Most of us will admit to being on a diet at some point in our lives, so why are so many of us still overweight? There are a number of reasons your weight-loss attempts may not be working. Read on to find out more….
Nobody said it would be easy, but for the vast majority of us, losing weight is a real uphill battle. Most of us will admit to having been on a diet at some point, and for some people, it’s a more of a continual yo-yo of dieting… so why, despite our efforts, do our nation’s waistlines keep expanding? We all know men and women who’ve been on diets constantly throughout their lives and are baffled as to why they’ve not lost any weight.
What exactly are we doing wrong?
While there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer, there are a number of reasons why your weight loss attempts may not be working…..
You need more sleep
Sleep can have a bigger effect on your weight than you might think. Research has shown a direct link between the number of hours sleep you get and your weight. Put simply, these studies suggest that when we have a bad night’s sleep it decreases the body’s hormone that regulates appetite – leaving our hunger levels at an all-time high. And if that’s not bad enough, the studies show that we specifically reach for high-calorie/high-fat foods, in an attempt to boost our energy levels that have dwindled due to poor sleep. So make getting a good night’s sleep a priority and your weight loss could be boosted as a result.
You’re not getting any younger
Sorry! We naturally lose muscle mass as we get older –, especially women. Combine this with our naturally slowing metabolisms, and it makes it much harder for us to lose weight. So what can we do about this? Too many of us simply don’t realise how much increasing our protein intake and amount of exercise that we do could help us to drop the pounds… we think of protein as something that will bulk us up. In fact, research shows that increasing our protein and exercise levels can help us to tone our muscles, leading to a more svelte frame and easier weight control.
You want quick-fix results
Most of us will have been there at some point… we want results fast, so we try a quick fix diet in the hopes to lose weight as quickly as possible, but only end up failing at the diet and putting on all (if not more) of the weight we lost while on the diet. Sound familiar? It’s a vicious cycle and only leads to you feeling depressed and disappointed every time you fail. But it’s not your fault. Quick fix diets simply don’t work. Real, long-lasting weight loss doesn’t happen overnight… instead, it takes time, hard work and a change in your habits and mentality. So, remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
We all admit to reaching for fatty and sugary foods when we are under stress, simply because they trigger those pleasure zones in the brain and make us feel better. What’s more, cortisol (one of our “stress hormones”) encourages weight gain around our waist which is very bad for our health. And yet, we seem to be under more and more stress – struggling to meet deadlines, juggling roles such as spouse, parent and business exec, and working longer and longer hours. Try to manage your stress and regain control – you will be less likely to binge on junk foods that will only leave you feeling worse in the long-run!
You’re not addressing the real issue
Putting yourself on a quick fix diet may work in the short-term, but if you’re not addressing the real reasons you overeat, or eat the wrong foods, then those issues will only end up resurfacing in the long-term, and you could end up putting back on the weight you’ve lost – and even more! So instead of thinking about WHAT you eat, think about WHEN, WHERE and WHY. Do you tend to eat well at home, then tuck in at the vending machine at work? Or perhaps you have a habit of reaching for a mid-afternoon sugary treat to give you an energy boost, or comfort eat when you’re stressed? Figuring out where your problem lies means you can start working on that issue to create a long-term change in your eating habits.
Try tackling these few simple things to help you achieve lasting, healthy, manageable weight-loss.