Why is it so hard to lose weight? Here are 4 reasons
Why is it so hard to lose weight? Here are 4 common barriers - and how to outsmart them.
Why is it so hard to lose weight? If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ll know there’s no shortcut - at least if you want to keep it off for good. You eat well and exercise, but the scales just don’t seem to be changing. Don’t admit defeat just yet - understanding why weight loss is difficult can help stop you beating yourself up about setbacks and change your attitude to shedding those pounds.
1. You eat well all day and binge on a night
You wake up, workout, enjoy a healthy breakfast and lunch with no desire to eat junk food… and then evening falls. The working day is done and we’re often left with a period of relaxation. During this time we’ll binge on a temporarily satisfying treat that will make us feel worse afterwards. Eating close to bedtime may raise your blood sugar and insulin, making it harder to burn fat. It’s a common trap and the only way around it is to train your mind to eat for nutrition and not for taste.
How to overcome it: If you are going to eat something that’s not on your diet plan, truly enjoy a small amount of it. It can be a small chunk of dark chocolate, then fill yourself up with something nutritious at least three hours before you go to sleep.
2. You’re relying on willpower
If you’re relying on willpower to help you lose weight, you’re going to run into some barriers. You can watch all the inspirational videos possible, eat clean for weeks... and then indulge. Have a greasy pizza and beat yourself up about it in one willpower-less moment.
How to overcome it: Rather than building on negative energy and the stress of telling yourself you ‘won’t eat the pizza’, focus on what you can eat. Distract yourself from the ‘bad’ food with another pleasure - reading, playing music, swimming, doing yoga, even just going for a walk can help divert your brain.
3. You’re stressed
We all know stress is bad for our health. It causes headaches, digestive issues, muscle tension, problems sleeping, depression and anxiety. But too much cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body can also wreak havoc on your metabolism. How? Cortisol tells your body to replenish your energy, upping your appetite and leaving you craving salty, sweet and high-fat food in order to stimulate your brain to release pleasure chemicals.
How to overcome it: Lower your stress levels with exercise, plenty of sleep, meditation, mindfulness, and whatever else makes you happy (apart from doughnuts). You’ll find it much easier to lose weight without all that cortisol bouncing around.
4. Your social life and surroundings
You can’t control the things around you. Co-workers bringing in freshly baked goods, lunch dates in restaurants with ridiculously tempting menus, your best friend’s irresistible offer of a glass of wine - it’s easy to give in.
How to overcome it: At home, you’re in control. Clear your kitchen of anything that might tempt you, set up a corner of your home for indoor workouts, and keep a bowl of fresh fruit in the dining room. If you do everything in your power to support your weight loss efforts in your house, you might just be able to say yes to that indulgent glass of red at your friend’s house.
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ll know there’s no shortcut - at least if you want to keep it off for good. You eat well and exercise, but the scales just don’t seem to be changing. Don’t admit defeat just yet - understanding why weight loss is difficult can help stop you beating yourself up about setbacks and change your attitude to shedding those pounds.
Uncover more Nutrition tips here.