More often than not weight loss isn’t as simple as energy in energy out. If you started 2017 with intent to lose weight and things aren’t moving, as you had hoped, here are some ideas on why you may not be losing weight.
You are eating more than thought
Although you may have reined in your diet and feel as though you are eating less, if you aren’t keeping track of what is being eaten, you may actually be eating more than thought. The reverse can impact weight loss also, not eating enough will cause metabolic function to halt and in turn will not assist healthy weight loss.
Tip: keep a food diary for a few days and review it to see if certain foods have crept in or portions crept up! Or if the opposite is true, assess whether you simply aren’t eating enough.
You are living a Sedentary Lifestyle
Any good weight loss plan usually involves regular exercise. However, its not organised exercise that counts most when talking weight loss. It’s actually how much you move outside of regimented exercise, including getting up from your desk or walking to and from work.
Tip: aim to get up from your desk every 30-60mins and schedule in a stroll at lunchtime. Once home, avoid plopping yourself in front of a screen and instead find an activity you enjoy involving movement.
You are overcome with stress
Our body releases cortisol in response to stress and when cortisol is released it raises blood sugar, if we don’t use the sugar circulating in our blood stream the energy can be converted to fat, typically around the abdomen.
Tip: practice mindfulness daily, if feeling stressed take 5 deep breathes in and 5 out, repeat for 5 minutes. Try downloading a meditation app and listen to it on the way to work if catching public transport.
You are not drinking enough water
Dehydration can be mistaken for hunger leading us to eat more than we need. And as muscle contains approximately 75% fluid, drinking 500ml water has been shown to increase metabolic rate by 30% within 10mins!
Tip: purchase a stainless steel or glass water bottle and keep it at your desk or in your bag, keep track of how much you are drinking daily. Start the day with at least 1-2 glasses water.
You are leaving protein off the plate
I am a huge advocate for balanced meals and when it comes to weight loss, protein is particularly important. Protein is believed to me more thermogenic than carbohydrates and fat, this means when we eat protein our body uses more energy to break down and digest the protein. Protein also supports muscle growth and maintenance, which assists metabolism and is a very satiating food.
Tip: aim to eat a serve of protein at each meal and snack, great sources include, eggs, nuts/seeds, legumes, yoghurt/cheese, fish and lean animal meat such as chicken, turkey, pork and beef/lamb. Boil some eggs to have as snacks or to add to salads and cook extra protein at night to enjoy the next day.
You are not eating enough fibre
Fibre is not only critical for a healthy digestive system, but is always a great tool to decrease food carvings and increase satiety. Fibre creates bulk and slow down the passing of food, this reduces hunger levels and prevents food cravings.
Tip: aim for at least 30g fibre daily and incorporate a mix of both soluble and insoluble fibre such as oats, chia seeds, flaxseeds, root vegetables, wholegrains, fruits and legumes.
You are not eating mindfully
Eating mindfully is key to obtaining a healthy weight. Eating in a calm environment away from distraction not only reduces stress levels but attentive eating allows us to be more in tune with our hunger. This in turn assists with eating until satisfied and not overfull.
Tip: turn off the phone and eat away from the screen, find a calm environment to eat in and chew food slowly.