Weight loss can be tricky. We all know we need to consume fewer calories than we burn to lose weight but sometimes, even when you’re doing everything right, weight loss doesn’t seem to be happening. This can happen for a number of reasons, but, more often than not, it’s comes down to something that requires a serious lifestyle change to fix. Here are 5 of the most common, yet not-so-obvious reasons you’re not losing weight.
1. You’re Stressed This is especially true when it comes to weight loss. Stress releases cortisol (often simply referred to as “the stress hormone”) and in today’s society, excessively high cortisol levels are incredibly common. Cortisol degrades muscle tissue and encourages the storage of body fat, and is has been linked to other health issues that are a lot more serious than a few extra pounds around your waist.
If you want to get lean, then you need to make a serious effort to lower your stress levels. (Easier said than done, I know!) Try limiting the length of your workouts to 45 minutes, surrounding yourself with positive people, meditating, and getting plenty of sleep.
2. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep Not only does enough sleep reduce levels of cortisol, but it also produces growth hormone. Growth hormone pretty much has the opposite effect of cortisol on the body. It encourages fat loss, supports your immune system, and helps to keep your organs functioning properly.
3. You’re Not Drinking Enough Water You’re probably sick and tired of hearing about how important water is to your health, but most people still don’t drink enough of it. There’s a whole host of benefits to drinking enough water, one of which is proper kidney function. Dehydration impairs your kidneys, and when your kidneys aren’t working properly, your liver has to pick up the slack. Your liver is responsible for the metabolism of fat, which means fat cannot be metabolized as efficiently when your liver has to work twice as hard to remove toxins.
4. You Have Poor Digestion The gut is incredibly complicated, but one thing is clear: whether you want to improve your ability to lose fat, boost your immune system, clear up your skin, or even just feel better on daily basis, it all starts with gut health. Unfortunately, most people don’t usually realize their gut isn’t functioning properly until it’s too late. But there are steps you can take to help prevent any malfunctions: reduce stress, eat less sugar and dairy, and chew your food until it’s mush before swallowing.
5. You’re Not Eating Enough Fiber Fiber aids digestive health and helps to create a sense of fullness, which makes consuming fewer calories easier. It’s estimated that only 5% of Americans get enough fiber. Why are people missing out? Most of us assume we’re getting enough from grain-based products like bread and cereal, but the reality is these highly-processed foods have been stripped of their nutrients and fiber. Instead, eat more fruit and vegetables, and opt for whole grains, like brown rice and steal-cut oatmeal.