In the heat of the summer, it’s hard not to notice strong, fit bodies lounging around in swimsuits, shorts, and cute sundresses. After trying for weeks, months, or even years to shed a few (or many!) pounds, it’s easy to feel discouraged when you see how easy it appears for some people to stay in shape, yet you’re not losing weight. After all, chances are that you understand the basics of weight loss just as well as they do. You try to exercise, eat well, and limit calories. Yet the number on the scale just won’t budge! Yes, many people can maintain a healthy weight quite easily, but for a great many more, losing weight is a constant struggle. If you’re doing your best but still not losing weight, read on.
Why am I not losing weight? How do I overcome a weight loss plateau?
You deserve to look and feel healthy, strong, and happy. Do not lose hope! Here are a few reasons you may have not yet reached your goal weight.
1. You’re not losing weight because you’re… eating diet foods.
If the majority of food in your kitchen is labelled with terms such as “Low Fat,” “Fat Free,” “Lite,” “Sugar Free,” or “Only 100 Calories,” chances are that your food choices could be the reason you’re not losing weight. One issue with these diet foods is that many of them are overly processed and contain artificial sweeteners and other toxic ingredients. Another issue with restricting calories and fats is that you wind up feeling hungrier and experiencing more cravings. Foods rich in healthy fats such as nuts, coconut oil, avocados, and grass-fed whole milk dairy provide essential nutrients and leave you feeling satisfied and less likely to overeat. Overcome your weight loss plateau with a 21 Day Detox to rid your body of the excess toxins and quickly put yourself on the path to clean eating.
2. You’re not losing weight because you’re… taking medication.
Daily OTC and prescription medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, antihistamines, steroids, and medications for blood pressure, diabetes, or seizures can all lead to weight gain in susceptible individuals. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of switching to a different medication without the side effect of weight gain. I’ve experienced this myself firsthand. Though I generally avoid medications, I chose conventional cancer treatments, including medications that caused me to rapidly gain 40 pounds of stubborn fat which I could not lose. Within two months of switching just one of my medications to an alternative drug, I quickly lost more than 20 pounds with absolutely no effort. If switching or discontinuing medication is not an option, organic whole food weight loss supplements may be the ticket to overcoming the medication’s effects on your metabolism. Try Perfect Acai, or Perfect Green Coffee to rev up your metabolism. Just be sure to discuss any potential interactions with a medical professional.
3. You’re not losing weight because you… don’t have time to eat properly.
If you’re always on the go, chances are you may struggle to make the time to prepare whole food meals and snacks and you wind up unable to lose weight. Perhaps you hit the vending machine around 2 o’clock or stop for fast food on the way home after a busy day. These convenience foods are likely to lead to weight gain, as they are full of ingredients like hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors. On the other hand, you may diligently avoid buying unhealthy convenience foods all day long, but fail to replace them with healthy options. If you go all afternoon without eating, you’re starving by dinner time, meaning you’re more likely to gorge on whatever is available in your kitchen cabinet. Inconsistent eating habits may also lead to big shifts in blood sugar, which can trigger your body to hold on to extra fat or go into starvation mode. The solution? Prepare healthy, portable snacks and meals the night before, or spend an hour on the weekend portioning out food for the week. These stainless steel food containers are perfect for transporting salads, fruits and veggies, sandwiches, and healthy leftovers to work and other activities. If you’re even more pressed for time, try this method for bringing nutritious, convenient smoothies wherever you go!
4. You’re not losing weight because you… aren’t sleeping well.
Poor quality or insufficient sleep has been shown to cause weight gain, as lack of sleep not only slows metabolism but also raises levels of the hormone ghrelin, which helps instruct you when to eat, and lowers levels of leptin, a hormone which cues you to stop eating. Those who fall asleep too late, rise too early, or wake up throughout the night are more likely to crave carbs, sugar, and calorie-dense foods. They’re also likely to be too tired to exercise regularly or cook meals from scratch. Try Ancient Minerals Goodnight Lotion, with magnesium, MSM, and melatonin to improve sleep length and quality. In addition, make sure your bedroom is conducive to optimal sleep; make sure that your bed is comfortable, your room is dark (even small amounts of light can suppress melatonin levels), and your furniture and floors are uncluttered. Try playing soft music, nature sounds, or white noise to filter out disruptive noises. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night, and if you’re still not waking feeling rested, consider consulting a sleep specialist.
5. You’re not losing weight because you’re… following the wrong weight loss diet for your body.
Every individual is different; many people lose weight consuming 5 or 6 small meals a day, while others need to limit themselves to 3 meals a day to shed pounds. For some, low carb is the answer; for others, high fiber leads to results. Aging, various health issues, and other factors may also affect how well your diet aids in weight loss over your lifetime. For years I was able to maintain a healthy body weight following a strict vegan diet, but after having a baby I just could not lose the weight. I eventually found that eating a Paleo-inspired diet enabled me to get back to a healthy weight. In general, the best weight loss diet is the one that relies primarily on whole foods and leaves you feeling healthy and satisfied. If you cut out wheat and wind up always feeling deprived of your favorite cookie or pasta dish, you’re not going to be successful. If you attempt a vegetarian diet but feel tired and sick without animal protein, you aren’t going to stick to it. If you try replacing meals with fresh vegetable juices but wind up starving halfway through the day, you won’t be able to maintain your juicing diet long enough to make an impact on your weight. Choose a diet that offers whole ingredients, balanced nutrition, and foods you actually enjoy. If you’re not losing weight on your current diet, try something else.
6. You’re not losing weight because you’re… always stressed.
Constant stress elevates cortisol, a hormone that stimulates the appetite even long after your stress has subsided. Stress not only leads to weight gain but also causes more fat to be stored in the abdominal area (called “visceral fat”), which is linked to health risks including diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, when you are stressed, you tend to crave carbs and want to eat all day to relieve your stress. So what can you do? Well, avoiding stressful situations would be ideal, but if that’s not possible, exercising, meditating, and getting enough rest can help you cope. Adaptogens such as Rhodiola Rosea and Cordyceps, both from Perfect Supplements, can mitigate the physical effects of stress and reduce their toll on your body so that you can get back to losing weight. Chewing gum is a great alternative to stress eating, so keep a bag of PUR Xylitol Gum in your desk drawer at work or by the couch at home. Xylitol gum also has the benefits of helping you feel full and satisfying cravings without adding calories.
How can I lose weight naturally?
There are numerous reasons you’re not losing weight, and these are just a few of them. Do any of these apply to you? We’d love to hear about it! Also, check out some of our most popular weight loss articles:
By Ali Wetherbee