life and stop going for the fads that aren’t working!
- Your stress levels are through the roof
Stress boosts the hormone cortisol, which can cause your body to hold on tighter to sugars and fats leading to weight gain and/or difficulty losing weight. Make sure you take the time to de-stress, whether it’s getting a good sleep, reading a book, going for a bike ride or getting a massage.
Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – maya picture