Losing weight is tough at the best of times. Every now and again, you find yourself craving junk food, feeling hungry, tired and miserable, and barely losing any weight at all. All this can make it too tempting to throw the towel in and call it quits.
Obesity, or rather, obesity-related illness, is one of the leading causes of premature death in the entire world. Since its rates are now higher than ever before, something has to be done. Thankfully, a lot of people are taking decisive action and choose to look after their bodies and attempt to lose weight safely and productively.
Of course, not everyone needs to lose weight or follow some abstract ideal of a preferred body shape. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all perfect body. However, there is a healthy norm for each one that requires consuming a certain amount of calories. Going both over and under this number can be deteriorative to your health.
If you’re trying to lose weight and are seemingly doing everything right, yet aren’t seeing the results, however, take a look below, as any of the following could be a reason why you aren’t losing weight when you think you should be.
1. Your portions are too big
If you are eating healthy foods but not losing weight, your portions could be too big. Yes, even if they consist entirely of greens, veggies and lean meat, they still can be too much.
Fat loss is primarily achieved through a combination of exercise and a healthy diet. However, to lose weight, you must first ensure you are placing your body into a caloric deficit. This means you need to burn more calories than your body requires to maintain itself in its current state. As a consequence, your body will tap into its fat reserves to make up for the missing calories and use those as an emergency energy source.
It doesn’t matter how healthy the food is: it all contains calories. Therefore, if you eat too much, you’ll take yourself out of the caloric deficit, in which case you simply can’t lose weight.
In the beginning, it may not necessarily go smoothly, and you’ll not feel full with a reduced-size portion. If your goal is to halve the size, start by making it a fraction smaller. Even a 100 g removed is a battle won!
You can also try to take up space in your stomach with food that’s not rich in calories. Eat more fiber - it doesn’t provide extra sugars for your body but makes you feel full. Drink a glass of water 20 min before the meal - that will leave less for food, too.
2. You starve yourself
Starvation is one of the worst things you can do when trying to lose weight safely. A lot of people will think that skipping breakfast and lunch and eating one large dinner at night helps speed up weight loss. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite thing happens. By skipping meals, you put yourself in a lack of energy and slow down your metabolism. Thus, your body will burn fewer calories and get less energy.
Eventually, this can slow down your metabolism permanently, in which case losing weight will be harder than ever. In terms of weight loss, eating small healthy meals every three hours is the best way to go about things.
With a busy work schedule, it can be tough to eat frequently enough. Get used to taking a lunchbox or to getting a break in a local cafe - don’t go too hard on sweets and pastry, though!
Try not to skip breakfasts if they’re one of the very few chances for you to get food during the day. And take our previous advice on portion size seriously: if you manage to reduce it, it will be easier to eat frequently without going over the daily caloriу norm.
3. You aren’t getting enough exercise
Achieving weight loss implies combining exercise and diet. It doesn’t matter how healthy your diet is; if you are spending too much time sitting on your backside and not moving, you won’t burn calories, your muscle mass won’t increase, and you’ll find it much harder to lose weight.
This is pretty straightforward - move more! This is not to say you need to bust your butt in the gym 7 days a week - just try to get more physical exercise at least 3 days per week without killing yourself over a barbell.
If you run low on motivation for a feat like that, leave yourself no choice - incorporate fitness into your daily life. Walk, dance to your favorite song, run with your dog for a minute instead of simply strolling back and forth and start taking the stairs instead of an elevator!
4. You drink too many calories
When trying to lose weight, ditch the soda, ditch the fruit juice, and ditch the wine/beer. Liquid calories will quickly add up your calorie intake for the day. You should also stay well clear of diet sodas and beverages, as these are full of chemical sweeteners that can damage your health.
Instead of sodas, try to drink more water each day. To make it more pleasant (for those not great with plain tap water), add some lemon or lime juice - some people even put half a teaspoon of vinegar to aid their digestion. Gradually, gram by gram, reduce the amount of sugar you put in your tea or coffee - those, especially with milk, tend to be quite a calorie bomb.
These four are the main known reasons behind not achieving your weight loss goals. However, there could be other potential issues. We recommend you trying to fix these before (or, better to say, instead of) worrying what the problem is. Thus, you'll either improve the situation or exclude the easily fixable factors before seeing a dietologist.
Hopefully, these simple suggestions will help you on your way to healthy eating!