Weight loss is often a subject that matters people’s lives when it comes to their health and physical appearance. Research has repeatedly shown that maintaining a normal weight within a healthy body mass index range can benefit both our physical and mental health, as there is a low risk of obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus, stroke as well as certain types of cancer.
Weight loss is not often as easy as it might seem, especially when it comes not being aware of what might be going wrong or what could potentially work if more effort is put. There is a high chance you too have been thinking of weight loss lately either it’s for a couple of pounds or lots of weight. As opposed to the common belief that the journey of weight loss is simple and easy, in reality, it has many fluctuations and, of course, much of disappointment.
In order to lose weight, your calorie intake should not exceed the number of calories you ‘burn’ in total from your physical activity throughout the day. Therefore, there are numerous reasons why diets don’t always work, such as quantity, quality or frequency of meals as well as factors like your sleep routine and your psychology overall.
So, here’s a list of what might be happening in reality and the most common mistakes we make in a weight loss journey without realizing it.
Quite often, our daily routine can lead to disporpotional time gaps between our meals in the day. Therefore, the are only a couple of them during our day which tend to be in large portions resulting to an overall high calorie intake. Using large plates can also have an effect on our portions as it is not unsual to fill them making our meal attractive to one’s eye. For this reason, use of smaller plates is recommended which can be easily be filled with much less amounts of food.
Consuming energy-dense food items
Either by consuming junk food such as pizza, burgers, chips, chocolate or biscuits which are high in sugar and/or fat (and of course sodium!) and hence calories or by over-consuming ‘healthy food choices’. Those include olive oil, avocado, nut butter, fatty fish such as salmon, granola, protein bars, nuts and seeds, and so the list goes on. The fact that these very foods nourish your body with nutrients and vitamins does not mean that they have no calories! No matter what food you consume, there are always calories in it and over-consuming it can only delay your weight loss further.
In other words, you essentially lose count of the food you are consuming. Nubbling throughout the day hurts your eating habits without you realising that the amount of food consumed in these short periods of time can potentially equal one or more regular meals. Therefore, it can definitely make a difference in your diet and affect your weight loss journey within the quantity or quality of the foods you’re having.
You’re drinking your calories. Smoothies, juices (fresh or from concentrated), milkshakes, soft and alcoholic drinks, coffees loaded with sugar, creams and sprinkles all contain a considerable amount of sugars and hence calories, so excessive consumption should be limited on a regular basis.
As you lower your daily calorie intake and thus losing the amount of your weight, ideally body fat, your body always compromises with the changes it faces meaning that it lowers your basal metabolic rate to fit your needs. However, this adjustment finally cannot go further creating the so-called plateau effect where although your body’s still in the weight loss process and you’re losing weight without realizing it just because the number in the scale does not drop. In this case, either the calories need to decrease or physical activity to increase. Be sure that your body has your back!
Low physical activity
Not exercising enough for your body in regards with duration, incline and type, i.e. combining aerobics and weights, might have a big effect on your weight. Negative energy balance, i.e. energy expenditure higher than energy intake, should be in place from day to day in order for your weight to gradually and effectively drop in a certain period of time. This can happen by matching your individual needs to the right support from a professional personal trainer!
I.e. rapidly gaining weight just after a diet. This phenomenon primarily occurs among people who constantly try diets or diet patterns back to back meaning they’re finally dieting for a long time. Very often this pattern fails to help individuals lose actual weight resulting in an increase in body fat percentage. In addition, the yo-yo effect has usually a huge psychological effect in the long run.
Dieting too much
Trying hard on a diet with restrictions, detoxes and deprivations at a point you become obsessive over will not help you at all. Your mental health will decline affecting your thoughts, beliefs and hence your lifestyle in a non-productive way for you and your loved ones. No diet is ever perfect – just remember that you can find that one solution that works for you with the right attitude towards your goal and the right support from qualified healthcare professionals.
Conditions such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism directly affect your weight when not regulated as they are primarily connected to metabolism as it is regulating its normal function.
Other underlying condition you might not be aware of. Health conditions such as insulin resistance, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), cardiovascular disease and even mental health conditions and stress can all of them negatively affect your weight loss journey.
PLUS! Unrealistic goals
Setting goals that are measurable, realistic, achievable, cost-effective and, most importantly, suited especially to you is a huge milestone when you’re starting off your long weight loss journey.
In conclusion, the most important thing to remember on weight loss in that our daily calorie intake should be higher than our daily calorie expenditure in order to successfully achieve it. In any case, I’d suggest you keep a food diary to just keep a track on your eating habits so you are able to reflect more effectively on your weight loss process. And finally, keep in mind that changing your weight, body image and thus lifestyle requires a lot of hard work, self-discipline, patience and perseverance!