Weight loss occurs when calories in is less than calories out. To lose one pound, there needs to be a 3500 calorie deficit. So to lose one pound a week, a 500 calorie deficit per day needs to take place by either restricting calories or increasing physical activity. Sounds simple, right? If only...
Losing weight is more than just an equation of cutting calories and amplifying workouts. These seven unexpected reasons can help answer the frustrating question, "Why am I not losing weight?"
Even though successful weight loss and maintenance aligns with eating a balanced diet, calories are critical in weight management. Tracking calories can be pesky, especially with a short lunch break and kids starving for dinner after school. However, it is important to get a good grasp on where calories can add up. A salad filled with nutritious vegetables and omega-3 loaded nuts seems like the epitome of a healthy lunch. When the assorted nuts get thrown on in handfuls and the greens dowsed in ranch dressing, that 300 calorie salad just caked on an additional 300 calories or so. It is important to stay mindful of the type and portion of foods, especially calorically-dense foods, condiments, and sauces.
It makes sense to restrict foods and calories to achieve a negative calorie balance. However, too much restriction can be detrimental to losing weight. Although saying "YES!" to cake each time is offered would not be the best decision, having cake and eating it too is just fine every now and then. Depriving yourself of foods you love is unnecessary to still lose weight. What is important, just like all foods, is paying attention to the portion. Giving your body what it truly wants can decrease the risk of a binge later on. However if a binge is inevitable, buy individually wrapped items rather than a full package that will be tempting if sitting in the pantry.
Fiber often gets forgotten about. Even though it's the underdog in weight loss, the consumption of both its soluble and insoluble forms is noteworthy. Fiber can be found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Not only does it keep the gastrointestinal tract happy and regular, fiber can increase feelings of fullness to reduce the risk of overconsumption.
Increasing fiber intake should be paired with increased fluids for optimal function. However, staying hydrated also has an important role in losing weight. Even though several fluids have the ability to keep the body hydrated, try to not drink the calories. Instead, focus attentions on water. Not only is water calorie-less, its consumption before and with meals can increase satiety and help aid digestion.
Although running will burn calories, continuous use of the treadmill can prevent the body to reaching its maximum potential. High intensity interval training can accelerate and torch calories even after the workout is complete. Adding resistance straining to strengthen muscles can allow the body to burn additional calories even at rest.
Stress bombards into our lives whether it is welcomed or not. Not only can stress interfere with life quality, it has the potential to disrupt weight loss. In response to stress, the body releases cortisol. As a consequence, an increase in appetite or fat deposition in the abdominal region may occur. Psychological responses to stress can also increase emotional eating and lead to bingeing episodes. Partaking in stress reduction techniques may reduce the magnitude stress can cause. Taking family walks, running a warm bath, and taking 20 minutes for "you" time are just a few ways to combat and reduce stress.
The quality and quantity of sleep plays a role in losing weight. Unfortunately, the general population does not catch enough Zzzz's. Interestingly, overweight and obesity numbers continue to rise while a good night rest is declining. Although the exact mechanism is unclear, weight gain and the ability to lose weight has been shown. Some explanations include less hours equals less energy for activity throughout the day and more time to eat. None-the-less, inadequate sleep can result in a decreased ability for weight loss.
Understanding and tackling the seven unexpected reasons you aren't losing weight can help aid in achieving weight loss and an ultimate healthy lifestyle.
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