If you have been trying to lose the same 15 pounds for as long as you can remember, you're certainly not alone. Weight loss isn't easy, and some days, it can feel like an uphill battle.
Can you relate?
You begin to ask yourself, what am I doing wrong? I'm eating better, I'm walking each day, why am I not losing weight? Although weight loss is complex, it's also rather simple — eat well, exercise, and live a more balanced lifestyle. Once you truly make that transition, those stubborn pounds will melt away.
If You're Not Losing Weight, Here's Why
Each individual is unique in terms of their metabolism and body type. Based on our genetics, there are certain factors that are out of our control. In comparison, based on environmental factors, there is a lot that we can control. Although many can lose weight, they quickly gain it back — so, why can't you achieve sustainable, long-term weight loss?
There are many reasons why your weight continues to hover around the same number, and these five reasons are a great place to start. When you learn to create new, healthy habits, weight will naturally come off. Small, consistent steps, will turn into healthy long-term habits.
Mistake #1: You're Not Keeping Track
For anyone who is trying to lose weight, keeping track of your habits will be critical. Although journaling isn't for everyone, some sort of tracking system should be put in place. After all, awareness is crucial within a weight loss plan. Whether that means you keep a food diary or take pictures of your meals, studies have shown that those who track their progress, lose more weight.
Mistake #2: You're Not Eating Enough Protein
When you're trying to lose weight, protein is the single most important nutrient. From metabolism support to hormonal regulation, protein supports long-term weight loss success. Also, if you're exercising, you need more protein to support muscle growth and repair. One of the easiest ways to introduce more protein into your diet, is by including delicious, nutrient-rich protein shakes in your daily routine.
Mistake #3: You're Not Eating the Right Types of Food
The food industry is a multi-billion dollar business — and at the end of the day, companies are out to make money. They have done a great job marketing certain foods as healthy, when in reality, they may be sabotaging your progress. Take low-fat foods, for instance, as they are generally packed with sugar. Stick to whole foods, consuming more fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Mistake #4: You're Not Active Enough
Losing weight means that you're burning more calories than you're taking in. In that sense, exercise is an important part of any weight loss plan. Not only will you lose more weight, but you'll also support optimal cardiovascular and neural health. On that note, it's important that you focus on both cardio and strength training.
Cardio is highly effective at burning belly fat — or 'visceral' fat. This is what builds up around organs and increases your risk of serious disease. Although it's important to walk or swim daily, weight training is also critical, especially for women. The last thing you want, is to lose lean muscle mass.
Mistake #5: You're Not Sleeping
Diet and exercise are number one — but there are many other contributing factors, including stress management and sleep quality. If you would like to achieve optimal physical and mental health, you need to get enough sleep. Although sleep is important for your well-being, it also influences your weight.
Numerous studies have shown that poor sleep is most certainly a risk factor for obesity. This is believed to be based on the connection between lack of sleep and a slower metabolism. It's also been reported that poor sleep increases hunger, causing unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
It may seem as though losing weight is overwhelming, but it doesn't need to be. Although we would all like a quick-fix, successful weight loss requires you to change your current habits and lifestyle.
Work towards a healthier routine, and you will find that you can overcome this struggle :)