You're a month and a half into your New Years resolution to lose 20 pounds , and in your opinion, things have been going really well. You've been exercising regularly, cleaned up your diet (a lot) and have done much better at limiting drinking nights with friends to just one or two beverages. Yet somehow, the scale has hardly budged. Here's 5 reasons your weight loss plans may not be working out:
1. You're not eating enough
It sounds counter intuitive, but if you've drastically reduced your calories and increased your volume of exercise, it may be that your body is in too great a caloric deficit. When this happens, your body goes into starvation mode, just like it would do if you were lost in the woods and didn't have food for a few days. In this mode, it holds onto fat because it doesn't know when you will get adequate calories again. Fix this by making sure that your daily caloric balance is not too low, taking into account both the calories you consume and burn, as well as your basal metabolic rate.
2. You're over estimating calories burnt
You just went for a run and then did a yoga class at the gym, and you're starving from your great morning workout. While you may he hungry, working out doesn't give you the liberty to eat everything and anything you want. In fact, you likely burned fewer calories than you realize. Instead of seeing those calories as the freedom to eat extra, think of them as the extra ones you need to burn to put you in a healthy caloric deficit so you can lose weight like you're trying to.
3. You're eating the wrong kinds of foods
Simply maintaining a certain caloric intake each day, whether it is reduced or not, is not enough to help you lose weight. Instead, you have to pay attention to where those calories are coming from: calories from a MacDonalds egg McMuffin are far different than those from a homemade green smoothie. The main difference is that the food you consume either fills you with additional nutrients along with calories (energy) or fills you with a bunch of toxins that your body has to try to get rid of. Obviously the latter isn’t very desirable and it’s important to try to limit this as much as possible.
4. You're relying on exercise alone
Have you ever heard the saying, “abs are made in the kitchen?” Well it's true, and so is the rest of your lean healthy body. Exercising without cleaning up your diet will not get you to your goal - working out can never make up for eating poorly. Instead focus on cleaning up your eating and consuming a whole foods diet with lots f plants and then supplementing your program with exercise 4-6 times a week.
5. You're stressed out
Stress releases a hormone in our body called cortisol, which helps our body know when and how to respond to stressful situations. When you are constantly under stress however, this hormone is much more prevalent in the body and can end up targeting fat cells. Three fat cells are then stimulated to store fat and sabotage your weight loss goals. Try to reduce the stress in your life (physical, emotional and day to day) to ensure cortisol is not running rampant in your body and causing problems.