So you’re doing everything you can to lose weight. You stick to your diet, you exercise regularly, AND you even gave up your weekend’s cheat meal, anything to start seeing any results. Yet… the results are not what you expected them to be. Not only are you not getting any thinner, but you actually put on some weight, despite your best efforts! It happens more often than you’d think. If you feel discouraged and start losing motivation, read this article before you give up completely! Here are a few possible reasons why you’re not making progress, as well as ways to turn the tables around and get back on track again.
1. High cortisol levels
Cortisol, also referred to as the ‘stress hormone’, is produced as a response to stress or low blood sugar levels. People who are trying to lose weight usually put themselves under a lot of pressure, hence, the cortisol levels are increasing. What are the implications? First of all, it may trigger you to eat more in order to calm your nerves. It is never a good idea to snack in between the meals, and cortisol makes you do exactly that. Second of all, it is actually also responsible for storing fat in the abdominal area – in other words, your stomach won’t get any flatter if you keep stressing! How can you decrease the cortisol levels in your body to make sure you keep on losing weight? Simple answer would be of course to try to calm down. Per our Hudson Dietitian, you can try simple relaxation techniques, such as listening to calming music, taking a walk or meditating. Another thing you could do is include more whole foods in your diet – green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, etc. Exercise is also great, as it balances your hormones and helps with relieving the stress at the same time, so a win-win situation! Work on keeping your cortisol levels in check, and you’ll start losing weight in no time.
2. You’re not getting enough sleep
You didn’t see that one coming, did you? Yes, in our ‘always-on-the-move-society’, we tend to associate sleep with laziness, so it’s not a surprise we don’t necessarily perceive sleep as a means to losing weight. And that’s a big mistake! Getting enough sleep plays a huge role in the process of shedding those extra pounds. How? When you sleep, your body goes into ‘healing’ mode; it causes your body to restore cells and produce the energy it needs to function during the day. All of this obviously needs time. If you deprive yourself of sleep, your body will start looking for alternative energy sources, and you know that that is? Carbs! Those high-in-salt and sugar, processed foods, that you’re working so hard not to give in to. Lack of sleep also causes the cortisol levels to increase, and you already know what that can do to your attempts to lose weight. Take a word of advice from our Hudson Dietitian and make sure you’re getting enough of the nurturing, good-quality sleep.
3. You’re trying too hard
This one seems counterproductive, doesn’t it? After all, aren’t you supposed to give your all to achieve success? Isn’t it true that the more you work, the sooner you’ll see the results? Well – yes, and no. Of course, working hard is an important part of the process – you are changing your entire lifestyle, for crying out loud! It takes a lot of work to alter your diet and adopt new healthy habits, such as exercising regularly, drinking more water, and getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, we often tend to seek immediate gratification. “If I work so hard, why am I not seeing results?!” The truth is, if you work too hard and try to do everything at once, you put your body under a lot of pressure. In order to lose weight, you need to listen to your body, and work WITH it, and not AGAINST it. Otherwise, it will go into this ‘fight-or-flight’ mode, which will only make it harder for you to lose weight. Example? If you deprive your body of energy (i. e. You drastically limit the amount of calories you consume), it will store the fat in your cells ‘in case of emergency’. So not only you won’t lose any weight – you might actually put on some more! It is crucial you take it easy and in small, manageable steps. The key to success is listening to your body.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be a struggle. But don’t just take our word for it. If you’d like to see how fun and gratifying the process can be, contact us today and make an appointment with our Hudson Dietitian, Susan – together we can achieve more. We look forward to seeing you soon!
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