Not losing weight? This post is going to give you some scientifically-proven top tips about overcoming the problems that are preventing you from achieving your ideal weight.
If you have ever asked yourself, ‘why am I not losing weight?’ We will be looking at some of the major problems in the way of achieving your ideal target weight and setting realistic weight loss goals.
We will be asking why this is so difficult for some people and what you can do to overcome these hurdles.
If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you have come to the right place.
I’m exercising but I’m not losing weight
Eating more after Exercise? Right, so you’ve started a healthy eating plan, which is far superior to any fad diet by the way, and you are sticking to an exercise regime but you are still not losing weight. If you find yourself famished after exercising and heading straight off for that burger, or high-sugar food hit there may be a reason why.
Scientists have discovered that some people respond to exercise by eating more whilst for others exercise seems to suppress the appetite.
One recent Californian study suggests that exercise changes parts of the brain and how it responds to images of food, therefore exercise can actually affect or change your desire to eat. Professor of Kinesiology of California, Todd Hagobian concluded in this recent study that:-
‘Responsiveness to food cues was significantly reduced after exercise’
For the 30 young, fit participants in this study, the reduction in the brain’s response to food images was spread throughout many different areas of the brain especially those regions that control the liking and craving for food and the motivation to find food.
Exercising? It’s not for some!
However, this is not the full story. A 2011 study published in The Journal of Obesity examines exercise-induced changes in relation to the desire for food.
This study focused on 34 inactive and obese men and women who underwent exercise regimes for 5 days a week. It found that 14 people actually demonstrated an increased desire for high fat or sweet foods after exercising.
Interestingly, these 14 participants, who demonstrated an increased preference for high-fat or sweet foods during and after a 12 week intense exercise program, also showed a significantly smaller reduction in weight.
In conclusion, for a minority of people, because physical activity actually stimulates the craving for reward foods it does not appear to help promote significant weight loss.
For some individuals, exercise increases the reward value of high palatability, high energy food and diminishes the impact of exercise on fat loss. Early identification of this predisposition could help to optimise weight control strategies by augmenting the health benefits of exercise with dietary modification.
I’ve been eating healthy for months but I’m not losing weight
This is a common stumbling block for many in the fight against the flab. You have chosen the right diet that is suited to your personal eating style.
You have set realistic weight-loss goals and even possibly enrolled on a weight loss program such as Weight Watchers. Not only that, but you have combined this with a regular exercise regime that you are sticking to like glue. Still ~ you are not losing weight.
Here are some hidden problems:-
- Hidden calories: Count those calories obsessively. You may feel that you are very consistent with your reduced calorie diet. However, that casual beer after work or the cupcake that you ate at work all add up. Be particularly observant about hidden calories such as those in fizzy drinks and salad dressings.
- Snacks: Try not to snack at all in between meals, if you really have to, choose some healthy snacks that aid weight loss such as fruit or slices of vegetables. Watch what you snack or nibble on, the mouthful of leftovers or a bite of cheese from the fridge.
- Cut down on portion sizes. Be very aware of your portions.
- Eating after exercise: Over indulging on the grounds that you’ve done a really good workout and deserve that treat is not going to help with weight loss.
- Motivational lapses: in response to stress or illness or emotions.
Top Tips for losing Weight
- Keep a weight loss Diary: A study conducted by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine proved this. That obese women who kept an accurate food diary lost up to twice as much weight as those who did not.
- You must record obsessively absolutely everything that you eat and drink and all those hidden calories will start revealing themselves. This can be a real game changer
. Changethe size and colour of your plate: A study by Brian Wansink of Cornell University and van Ittersum shows that if you reduce the size of your plate, you reduce your calorie intake too. If you put a small portion on a large plate, the brain will interpret that as having little food and eat more. However, if you put the same size portion onto a much smaller plate, the perception is that of a full plate.
This study showed that changing from a 12″ plate to a 10″ plate lead to a decrease in calories of 22%. The same study also showed that the
colorof the plate impacts eating habits as well. If the food is the same coloras that of the plate this resulted in a 30% increase in servings. A goodcontrast of food colorand plate led to a decrease in calorie intake. There you go ~ Invest in some small, white plates and watch those pounds disappear.
- Maintain your motivation: A lot of habits and
behaviorsare governed by the brain so keep your motivation high and it won’t seem such an uphill battle. See our top tips on motivation.
How do you sleep?
Many scientific studies have proved a link between the
It has been shown that too little sleep, or sleep deprivation, affects your ability to concentrate and to make healthy food choices the following day.
It is not that you actually lose weight in your sleep, but if you are regularly sleep-deprived, your metabolism will not be functioning properly. Therefore, less sleep equals not losing weight.
Combine this with the increased desire for a high-carb or sugary pick me up and that is a recipe for disaster.
Matthew Walker, a UC Berkeley professor of psychology, in a recent study on the connection between sleep duration and obesity, found that:-
…high-calorie foods …became significantly more desirable when participants were sleep-deprived. The combination of altered brain activity and decision-making may help explain why people who sleep less also tend to be overweight or obese.
How many hours should I sleep to promote weight loss?
Sleeping for too many hours is just as likely to result in weight gain as sleeping for too few hours.
In a 6 year study by Chaput (et.al) on the association between weight gain and sleep duration, it was found that those who slept, on average for shorter durations (5 – 6 hours per night) gained 1.98 kg more than average sleepers (7 – 9 hours per night) over 6 years. Furthermore, those that were
The study conclude that the risk of becoming obese was increased by 27% for those who sleep less than 7 hours a night and 21% for those who sleep more than 9 hours.
Another interesting factor is that your sleep routine was found to be important too. People who stick to a routine and go to bed at a similar time each night, wake up at roughly the same time each morning and sleep for an average of 7 – 9 hours per night have a lower percentage of body fat.
A study by Bruce Bailey from Brigham Young University found that:-
Waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day (especially a consistent wake time) was most strongly linked with lower body fat.
Do you weigh yourself often enough?
There is a lot of conflicting evidence about how often you should weigh yourself if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Some suggest that weighing yourself daily can be
However, a new study by Rena Wing from Brown Medical school, suggests that daily weighing is a successful technique that encourages weight loss and weight maintenance providing the results are acted upon. Wing concludes:-
If you want to keep the pounds off, daily weighing is critical. But stepping on the scale isn’t enough. You have to use that information to change your behavior, whether that means eating healthier or walking more. Paying attention to weight – and taking quick action if it creeps up – seems to be the secret to success.
Pacanowski carried out a recent study that shows daily self-weighing is beneficial for weight loss in adults. Pacanowski concluded that:-
Self-weighing and visual feedback may be a useful strategy combined with other techniques to promote healthful weight loss.
So, to keep track of your weight you could try the Caloric Titration Scale (CTS) which involves weighing yourself daily and marking the data on a chart or computer.
If your weight fluctuates a little, normally that is fine, but the CTS very quickly picks up patterns of weight gain which allows for quick intervention and preventions to avoid this.
The Caloric Titration Scale actually encourages you to be much more aware of the connection between what you eat and what you weigh.
When did you last have a medical exam?
Sometimes we are following all the right practices to help us lose weight and this is just not reflected on the bathroom scales or the waistband. This situation can be very de-motivating and lead to feelings of hopelessness.
If you are sure that you’re caloric intake is less than your output, you exercise regularly and stick to a healthy eating plan then for a few people, it could be an underlying medical condition that is causing the weight gain.
Seriously overweight people should always get a medical check-up first before embarking on any weight loss programs. Here are some conditions that may be the underlying cause of unexplained weight gain:-
Depression and Antidepressants
Feelings of overwhelming sadness and anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, can promote unhealthy eating habits and lack of motivation to exercise and can result in weight gain for some.
However, antidepressant medications can also play a role in weight gain.
At least 25% of people who take antidepressants, including the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) gain at least 10 lbs or more.
Check if you are taking any of the following medications and consult your doctor if you are experiencing weight gain: Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Elavil and Tofranil.
If you feel that your medications are contributing to weight gain then discuss these issues with your physician. There is an extremely long list of pharmaceutical drugs that appear to contribute to weight gain. So, if you are not losing weight, here are a few medications to keep an eye out for :-
- Hormonal therapies including the birth control pill, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and some breast cancer treatments such as Tamoxifen
- Beta Blockers for heart disease and high blood pressure
- Rheumatoid arthritis medication
- Heartburn medications such as Nexium
- Some antihistamines for allergies such as Allegra and Zyrtec
- Some drugs for seizures, bipolar and migraines such as Depakote
Medical Conditions associated with weight gain
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Underactive thyroid
- Diabetes (which results in unstable blood sugar) and some treatments such as insulin and medications
- Fluid Retention
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Weight loss Surgery may be long term Solution?
It is thought that for some obese people who have struggled for years with their weight that the best method for long term results may be weight-loss surgery or Bariatric Surgery.
However, the criteria for weight loss surgery is that you must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40 or over 30 with an associated health condition (such as high blood pressure, type diabetes, high cholesterol levels or sleep apnea) that is directly linked to morbid obesity.
There are several weight-loss surgery options, these include the roux-en-y-gastric bypass, gastric banding, duodenal switch and the biliopancreatic diversion. To find out all the scientifically researched facts, and whether a href=”https://halls.md/surgery-for-weight-loss/”>surgery for weight loss may be the right choice for you.
Are you drinking enough water?
Scientific studies have shown that drinking more water actively promotes weight loss. Therefore, not drinking water may mean not losing weight.
The reasons for this are not yet entirely clear but it has been suggested that drinking more water may lower total energy intake and/or increase your metabolism.
A 2008 study by Stookey examined 173 women aged between 25 and 50 years who were overweight. Baseline assessments were made on factors such as exercise, diet, body weight, percentage body fat, body mass index and waist circumference. Measurements of the above variables were taken again at 2,6 and 12 month intervals.
The results showed that increase in drinking water was connected with significant weight loss and body fat over time. Green tea supping has also been linked to weight loss.
How much water should we be drinking for weight loss?
Usually women should drink about nine 8 ounce cups of water (this is just over 2 litres) and men around thirteen 8 ounce cups (just over 3 litres). Furthermore, the timing of the water drinking is of importance too. According to Dr. Melina Jampolis, drinking a glass of water before you eat a meal means you will eat about 75 – 90 calories less due to feeling more full before you start. That adds up to a whopping 225 to 270 calories less on a daily basis. You could also look at a water day cleanse.
Remember, whatever you do ……
Questions and Answers
I’m about to start on a weight loss program and need to know a few basic principles.
The basic principle of all weight loss is that your caloric intake must be less than your energy output to start the fat burning process. Below are some top tips for getting started:-
- Choose a healthy eating plan or a diet that is suited to your particular type of eating and needs.
- Be sure to set out clear, weight-loss goals for successful weight loss.
- Incorporate an exercise routine into your weekly regime to gain muscle mass and burn fat. If you’re a total beginner, start with 20 minutes of light walking and build up from there.
- Develop a regular sleep routine aiming for between 7 and 9 hours a night
- Feel the hunger and do it anyway. In order to lose weight it is normal to feel hungry over certain times of the day. There is no need to feel ravenously hungry at all but you should feel mild to moderate hunger just before your scheduled meal times. Counteract this by drinking plenty of water and snacking on high fibre, low calorie foods when necessary.
- Have a full medical check up and be aware of the side effects of any medications that you are taking
Will I get folds of loose skin if I lose a lot of weight?
Loose skin happens when underlying tissue shrinks and causes a void under the skin’s surface. This happens more when muscle tissue is lost along with fat. However, if you increase the amount of lean tissue that you have, this helps fill the area under the skin keeping it taut.
Ways to help prevent loose skin
What are the recommendations for me to lose 10 pounds in weight?
- Follow a healthy eating, low calorie eating plan
- Exercise regularly
- Drink lots of water
- Stay motivated
- Get Moose to help you adjust your attitude with hypnotic suggestions and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques
Here are a few motivational quotes to help you lose weight if you have found yourself at a weight loss plateau. Motivational quotes for weight loss can give you a little boost every day if you feel yourself giving up on your best-laid weight loss plans.
Choose and repeat the motivation quote to yourself several times a day. Try and choose a quote that suits your mood, so if you are feeling low choose a confident boosting one or if you are in a fun-loving frame of mind choose something that makes you giggle. Motivational quotes can aid you on your journey to weight loss success … and if not they make you feel a bit better for a little while.
Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are Good investments.
I’m not losing weight I’m getting rid of it. I have no intention of finding it again.
Nobody can do it for you. You have to do it yourself.
It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice. Give it 12 weeks. Don’t quit.
I may not be there yet but I am closer than I was yesterday.
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing that is why we recommend it daily.
One pound at a time
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- Bailey BW, Allen MD, LeCheminant JD, Tucker LA. (2014) Objectively Measured Sleep Patterns in Young Adult Women and the Relationship to Adiposity. American Journal of Health Promotion Sep/Oct (Retrieved December 10th 2015)
- Chaput JP, Després JP, Bouchard C, Tremblay A. (2008) The Association Between Sleep Duration and Weight Gain in Adults: A 6-Year Prospective Study from the Quebec Family Study. Sleep. 2008 Apr 1; 31(4): 517–523.(Retrieved December 10th 2015)