Can’t achieve weight loss in San Diego? According to the CDC, more than one-third of American adults are obese or overweight, a growing concern that has led to hundreds of thousands of weight loss aids – everything from supplements and exercise programs to juice cleanses. If you have tried a number of different ways to lose weight or are exercising regularly and still haven’t been able to shed any noticeable pounds, you may be missing something obvious in your daily routine. Here are ten common – and simple – reasons you still aren’t losing weight.
Not eating enough protein
Protein is the single most important nutrient for losing weight. It boosts metabolism, prevents weight regain and metabolic slowdown, and helps to reduce cravings since it has a direct affect on appetite-regulating hormones.
[tip]Tip: load up on protein at breakfast. Eating a high-protein breakfast helps you feel full for longer and have fewer cravings throughout the day. Men should be ingesting about 56 grams of protein per day, and women around 46.[/tip]
Not keeping track of what you eat
Recording everything that goes into your body every day is one of the best ways to lose weight and monitor your daily caloric intake.
[tip]Tip: keep a food journal and get in the habit of writing in it after every single meal. There are also a lot of phone apps that help you keep track of calories.[/tip]
Not drinking enough water
Besides keeping you hydrated, drinking water regularly can actually aid with weight loss. Filling up on water before a meal helps encourage portion control, and eating foods that contain a lot of water (like fruits and veggies) will fill you up faster, causing you to eat less.
[tip]Tip: Get in the habit of bringing a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go – work, the gym, running errands. Adults should be drinking 6-10 glasses of water a day (or around two liters).[/tip]
You don’t get enough sleep
Making time for your workouts can mean less time for sleep, but it’s important to get enough z’s if you’re trying to lose weight. You need extra energy to keep up with your exercise routine, and skimping on sleep can affect your body’s ability to control its appetite – tiredness can actually increase appetite-stimulating hormones.
[tip]Tip: adults need at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Start your evening routine a little earlier so you can get to bed early, and at the same time, every night.[/tip]
Overeating ‘healthy’ foods/forgetting portion control
When it comes to a balanced diet, portion control is one of the keys to success; while foods like avocados, nuts, and whole wheat pasta are in fact “healthy,” they aren’t devoid of calories.
[tip]Tip: keep measuring cups and spoons on hand to make sure your serving sizes are appropriate, and learn how to listen to your body’s “I’m full” signals in order to help you drop the fork when the time is right and move on with your day.[/tip]
You only do cardio
Cardio is great, but it’s only one piece of the fitness puzzle. Start integrating weight training into your regiment: not only does it prevent injury by strengthening joints, but it also builds muscle mass and increases the metabolic rate. Once your metabolism is revved-up, you’ll be burning calories throughout the day.
[tip]Tip: start small with the weights – 2 or 5 pounds – and increase it slowly over the course of a few weeks. Or invest in a personal trainer, who can work with your specific body type.[/tip]
Hidden sugars and calories
A salad is one of the healthiest meals you can have, but when you top it with bacon bits, goat cheese, nuts, dried fruits, and ranch dressing, you can instantly double the calorie amount.
[tip]Tip: be aware of how many calories your favorite salad extras add on and factor that in every time you pick one up.[/tip]
You aren’t eating mindfully
Aligning mealtime with a screen like your computer or the TV can hurt your weight-loss goals. Designating a special time for meals without distractions will help you connect to your food and, as a result, eat less. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much you’re eating when your mind is somewhere else.
[tip]Tip: start designating specific times of the day for meals, and don’t let yourself pick up the phone or turn on the TV while you eat; focus on your plate.[/tip]
You don’t eat enough
Skimping on meals messes up your metabolism, and by dinnertime, that famished feeling will likely cause you to eat more than you would if you weren’t starving. Not only is starving yourself not sustainable for continued weight loss, but limiting yourself to too-small portions can lead to excess snacking between mealtimes.
[tip]Tip: don’t try to skip meals or cut out entire food groups; exercise portion control and eat when you’re hungry.[/tip]
An underlying medical condition
There are certain medical conditions that can hinder weight loss or actually make you gain weight. Hypothyroidism, Metabolic Syndrome, chronic stress (being a stress case can lead to serious weight gain) or depression. Symptoms of these vary, but if you’re doing everything right and still not losing weight, there may be something wrong.
[tip]Tip: if you’re feeling extra fatigued or like something is just ‘off,’ it could be a thyroid problem. Simple blood tests can help you rule out – or pinpoint – a number of medical issues. Dr. Ghayouri specializes in treating people with medical conditions who also struggle with obesity; if you’re worried you may have something more serious going on, make an appointment with her today.[/tip]