If you’ve ever struggled with exercise and weight loss, you’ll know that it can be frustrating and even confounding.
If you’re a veteran exerciser, you may enjoy regular, hard workouts which help you to lose, or maintain your weight. If you’re not, you may find any amount of exercise hard to accomplish and, inevitably, that will impact how much weight you lose.
There may also be other issues standing in the way of your weight loss:
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial if you’re trying to lose weight, and not just because of how it affects you physically and mentally.
Experts speculate that:
- Losing sleep may make you feel hungry, even when you’re not.
- Sleep deprivation may affect the secretion of cortisol, one of the hormones that regulates appetite.
- When you’re tired, you may skip exercise or simply move around less.
You are Stressed
Stress and weight gain, or lack of weight loss go hand in hand. Though you may not be aware of it, being under constant stress has the following consequences:
- Like sleep deprivation, too much stress increases the production of cortisol. Not only does this increase appetite, it can also cause fat storage in the abdomen.
- Craving foods that are high in sugar and fat, comfort foods to make us feel better.
- Missing workouts because you just feel too stressed out to exercise.
Eating Too Much
One of the most important factors in weight loss is how much you eat. Even when you think you’re being very good with your diet, it’s easy to underestimate how much you’re actually eating.
This may seem obvious, but unless you’re tracking your daily intake it’s easy to underestimate it, especially when we eat out. The easiest way to keep track is a food diary. It doesn’t need to be anything more complicated than a piece of paper where you write down everything, and I mean everything, you eat and drink during the day. If you do this for a week, you’ll get a big picture of your food and drink consumption.
You’re Not Consistent with Exercise
Exercise is a crucial element to weight loss, along with your overall daily activity levels,
For weight loss, experts often recommend 60-90 minutes of exercise each day. If you’re doing high intensity workouts, that number drops to up to 30 minutes. If you’re not even close to that, this gives you a place to start.
But this doesn’t mean you have to start working out for 2 hours a day. In fact, that’s a bad idea if you’re not used to that level of exertion and it could lead to injury, burnout or over training. What it does mean is that you need to make a very important decision:
Either you need to increase your exercise time and intensity to match your weight loss goals.
You need to change your weight loss goals to match what you’re actually doing.
Don’t forget, it’s not just about structured exercise. Just start doing something and challenge yourself to do something every day, no matter how long or how short it is.
You Blow it at the Weekend
What fun would life be if we are not allowed to have a treat every now and then. But if you find you do very well during the week only to drink too much and overeat at the weekend, you may be hurting your weight loss goals.
The trick is to plan your indulgences so that you can have some fun while staying on track with your weight loss goals. And keep moving, a day on the sofa with your favourite food and a Netflix binge is going to put a dent in everything you’ve achieved during the week. Like most things in life it’s about finding a balance where you can achieve the weight loss, whilst still enjoying life.