Summer has come and gone and you’re still not making enough progress towards your ideal weight? It can be frustrating, especially if you feel like you’ve already “tried everything.” Maybe you went on a new diet, or have sworn off rice. Maybe you got started on a new workout regimen and watched some of the pounds fall off, only to come piling back on. If you’ve been eating well, and staying active, shouldn’t the weight loss follow? What could be going on?
Some troubleshooting may be in order. Are any of these true for you?
- You’re not actually eating healthy food. Are your pantry and ref now full of products labeled as healthy, organic, gluten-free, low-fat and whatnot? Don’t get carried away by labels; the best food you can eat comes with no labels at all! Choose whole, clean food instead of processed goods that are often full of added sugar or sugar alternatives, additives and preservatives.
- You eat too much. Even if you’re eating healthy food, the volume still does matter, especially if #3 below is true for you.
- You don’t move around enough. If you work out regularly but are sedentary for the rest of the day, then that doesn’t help you. Take every opportunity to stand, walk and move instead of sitting around all day.
- You’re eating too much carbs. You don’t have to go on a keto diet, but limiting carb intake helps you lose weight by allowing your body to turn to burning stored fat for energy instead of relying on sugar. Be wary of hidden carbs and sugar that can add up throughout the day.
- You’re not getting enough quality sleep. Lack of sleep, especially over long periods of time, can affect your metabolic health. It might help to skip the caffeine in the afternoon and switch off blue light sources like your phone and laptop before you go to bed.
- You’re stressed. As with #5, too much cortisol in your system not only affects your metabolic health, but may have you reaching for comfort food which often take the form of something carb-heavy like chips, pizza or dessert.
- You cheat. If you’re better at justifying to yourself why you deserve a tub of ice cream than mustering up the willpower to not buy it in the first place, then maybe your willpower needs a little more exercise, too. Try to enlist the help of someone who can help keep you on track, like a diet buddy, supportive friend or health coach.
- Your body has already reached a good weight. This is the point where you may want to decide whether your goal is in fact to lose more weight or to start focusing on improving body composition and losing fat instead.
While reaching your ideal weight is not always the end-game, having a normal BMI at least is a good place to be. Hopefully this helps you to figure out how to break that plateau and get going once again on your weight loss journey.