If the weight seems to cling to you know matter what you try, here are some of the top reasons you are not losing weight.
1. One of the top reasons you are not losing weight is stress! Yes, doing it all, multitasking, long commutes in crazy traffic, and high-stress jobs all contribute to higher cortisol levels. Cortisol levels also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods which contribute to belly fat. When you are stressed, your body thinks it's burning more calories and will signal you to eat more, even though your desk job stress does not need more calories. Watch your stress levels at work by giving yourself time to breathe, take that much-needed lunch break, and manage the demands of emotional vampires.
2. You are an emotional eater. Many of us reach for food when we are dealing with "feelings" rather than processing the emotions. The same part of the brain that deals with emotions also manages with your appetite. The hypothalamus is responsible for regulating your hunger, thirst, response to pain, levels of pleasure, sexual satisfaction, anger and more. To deal with emotional eating, ask yourself a few questions before you grab that extra snack or helping. Am I hungry? Is something bothering me? Am I bored? Process your feelings, and if you are not hungry, then don't eat.
4. You reward yourself with food. Years ago, I taught a running clinic at a local running store and a few of my runners, wanted to lose weight. In the beginning, we would run maybe 20 minutes, including walk breaks and then they would reward themselves with a slice of Pizza. The pizza slice had more calories than they burned running, and a few of them gained weight. It's easy to think I've worked out, so I deserve a treat, however, if weight loss is your goal, watch your reward calories.
5. You overeat. Yes, it's easy to overeat, you might be surprised at many calories the food you eat has in it. To test this theory, track your calories in a fitness app without changing your diet for a week. The average woman needs 1700- to 2000 calories a day, the average man needs maybe 300 more. It's easy to go way above this range if you are not mindful of your choices. Don't starve yourself, but if you overeat, you will gain weight.
6. You eat too little! Many women have a fearful relationship with food, and therefore they eat too little. Food is love energy that your body needs. Love food and eat enough to sustain your energy and cell growth. Not eating enough can cause your metabolism to shut down and cause you to retain the weight you are trying to lose. Slow and steady wins the race. To keep your metabolism burning feed it high nutrient-dense foods all day long and watch your energy increase and the weight come off.
7. You are looking for an easier, softer way. A quick fix or fad diet is a short term goal. If your "diet" is not sustainable, it's not going to work over the long run, and you'll end up on the roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain. Over time this wrecks your metabolism and your self-esteem.
8. You are doing too much high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Some HIIT is good, but a lot, puts your body into fight or flight syndrome, which causes your cortisol levels to soar. So vary your workouts, don't always be going full tilt.
9. You are setting unrealistic goals. So many times I hear, I want to weigh what I did in high school, I finished high school when I was 18, and I was thin, my new thin as a fully grown adult is a bit heavier. It's better for you emotionally, to set a realistic goal. While I do weigh myself, I prefer to go by how I feel and look rather than what I weight. My value as a human is far more important than my weight.
10. Maybe you don't need to lose weight. Sometimes we are our own worst critic. Stop comparing yourself to others. Exercise boosts your serotonin levels, and as a result, you may just think, I'm pretty "hot stuff" just as I am. Feeling this way means you can enjoy exercise for its other benefits which include better functionality, more self-confidence and the ability to take on fun adventures. Rather than saying I want to lose weight, maybe decide I want to run 5k and set that as a goal. Or perhaps you want to do Grouse Grind (Google it) next time you are in British Columbia. New goals help you to stay motivated.
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Sheree Nicholson is the owner of Live With Spirit Yoga & Fitness studio in Whitby, Ontario. She has a certificate in plant-based nutrition from eCornell University and is working on her Masters in Metaphysics. Sheree holds certifications in Advanced Yoga, Pilates, Reebok Spinning and Kettlebell training,. This benefits you as she focuses on functional movement, strength and weight loss.