The basics –
We meet some people who do not gain weight even though they eat whatever they want. At the other extreme are people who seem to gain weight no matter how little they eat. As a result, some stay slim effortlessly, while others fight hard to keep from gaining weight.
Essentially, our weight depends on the number of calories we consume: how many of those calories we store and how many we burn. But each of these is influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The interaction between all these factors begins at the moment of our conception and continues throughout our lives.
If we consume more energy (calories) than we expend, we will gain weight. Excess calories are stored throughout our bodies as fat. Our body stores fat inside specialized fat cells (adipose tissue), which are always present in the body, either enlarging them or creating more of them.
To lose weight, one would have to create a calorie deficit. A good weekly goal is to lose ½ to 2 pounds per week or about 1% body fat every two weeks. The number of calories one eats to achieve this should be about 250 to 1,000 calories less than the daily calorie burn. We can do this by increasing daily activities with more daily steps or other non-exercise activities. Standing and walking burn at least 2 to 3 times more calories than sitting for the same length of time. A deficit of 250 to 1,000 calories can also be created by increasing training time or intensity and decreasing food intake by about 200 to 300 calories per day.
Despite our sincere efforts to lose weight, sometimes we fail due to specific reasons that get in our way without us realizing it.
Reasons not to lose weight
• Lack of sleep – Lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain. Experts speculate that lack of sleep may affect the secretion of cortisol, one of the hormones that regulate appetite. When we are tired due to lack of sleep, we may skip exercise or simply move less, which means we burn fewer calories.
• Chronic stress – Stress and weight gain go hand in hand, although some of us are not aware of this fact. Chronic stress increases cortisol production, which not only increases appetite, but can also cause additional fat storage around the abdomen. It causes cravings for foods, which are high in sugar and fat. So-called comfort foods make us feel better. Also, we skip workouts because we feel too stressed to exercise.
• Eat excessively Researchers have found that most of us underestimate how much we eat, especially when eating out. Careful scrutiny of our diet is the only way to know how much we’re really eating. We need to space out our meals in such a way that we don’t stay hungry for too long. Or we may overeat at our next meal. We should try to eat smaller portions and eat more often.
• Exercise – Exercise is another crucial element of weight loss, along with our daily activity levels. If we’re not losing weight, we need to increase the time and intensity of our training to match our weight loss goals or we need to change our weight loss goals to match what we’re actually doing. To lose weight, we need to build lean muscle by doing some type of strength training in addition to our cardio. The more muscles our body has, the more fat we will burn.
• sedentary clothes – Any prolonged sitting, such as at a desk, behind a wheel, or in front of a screen, can be detrimental. In addition to exercising, we should try to be as active as possible. We should also limit our screen time. Therefore, we should take a break from sitting every 30 minutes. If we spend more than 8 hours sitting, it could be one more reason why we have a hard time losing weight.
• weekend treats – Having a few treats once in a while is fine, but mindlessly indulging in treats on the weekends will hurt your weight loss goals. The trick is to plan our indulgences so we can have fun while staying on track toward our weight loss goals.
• Unrealistic goals – There are many factors that affect weight loss that, again, cannot always be measured or accounted for with the tools that we have. Our body may be undergoing changes that cannot yet be measured with a scale or tape measure. Experts agree that a realistic weight loss goal is to focus on losing about 0.5 to 2 pounds per week. As much as that, we would have to cut our calories so low that it may not be sustainable. Rather, we may be losing inches even if we are not losing weight. If we’re not getting the results we expect, it’s crucial to find out if it’s because we’re expecting something from our body that it simply can’t deliver.
• Trays – Almost everyone hits a weight loss plateau at some point. As our body adapts to our workouts, it becomes more efficient and therefore doesn’t expend as many calories doing it. Some common reasons for this include doing the same workouts every day, not eating enough calories, and overtraining. We can avoid plateaus by trying something completely different at least once a week and changing our frequency, intensity, duration, and type of training.
• In medical condition – This is especially important if you’re doing everything right and haven’t seen any changes on the scale or in your body after several months. There may be a health issue or some common medications that require our weight loss efforts. One should consult their doctor to rule out such a possibility.
The bottom line –
There are endless diets, supplements, and meal replacement plans that claim to guarantee rapid weight loss that we come across in the media. But most of them lack scientific evidence. In fact, many gullible people fall prey to them and some also have to deal with their harmful side effects. However, a good understanding of the reasons why our efforts would later positively impact our weight loss program.