Do you find that no matter how much you diet and exercise, you don’t seem to be losing weight like when you first started your diet or exercise routine? You aren’t crazy; it happens to us all. Check out these five surprising reasons you may not be dropping the pounds and how to get you back to shedding that weight.
We are all familiar with the term “comfort food,” the kind of food we like to devour when our lives are devouring us. Healthy habits tend to go out the window when you are in a hurry and you grab food quickly without thought. When you are emotionally taxed, there is nothing better than drowning your sorrows in a big, fat bowl of ice cream or a greasy hamburger with a side of large fries.
Cortisol is the hormone released during a stress response. Cortisol increases blood pressure, spikes energy and releases insulin which makes you very hungry. So the more stressed you are (unless you are one of those rare people who can’t eat when stressed), the more you eat. Make sure you are feeding your body the right amount and type of food and fight stress with exercise, meditation and conscious awareness instead of that doughnut!
[Related Article: Don’t Pop That Xanax! Natural Relief For Anxiety]
2. Lack of Sleep
Are you catching enough “zzz’s” each night? Seems strange to say, but getting a good night’s sleep does indeed play a factor in maintaining a healthy weight and even in losing weight. When we are tired, we lack the wherewithal to make good decisions. Sleepy folks are too exhausted to exercise and are susceptible to losing the motivation and discipline it takes to eat right that day. Make sure you are getting a full night by being consistent with waking and sleeping times. Put away your electronic devices well before bedtime and dim the lights about and hour or two before you are ready to lay your head on your pillow.
[Related Article: Eight Natural Ways To Beat Insomnia]
3. Eating Too Fast
Conscious eating is key when it comes to enjoying your food, but also very important if you would like to eat fewer calories. When we slow down and take our time eating the meal in front of us, we end up eating less. Shoveling food in your mouth at high rates of speed doesn’t allow your brain to speak to your stomach quickly enough. You end up in a position of having to unbutton your pants 20 minutes after dinner. Also, make sure that you are eating consistently through out your day, so that when you finally sit down for a meal you aren’t carnivorously devouring everything in front of you due to starvation.
[Related Articles: Tips For Creating a Mindful Eating Environment]
Have you been working your butt off, running each day and eating the same boring healthy meals? Maybe it is time to switch things up a bit! Your body starts to grow accustomed and acclimate to your healthy routine, so in order to shock your body back into weight loss mode, you need to switch things up. If you are riding your bike 20 miles each day and it doesn’t seem to be working after a few months, then start running, swimming or skating. Consider integrating a cheat meal each week so you can shock your metabolism by shaking up hormones and insulin levels while also curbing cravings by feeding them. Our minds get bored with monotony and so do our bodies.
[Related Article: Tired of the Same Fitness Routine? Try These 3 Unconventional Workouts]
5. Eating Too Much Salt
Salt causes you to retain water and water adds extra water weight. After a nice salty meal, you are likely to wake up the next morning and want to cry salty tears when you step on the scale. When our meals are high in salt, our kidneys slow down in releasing water, and we can get swelling with water retention. Salt is a key ingredient in most Western dishes, so although we do need a certain amount of sodium chloride in our diets for our bodies to function properly, we get way too much, and it causes a mess for us. Cut back on the salt in your diet. I avoid adding salt to any of my dishes when I eat out, and I keep my salt shaking minimal or none at all when eating at home.