One of the main reasons people invest time and money in a fitness regime is to lose weight. Although the perception of weight loss is skewed (it’s not always an indication of good health and physical fitness), it’s true that many people are overweight when they embark on their fitness journey.
If your main goal is losing weight, it’s sadly not as simple as cutting down, working out and hoping for the best. Lots of people start losing weight quickly then plateau, or find they seem to be doing everything right but simply can’t budge the number on the scale. Here we share three less obvious reasons you may not be losing weight. Number three may surprise you!
Your lifestyle is hampering your efforts
Lifestyle greatly influences your weight and appearance – and most people don’t realise to what extent seemingly everyday things like sleep and hydration affects their physical health. Carefully consider your lifestyle. Do you stay up late at night? Disrupted or unhealthy sleeping patterns can affect weight – with certain studies showing poor sleep is one of the single biggest factors for development of obesity. Also watch out for reliance on ‘diet’ or processed foods – whole foods are your friend.
You’re eating too much
Studies have shown that when we exercise, we tend to feel hungrier – and psychologically we feel we can ‘eat more’ because we worked out. Further research has also determined that when we perceive something as ‘healthy’ we tend to eat more of it – because we can, right? Sadly this is a sure-fire way to ruin all your hard work – but recognising that sometimes our mind can work against our body can help us to maintain a more balanced relationship with food. Healthy foods do still have calories – and some (such as nut butters, fruit smoothies and raw treats) are laden with calories and fats. Overconsumption. . Apply the age-old mantra ‘too much of a good thing’ and you can get back on track.
You’re actually doing things right
This is a surprisingly positive ‘reason’, since conversations about weight in relation to health are often left out of conversations about health and fitness as the diet industry remains focused on the number on the scale. But weight loss is not necessarily a reliable indicator of success when it comes to getting fit. Often people tend to put on weight as they start to eat properly and exercise – this is because they are building muscle tone and shedding fat. If you are doing everything right but are watching the number on the scale stay static (or increase), try measuring key areas of concern (such as thighs, hips and waist) to track your progress. Chances are you’re actually getting slimmer, even if you’re technically heavier.