9 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight
A little bit of fat isn’t such a bad thing. It helps to protect your vital organs, after all! However, storing too much fat can be dangerous and has been linked to a slew of health problems. We’re talking heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, to name just a few.
Some of the culprits are fairly obvious, especially if you’re eating a lot of processed food and not moving much. But even if you think you’re living a healthy lifestyle, there are some surprising reasons behind excess body fat. Here are some of those reasons.
#1 You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
Did you know that you cannot burn fat if your body is dehydrated? Burning fat is a very water-intensive process, and you probably need more water than you’re drinking right now. I’m not sure that there is good science behind the 8 glasses per day advice, but a really good way to know if you’re getting enough is to look at your urine. It should be pale yellow. Also, if your stool is hard or you’re feeling constipated, then you should definitely increase your water intake!
#2 You’re Overdoing it on the Alcohol and Sugar
You’ve no doubt heard of a “beer belly,” and this is something that can affect women too. Depending on how much you drink, it could be the culprit for stubborn belly fat. Alcohol can make it harder to burn fat and increase the chance that the extra calories are stored on and around your middle. And of course, alcohol is basically sugar, and too much sugar spikes insulin and cause your body to store fat! Check out the RESTART Program to learn how to kick the sugar habit! Or start with this blog post to get a preview.
#3 You’re Not Eating Enough Protein
Whether you are trying to lose weight or not, it’s really important to get enough protein in your diet. Like fat, protein helps you to feel satiated. Most experts are recommending 0.5 – 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So if you are 100 lbs, you should aim for 50-80 grams of protein daily.
#4 You’re Scared of Eating Fat
Fat has had such a bad reputation, and we most of us are really scared of eating it. While it’s true that you don’t need a lot of the trans-fat and hydrogenated kinds, good fats from traditional sources can help you to lose weight. Monounsaturated fats like olives and, even saturated fats like LARD (from healthy animals) are good fats. These are important for feeling fuller for longer. Click here to learn how to eat MORE fat!
#5 You Don’t Eat Enough Vegetables
While protein and fat are great for weight loss, you shouldn’t forget about healthy carbs (i.e., vegetables). Even though they are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, vegetables (especially dark leafy greens) are sorely missing in the Standard American Diet. They provide the much needed fiber and pre-biotics to feed your gut bacteria. Fiber also helps with satiety and maintaining a healthy weight. If your diet is low in fiber, you can be more likely to store fat. Aim to eat at least 1/2 of your plate in vegetables.
#6 You Have Nutritional Deficiencies
If you are not eating a nutrient-dense diet, you probably have multiple nutritional deficiencies, and are at risk for weight gain and fat storage. For example, getting enough magnesium in your diet can lower your blood sugar and insulin levels. That’s not too surprising when you consider that this mighty mineral is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in your body! Some of these reactions have an effect on your body’s ability to burn fat, so it can have an impact on your weight. Relatedly, “filling up your tank” on other minerals and key nutrients such as iron, B12, and Vitamin D can allow people to feel better, more energetic and as a result, have an easier time living a healthy lifestyle.
#7 You Have Too Much “Bad” Bacteria in Your Gut
An imbalance in gut bacteria can have an effect on your weight and how much fat you store on your abdomen. If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to have a type of bacteria that can mean that more calories are absorbed from your food. Also, if you have an overgrowth of yeast, you may be experiencing strong cravings for sugar and refined carbohydrates, the two worst foods to eat for weight loss! Eating clean, unprocessed food and reducing sugar will help you achieve a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
#8 You Have an Underlying Medical Issue
If you’re making the right choices and you’re still having trouble, you might need to dig deeper for underlying medical issues that are slowing down your metabolism or causing hormonal imbalance. For example, a sluggish thyroid or low estrogen levels can make it hard to maintain weight.
#9 You’re Prioritizing Exercise Over Nutrition
Most people believe that if they just exercise more, they will lose weight. While exercise provides untold benefits for long-term health, it’s really the nutrition that accounts for the majority of your health outcomes and weight loss. If your nutrition isn’t up to par, it doesn’t matter how often or how hard you work out. In fact, nutrition can be so hard to get right that I advise many of my clients to give hard workouts for a while. Going all in on nutrition and fitness all at once may lead to overwhelm and just wanting to quit!
In order to make a serious dent in your health, I recommend trading in the “diet mentality” for making lasting LIFESTYLE changes to address the above reasons you are not losing weight. Stay tuned for more ideas, and check out the Healthy Happy Lifestyle Mastermind Group, where we practice doing that!
As a nutritionist and health coach, I am well trained to help you the ROOT of your weight problems. Let’s figure it out so that you can be the best version of YOU!