Having a Hard Time Losing Weight? Here Are the Possible Reasons

You’ve tried all those diets that have promised wonders in just a matter of weeks. Even intermittent fasting, which according to experts may help with weight management and in the prevention of certain diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

But you end up hungry and frustrated with your body hardly losing the extra pounds you want to shed.

Well, it could be something else you’re missing.

Photo: Pexels/Andres Ayrton

Try to find out what it may be from these possible reasons why you’re not losing weight according to WebMD:

  • You May Be Sleeping Too Little or Too Much. Sleeping more than 9 hours is more than enough, while sleeping for only 5 hours is not also good. These sleeping habits negatively impact the parts of the body that are responsible for the production of hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. These hormones include leptin and ghrelin. According to Sleep Foundation, “Leptin is a peptide hormone that regulates your body’s energy balance by hindering feelings of hunger and regulating fat storage. Gherin — a hormone secreted in the stomach that acts as a counterpart to leptin — boosts appetite, growth, and fat production.” When you sleep too little, the hormonal imbalance causes you to take in more calories. On the other hand, sleeping all day or more than 9 hours will not only make you eat more but it can also make you suffer cognitive problems, depression, body aches, and chronic inflammation. It also increases your risks of heart disease, stroke, and mortality due to other causes. The ideal number of hours of sleep is 7 – 9 hours.
  • Not Drinking Enough Water. Do you know that 2 to 6 cups of water each day can help you lose weight? Water helps in quenching thirst without loading your body with calories, unlike sodas, coffee, and sugar-packed juices. Moreover, according to Johns Hopkins University, “Science suggests that water can help with weight loss in a variety of ways. It may suppress your appetite, boost your metabolism, and make exercise easier and more efficient, all of which could contribute to results on the scale.” Also, the body needs water in order to burn fat. And more importantly, our brain — which is 73% composed of water — is able to perform better if we drink more water. The recommended daily amount of water for women is 11 cups (91 ounces) and 15 and 1/2 cups (125 ounces) for men as advised by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).
  • Photo: Pexels/Cheng CJ
  • Waiting Too Long to Eat. Intermittent fasting is good, but it’s not for everyone. Maybe you wait too long to eat and end up hungrier than ever. In response to it, you tend to eat a lot. You can try eating smaller portions of food and eat more frequently, so you feel satiated.
  • You Frequently Dine Out. Do you consume more restaurant foods than home-cooked meals? Restaurants serve foods packed with calories, including light dishes and snacks. When you cook at home, you can control the calories and select more nutritious ingredients.
  • You Spend Most of the Day Sitting. This can be difficult since many kinds of jobs are desk-bound. Meanwhile, other people spend many hours in front of the TV. Sitting most of the time makes us lose the ability to sense when we’ve eaten a lot. Make it a habit to get up for brief walks at least three times a day for a healthier and slimmer you.
  • Photo: Pexels/Andres Ayrton
  • Workouts Get Rewarded with Food. Don’t let your hard work go to waste. Refrain from enjoying a sweet smoothie or huge dinner after your exercise. You must also think about the extra load of calories that comes with protein bars and sugary sports drinks. To rehydrate yourself after a workout, you may opt for plain, refreshing water; milk; tart-cherry juice;green and black teas; or, a smoothie with healthy ingredients like coconut water, pineapple, and berries.
  • Over-consumption of alcohol. You’re likely to gain extra pounds if you consume 3 or more drinks a day, regardless of whether it’s wine, mixed drinks, or beer. They contain calories, too; that’s why one glass is enough if you want to lose weight. Better yet, avoid alcohol and eat purple and red grapes for a healthier heart.
  • Binge Eating due to Stress. Stress tends to make us lose our appetite. But when stress gets prolonged, many of us seek relief through food — and not just any food. According to Harvard Health, “Stress also seems to affect food preferences. Numerous studies — granted, many of them performed on animals — have shown that physical or emotional distress increase the intake of food high in fat, sugar, or both. High cortisol levels, in combination with high insulin levels, may be responsible. Other research suggests that ghrelin, a ‘hunger hormone,’ may play a role. Once ingested, fat- and sugar-filled foods seem to have a feedback effect that dampens stress-related responses and emotions. These foods really are ‘comfort’ foods in that they seem to counteract stress — and this may contribute to people’s stress-induced craving for those foods.” What to do when you’re stressed? Take a break, make time to unwind, and talk with people whom you trust are some of the tips offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Photo: Pexels/Abhinav Goswami
  • You Lack Meal Planning. Fast foods, sugary drinks, and sweet snacks are among the biggest culprits for obesity. But, if you take time to plan your meals, you’ll benefit from more nutritious ingredients and dishes with a lot fewer calories.
  • Your Thyroid Is Malfunctioning. Cleveland Clinic says, “Your thyroid’s main job is to control the speed of your metabolism (metabolic rate), which is the process of how your body transforms the food you consume into energy. All of the cells in your body need energy to function. When your thyroid isn’t working properly, it can impact your entire body.” If your thyroid is underactive, it makes you gain weight in spite of your efforts to lose extra pounds. If you have a malfunctioning thyroid, it’s best to consult a doctor for proper treatment.
  • Pregnancy. A pregnant woman naturally gains weight because of the new human being growing inside her. However, there’s an ideal weight for pregnant women, since being too fat or too thin can affect both baby and mother.
  • Photo: Pexels/Matilda Wormwood
  • Medication. There are some drugs intended to help with health problems that can make a person gain weight like steroids and antihistamines.
  • Menopause. Due to changes in hormones, women in menopause tend to gain weight. However, the Mayo Clinic says weight gain at this stage is more related to ‘aging, lifestyle, and genetic factors.’ Thus, this statement from them gives women hope: “Menopause weight gain isn’t inevitable, however. You can reverse course by paying attention to healthy-eating habits and leading an active lifestyle.”

If you still find it difficult to lose weight after evaluating yourself and your efforts, it’s best to talk about the problem with your doctor. You may have an underlying medical condition that’s preventing you from attaining your weight goal. Your doctor can provide you with the best recommendations or treatment under the circumstances.

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