If you’re trying to lose weight, nothing can be more discouraging than seeing the scale move slower than you’d like it to. If you’re not losing weight as quickly as you want to me, there could be a hidden factor that’s causing you to hold on to those extra pounds. Here are a few reasons you might be experiencing slow weight loss.
Help yourself reach a healthy weight faster by examining these ten factors that could slow down your weight loss.
Like it or not, men tend to lose faster than women do. A combination of less muscle mass and more potential hormonal imbalances contributes to this.
Fix: Since you can’t change your DNA, make sure your hormones are in balance and you are doing strength training to increase muscle mass.
Hereditary issues may affect the speed of weight loss. If other family members are overweight, a combination of nature and nurture could be at play.
Fix: Again with the DNA, yes? Overcoming family history is challenging, but not impossible. But you may need a brand new mindset.
The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight. Age changes caloric needs, thyroid function, and other hormone levels.
Fix: If you haven’t tried a lower carb diet in the past, now may be the time. The Paleo diet might be helpful for those of you (like me) who are in the mid-life age group.
Having Less to Lose
Comparing weight loss rates between someone who wants to lose 100 pounds and one who has only 10 pounds to lose does not work. If you are closer to the goal or already in the healthy weight chart range, losing will slow down. These so-called “vanity pounds” may slow your weight loss rate from two to three pounds per week to just one or fewer.
Fix: Remember that patience is a virtue. Be consistent with your healthy lifestyle and you will see those last few stubborn pounds go away.
Muscle and Body Makeup
Muscle fibers require more calories to maintain than other tissues. This process increases overall metabolism. If you have a larger than average amount of fat to lose, your metabolism is likely running lower.
Fix: Strength training can improve your look and make your rate of weight loss faster.
Too Much Stress
Not only does stress cause people to reach for comfort food, it also slows weight loss by triggering the cortisol response. This hormone stimulates appetite among other things. Exercise instead of reaching for some chocolate.
Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows how much easier it is to cheat on your diet and succumb to emotional eating if you are feeling angry, sad, lonely, or down.
Fix: Learn how to manage your stress. Try aromatherapy to help support your efforts.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep or inconsistent sleep patterns negatively affect carbohydrate metabolism and contribute to stress. Associated insulin responses make weight loss slower and more difficult.
Fix: Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day and try to go to bed and awaken at the same time.
Poor Food Choices
The major reasons for slow weight loss have to do with what food you eat. First, consider caloric need based on your height, weight, lean body mass, and activity level. Avoid junk food, excess sugar, and simple carbs. Even so-called “diet foods” may be sabotaging your efforts.
Although there are many diet plans from very low carb (VLC) to grapefruit diets to intermittent fasting, you need to pick something you can stick with. Also, measure your portion sizes and keep track of everything that goes in your mouth.
Fix: Consider doing a Whole30 Challenge.
Exercise Times and Types
While a daily jog or trip to the gym will not let you reach your goal weight without other changes, it definitely affects metabolism and overall health. Better yet, exercise triggers endorphins and dopamine response to help you deal with stress, too.
Fix: Get at least 30 minutes of exercise 4-5 days a week.
Lack of Emotional Support or Sabotage
Losing weight is not only difficult physically. It has a very strong emotional component as well. Naysayers, doubters, and generally mean people can slow down your weight loss by increasing stress and triggering the urge for emotional eating.
Fix: Realize that the inability to lose weight is more about the execution of healthy habits than anything else. Instead of thinking about “dieting” and exercise” consider “lifestyle changes.” These are permanent changes that must be made, not quick fixes. You’ll need to set goals and then execute an action plan in order to be successful.
For many people, weight loss is the most challenging journey they take during their lives, and it is the one they want over as quickly as possible. With the knowledge of these 10 factors that could slow things down, you can improve the process overall.