It is crucial to your heart health, general wellbeing and state of mind that you maintain a healthy weight that falls into your prescribed Body Mass Index (BMI). Therefore, your weight loss goals should not be for purely aesthetic reasons, but rather to protect you from obesity-related ailments such as heart disease and diabetes.
If you're struggling to get past a weight loss plateau, or are stuck in a rut and feel as though your weight loss efforts aren't seeing any fruition irrespective of your healthy diet and consistent exercise regime, read these 4 reasons why you may not be losing weight:
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- You're not eating enough: Although it sounds like an anomaly, not eating enough can actually lead to weight gain! By not eating enough; such as 5 small meals a day consisting of vegetables, the proteins found in lean meats and legumes, heart healthy foods containing unsaturated fats and sticking to minimal carbohydrates, you will find that you are starving by the end of the day. This makes you more likely to binge eat on unhealthy things – particularly sugar-rich carbohydrates that seem to be the only thing that will quell your unbearable hunger.
The second reason lies in your body's metabolism. When you starve your body, it goes into 'starvation mode' which basically means that it will store any fat that it can, when it gets it, because it believes that it is dying. In addition to this, your slowed-down metabolism will sap you of energy, making it nearly impossible to drag yourself to the gym for that much-needed workout.
- You overeat on healthy foods: Although they are good for you, healthy foods contain calories too. Foods that are high in unsaturated fats, such as avocadoes, nuts and margarine containing plant sterols to lower cholesterol, may be really good for you; but they are also high in calories and should be eaten in moderation. Download a good calorie counter app on your phone, calculate how many calories you should be consuming every day for healthy weight loss and check up on the calorie content of everything that passes through your mouth.
- You aren't focusing on your meals: Eating at your desk, on-the-go, while you're watching TV or while you're engrossed in a conversation are all reasons why you may be struggling to lose weight. Why? Because you eat faster, making it easy to eat more than you should. As per point two, even eating healthy foods will rack up the calories when you eat too much of them. Slow down while you eat, chew each mouthful properly and you will be surprised how quickly you fill up. Don't forget to drink water before and after each meal, to not only aid in digestion, but to help you feel fuller and make you less likely to overeat.
- You do too much cardio and not enough strength training: It's undeniable that cardio is excellent for weight loss, but if you are only doing cardio, your body will eventually become used to it and your weight loss will plateau. Replace some of your cardio training sessions with weight and resistance training and you will become sculpted and svelte more quickly. Bear in mind that strength training needn't be done with heavy weights; using your own body weight in the form of lunges, squats and push ups are also great weight training methods. Opt for combined strength and cardio training classes, such as Pilates and boot camps, for best results.
When you are more mindful of your weight loss efforts, and keep these four points top of mind, you are more likely to start seeing the results that you are seeking. The best part is that you won't only feel happier in your skin; you will be healthier on the inside too.