When you begin a weight loss journey, it’s often easy to build motivation as the pounds initially start to drop off. But when your weight loss slows down, the question ”why can’t I lose weight ” is one frequently asked.
Moving past a weight loss plateau usually requires a combination of efforts, and sometimes individuals cannot lose weight due to some surprising ‘diet mistakes’ — which can actually lead to weight gain!
Luckily, plateaus are very common and it IS possible to get past them and get the scale moving down again! In our article below, NJ Diet shares some of the most common reasons your scale may not be budging, and how you can keep your motivation going when it comes to weight loss success!
Reasons You May Not Be Dropping Pounds
Elimination Of Entire Food Groups
Swearing off entire food groups — like no grains, meat, or carbs for example — can work for many people initially, because when you restrict your intake of specific foods, you are naturally going to restrict your intake in general — which in turn, leads to weight loss.
However, what people often forget is that by eliminating specific food groups, they are also eliminating the nutrients that go along with those food groups — such as the fiber in grains or the vitamins and minerals in fruit.
Cutting out too many specific food groups often isn’t sustainable, so you’re more likely to give up and gain any weight back you may have lost. Cutting out foods like sugar, alcohol, and carbs can also make you feel so deprived that you won’t be able to control those natural cravings, forcing you to overindulge. You’ll end up consuming way more calories than you would normally, which can make the scale numbers go up. Elimination of food groups is not how you sustainably lose weight, and may in fact it sets you up for failure. When you put a food group as ‘off limits’ and never allow yourself to have it, you’re more likely to inevitably overeat it !
Restricting Calories Drastically
Reducing your daily calorie intake drastically can sound like the easiest way of losing weight, and while a calorie deficit is vital weight loss, you cannot go too low. When you reduce calories too severely, your body will send signals to conserve calories, and in turn this slows down your metabolism.
Eating too little- for too long – not only constantly making you feel hungry and irritable, it can send signals to your body to conserve calories which lowers your metabolism, making weight loss nearly impossible. Never eat below your resting metabolic rate (the calories your body burns at rest) for a long period of time, as it can actually put your body into starvation mode! Eating well-balanced meals and snacks, with an emphasis on protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting proper rest can improve every aspect of your life — including the number on the scale. Research shows that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain! Sleep is essential, both for mental acuity and to help your body recover from working out, but it can be hard to get enough good sleep. Besides making time for that 7-8 hours of shuteye, ensure you’re getting quality sleep by evaluating your sleep environment and looking at your habits for things that could be decreasing sleep quality.
Take Care Of Mental Health
Mental health can affect you in many ways, including your diet and weight. Anxiety and stress can change your hormones, and if you are experiencing depression it can cause someone to withdraw from others and not take care of themselves. These mental health factor have huge impact and can cause problems if you are trying to lose weight
Evaluate how you can address any mental health issues you may be experiencing by seeing your doctor or seeking out a therapist, Doing what is best for your mental health will in turn lead to physical results, as well.
Know When To See Your Physician
In some cases, underlying conditions that your doctor can treat or help you manage may be the reason why you’re not losing weight. Keep a food diary and bring it to your doctor to see if they have any insight into why you aren’t able to drop the pounds. Your doctor should look at your full medical history and evaluate any prescription medications you’re taking, which can also be affecting your weight loss, such as antibiotics or antidepressants.
Binging At Night
When dieting, we often restrict and eat very little during the day, but then later in the evening, starvation kicks in and a binge occurs. Not eating enough during the day makes you overly hungry and then you overeat at night. which defeats the whole purpose of being on a weight loss plan! It is important to eat regularly and spread out your calories wisely, this way you won’t end up going over your daily calorie intake in one sitting.
Eating Too Many “Diet” Foods
Just because a food is listed as “low-fat,” “no sugar,” or “diet” doesn’t necessarily make the product healthy! While you may lose weight initially, “diet” foods tend to be more expensive and inevitably our body doesn’t recognize them as food. In fact, if you replace whole foods with artificial ‘diet’ items, it can lead to increased inflammation in your intestines and other issues throughout your body. For instance, “fat-free” foods are often high in sugar or salt to replace flavor, and “sugar-free” foods contain chemicals, so your body actually feels more hungry since you’re not giving it the nutrition it craves. This means eating these foods can actually cause weight gain, so they’re best avoided.
Choosing A Sustainable Eating Plan
As we stated above, cutting down drastically on calories, cutting out food groups, and setting strict rules about when you can eat is impossible to stick to long term. A sustainable way of eating is one that finds ways to slowly reduce calories without feeling deprived. Eating more veggies, fruits, and other whole foods, and don’t limit your favorite foods entirely; instead come up with healthier ways of preparing them and incorporating them into a balanced diet.
How To Break Through A Plateau
Yes, you can lose weight on a diet plan without exercising — however, exercise not only accelerates weight loss, it’s good for you! Try walking, biking or simply climbing several flights of stairs a few times each day. And if you already enjoying working out, merely increase the duration and/or intensity of your normal exercise program. An exercise class, new sport, or even a personal trainer can help you break through a weight loss plateau.
Increase Your Protein
Choosing higher, lean Proteins are a great way to rev up your weight loss. A protein serving can range from seven to 17 grams so incorporate things like lean beef, chicken, pork and seafood. There are many ways to eat natural food and increase your protein intake, and in turn feel fuller and see results with weight loss.
We’ve all heard how important H2O is when it comes to shedding pounds. It helps to suppress appetite, so you’re less likely to overeat. But that’s not all: When you’re dehydrated, your kidneys can’t function properly, so the body turns to the liver for additional support. Because the liver is working so hard, more of the fat you consume is stored, rather than burned off.
Stop Weighing Yourself
Weight fluctuates day-to-day due to changes in the weight of bone, fluid, muscle and fat. When you’re dieting and exercising regularly, these factors are changing all the time. It is recommended that you weight yourself only 1x a week to get a real feel for how your body is reacting to your weight loss plan . In addition, take measurements weekly since you may be losing inches even if the scale says you’re not losing any weight.
Track Your Food
You may think you are eating the correct portion sizes, but sometimes it is easy to lose track of how much you are consuming on any average day. By weighing food, controlling portions carefully and tracking everything that goes in our mouth, you can help break through a plateau. By consistently recording what you eat in a journal or fitness/weight loss tracker or app, you will often see better weight loss success results.
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There is no one “good” or “bad” way to diet — just that moderation is key! Learn to incorporate all foods into your balanced diet, and as long as you use some of the tips posted above, you will achieve results!
It’s important to remember that every person’s body loses weight at a different pace; some lose weight at a more rapid rate, others slower, but it really doesn’t make a difference as long as the weight is coming off! Most importantly, concentrating on becoming healthier and your overall wellness is key — and in turn, weight loss will happen. Keep the emphasis on healthy habits—eating properly with portion control and exercising, and the scale will show some results!
The NJ Diet program is a specialized program utilizes DNA testing to determine your ideal diet and workout plan, taking into account your eating behavior. We use personalized genetic testing can also used by any of your health care providers to help make critical decisions regarding your health.
We welcome the opportunity for you to have a consultation at NJ Diet!
A consultation is normally $99, but by registering on our website it will only cost $27!
Our program is not only aimed at promoting healthy weight loss, but aims to improve your total wellness. Each of our client’s specific needs for vitamins and supplements are assessed, plus many more metabolic factors are genetically tested to make sure you succeed on our program — not just for temporary weight loss, but to maintain good health for life!