Weight loss can be a challenging journey. What works for some people doesn’t always work for someone else. There are a lot of roadblocks standing in the way, from poor eating habits to unknown obstacles. If you’ve been trying to lose weight but find yourself on a plateau, there may be a simple solution, and ways to lose weight naturally. Here are 10 main reasons you’re not losing weight, and natural solutions to the problems.
Before we talk about diet or exercise, think about what’s going on in your life. High levels of stress have been linked to weight gain due to over-eating. (1) Research has suggested that ghrelin levels, a hormone linked to hunger, increased during long periods of stress. This also increased the craving for fatty foods.
2) Eating too many sugars and starches
Diet is an important part of losing weight — a well-balanced diet helps the body lose fat and keep it off. Cutting back on sugars and starches is a main factor. (2)
Sugars and starches — known as carbs — stimulate the secretion of insulin, which is the main fat storage hormone for the body. If insulin decreases, fat is able to remove itself from fat stores easier, and the body burns fat instead of carbs. (3)
3) Not eating enough protein
All meals should be well balanced, including copious amounts of protein in any form that you'd like. High protein diets have been found to increase energy expenditures, which helps the body burn energy and keeps you full longer. (4) Protein sources can include meat, fish, other seafood or eggs, beans, tofu, legumes, and quinoa. (5)
4) Phobia of fats
There is no reason to steer clear of all fats; studies show that naturally occurring fats, such as those found in vegetable oils, are not all bad. Incorporating fats into your diet can help boost metabolism and keep you full longer. (6)
5) Slow thyroid
Having an under active thyroid, or hypothyroidism, can prevent you from losing weight. The thyroid maintains T3, an active hormone, which regulates metabolism. Low T3 means high or irregular metabolism. Studies have shown that around at least 4 percent of adults in the United States have an under-active thyroid. (7) Proper diet and exercise can help correct an under active thyroid. However, you should consult your doctor if you’re having trouble correcting your thyroid. Medication and treatments are available.
6) Not lifting weights
Weight training or resistance training is vital to losing weight. (8) It helps the body keep and build muscle mass, which can be burned off if you’re not working out. Weight training also keep the metabolism working well (9) and helps tone the body, so when you do lose weight, you look fit and healthy. (10)
7) Not watching liquid sugars
So you’re maintaining a healthy diet, but still not losing weight? Look to your liquid intake to make sure you’re not drinking excessive sugars and calories. Because sugary drinks like sodas and sports drinks generally don’t keep you full, people often forget to account for them. (11)
Alcohol can be a factor in not losing weight as well. Alcoholic drinks like beer, wine and mixed
drinks are high in calories. Studies show heavy drinking is linked to weight gain. (12)
8) Not drinking enough water
Drinking water not only helps flush your system and revitalize your organs, (13) but it also helps keep you full. Drinking the proper amount of water can also help increase metabolic rates, which helps maintain or reduce weight. (14)
9) Not getting enough sleep
Not only should you be paying attention to what you put in your body, but also how it rests and recuperates. Research shows that a lack of sleep can have negative effects on many aspects of your mental and physical health. Lack of sleep has been linked to hunger, as well as decreased mental function. It can also disrupt regular eating cycles and prevent the body from repairing damaged cells, which prevents weight loss and lowers the metabolic rate. (15)
10) Not eating proper serving sizes
If you’re eating all the right things, maybe it’s the quantity you need to control, and the size of the plate could be an issue. Studies have found that people eat 92 percent of what they have served themselves on their plate, regardless of how full they are. (16) Instead, try using a smaller plate to trick your mind and body to stop eating when the plate is empty.