Making the decision to get rid of the extra body pounds finally is a big and important decision. It means that you have decided on dedicating time, patience, and, most importantly, dedicating yourself completely to the weight loss process. So when you finally do decide on something as big as that, it is completely normal to expect results that will bring a smile on your face.
Let’s imagine that despite your greatest efforts, you still are not seeing those results. It is natural to start doubting yourself and every step that you make. Slow weight loss can be a lot of discouraging and do a lot of damage to your current mindset. But to tell you the truth, there are a lot of things and small mistakes that can contribute to the fact that you are not losing weight at the expected rate.
You can make a lot of mistakes that can harm your weight loss process and still not be aware of that. That is exactly what brings us here today. What will follow is a series of common reasons as to why you are losing weight slowly in addition to sharing some valuable tips on how to fix them and with that, improve your expected results.
11 Reasons why you are losing weight slowly
You are skipping breakfast
It is possible that your, slower than expected, weight loss is due to you skipping breakfast day after day. It is common for people to believe that by avoiding certain meals, most often breakfast, they are speeding up their weight loss process, which is completely wrong. If you want to lose weight, eat that healthy breakfast in the morning and give your body a jump start on things.
You might not notice it, but if you are skipping breakfast, then you will constantly find yourself snacking, which even if it is not focused around empty calories, it is still calories that count and prevent you from losing weight. Choose a breakfast that is rich in protein and fiber to make sure that you stay away from snacking on empty calories throughout the day to satisfy your hunger (1).
You are sleeping too little
The amount of sleep that you get night after night really does make a huge difference in your weight loss process. A good night's sleep helps speed up your metabolism, which means that you will be burning more calories throughout the day, thus losing weight more quickly and more efficiently than ever before (2).
Make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Getting enough sleep has more beneficial effects on your entire health, not only your weight loss process than you can imagine. But the quality of sleep matters as well. You will not have the same benefits if you have poor sleep quality.
Sleep apnea, which is the most common sleep disorder, is often linked to weight gain, among other serious health issues. Talk to your doctor about sleep apnea, and if it turns out that you are one of the many people that are facing this issue, make sure to ask for help in time (3).
You are eating too close to bedtime
How often do you end up eating a late-night meal? Eating too many late-night meals can cause serious disturbances in your blood sugar levels, insulin levels, and body temperature, thus making the weight loss process a lot harder (4).
Create a meal plan that allows you to eat a filling dinner at least three hours before you go to sleep. And while we are at it – stay away from any unhealthy snacks after dinner. If you still have the need to snack on something while watching your favorite television series, then do not forget to respect the daily calorie intake. Choose a low-calorie snack such as veggies and hummus, coconut chips, apple slices with peanut butter, or some toasted pumpkin seeds and reduce the portion of your dinner.
You are under a lot of stress
One of the many unfortunate negative effects of stress is weight gain or lack of weight loss, and there are many reasons to support these sayings. Science has shown that under the influence of too much stress, we tend to reach out to high-calorie and empty calorie foods, all because of the increased cortisol levels (5)
That also causes sleep deprivation and extra abdominal fat storage, which nobody likes. In addition, because of the stress, you will be more likely to skip way too many workouts due to the excuse of feeling fatigued, feeling under the weather, or simply because at times like these workouts can seem more daunting (6).
Make yourself a favor and relax. Choose yoga and meditation as the best relaxation techniques. You should also know that according to the journal Eating Behaviors, meditation can help with issues such as emotional eating and binge eating, which we all struggle with sometimes and which definitely harm our weight loss results (7).
You are struggling with a hormonal imbalance
Think of your hormones as messengers who have the function to instruct your cells as to what they should and should not do, including you losing weight when desired. We already mentioned the high cortisol levels to be linked to a lack of weight loss, but there are other hormonal imbalances that we need to discuss as well.
In 20 percent of all women of childbearing age, insulin resistance has been suggested to cause weight gain more likely, and weight loss a lot more difficult (8). Menopause, as well, being a period filled with hormonal imbalances and changes, also make weight gain more likely to happen (9). Problems with the thyroid gland, such as hypothyroidism, a condition in which your thyroid gland is producing fewer thyroid hormones than needed, is also often linked to weight gain, causing the metabolism to slow down (10).
If you believe that a hormonal imbalance might affect your weight loss results, consult a professional healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Your metabolism has slowed down
As we mentioned earlier, if you want to lose weight, you need to speed up your metabolism, because a fast metabolism equals more calories being burned, which is just the effect that we have been looking for while trying to lose weight!
Unfortunately, there are many reasons why your metabolism can slow down with old age being one of them. Of course, there is not much that you can do about this, but what you can do is do more weight training so that you can build toned, lean muscles that will surely help burn more calories than ever. You can also reduce your stress levels, eat a healthy diet, and get enough sleep to double your chances of speeding up your metabolism.
You are eating more than you think
In order to achieve weight loss, you need to increase the number of calories that you burn each day while decreasing the number of calories that you intake each day. One of the best things that you can do while trying to lose weight is to log your daily calorie intake, the best that you can. Otherwise, it is very easy to overstep the boundaries, thus harming your weight loss results.
As you will start tracking your calorie intake, you will quickly learn that even the healthiest and "diet" foods often have more calories than you think, making it very probable to intake more calories than you normally burn on a daily level. You can start a food journal or simply use one of the many apps that allow you to scan and log different foods, giving you a close idea of what your daily calorie intake looks like.
You are a woman
Unfortunately, gender does make a difference in how efficiently you lose weight. Men are more likely to lose weight easily, as compared to women, for who weight loss can cause quite a few difficulties, requiring more time, effort, and patience.
Men are also lucky enough to lose their belly fat first, whereas belly fat seems to cause great worries and issues for women, trying to get rid of it. But not all hope is lost. For women, it seems that their weight loss results are more likely to have a long-term effect, as compared to men who tend to have short-term weight loss effects. Although there is not much that you can do here, do not get discouraged. Remember what made you do this huge change in your life and keep yourself motivated all along the way because sooner or later, the results will appear.
You do not burn as much as calories during your workout as you think
We all know that pairing exercise and a healthy diet is the key to a successful weight loss with long-term, noticeable results. But during the process of losing weight, it is of vital importance that you keep your workouts intense enough so that you actually burn more calories than you intake through your diet.
A lot of people tend to think that they are burning way too many calories than they actually do, and a study published in 2010 has confirmed this. The participants of the study thought that they were burning around 3,000 to 4,000 calories while brisk walking for about 30 minutes when, in reality, they have been burning between 800 to 900 calories (11).
It can become difficult to increase the intensity of the workouts if you are feeling fatigued or unmotivated or starving yourself with the hopes of achieving a faster weight loss. And do not think of food as a reward for how hard you have trained that day. It can be very easy to eat 2-3 times more calories than you have burned, thus decreasing your weight loss results.
You rely on “diet foods” too much
On the market today, you can find various brands offering their versions of "diet foods." The truth is that there are way too many "diet foods," but too little of them are actually good for your diet plan and weight loss process.
With most of these so-called “diet foods” being packed with artificial sugars, sodium, and processed ingredients, they are only masking the fact that they are not healthy at all. Instead of wasting your time and money on these “diet foods” invest it into healthy, natural foods such as fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, fiber-rich foods, and healthy carbs instead, which are all foods that promise to help you lose weight, with actually keeping their promise and delivering real results.
You take certain medications
Unfortunately, sometimes, despite your clean, well-balanced diet and your quality time spent at the gym, you may still find it difficult to lose weight. At times like those, it can be especially hard to think of the reason why you are doing all of this. So when your lifestyle is not the reason why you are not losing weight, what is it then?
It is very likely that your prescribed medications have weight gain or lack of weight loss listed as a potential side-effect. In fact, there is a long list of medications that include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and diabetes medications that often cause weight gain (12). If you are worried that your medications are making it harder for you to lose weight, you can consult your doctor about the possibility of switching your prescription if possible.
Losing weight can be hard if you do not pay attention to all of the small, yet meaningful mistakes that you make along the way. It can take some time, but eventually, you will learn that in order to lose weight fast and efficiently, you are no longer allowed to skip breakfast, struggle with a hormonal imbalance in silence, or eat too much and expect great results. Remember, it is always the small steps that matter in the process of creating the main, big picture.