Although the first pounds usually melt away quickly, most people on a diet usually reach a phase in which their weight loss stagnates. Here are 10 reasons why you stop losing weight despite being on a diet.
1. Maybe you are losing weight without realizing it
Bodyweight fluctuates constantly. Among other things, it is influenced by hormones that have a great effect on the amount of water your body retains (especially in women). It is also possible that your muscle mass increases at the same time that you lose fat. This happens especially if you have only recently started exercising. In that case, instead of using the scale daily, you can also measure your waist circumference and body fat percentage instead.
2. You underestimate what you eat
Many people have no idea how much they actually eat. If you keep a food diary and write down your food intake, you will become more aware of your eating habits.
3. You don’t eat enough protein
Protein is an important nutrient to lose weight. If protein makes up 25-30% of the calories in your diet, it can boost metabolism, so you burn 80-100 more calories per day. Proteins can also drastically reduce the desire for snacks.
4. Neglecting strength training
One of the best things you can do when losing weight is to practice some form of resistance training, such as weight lifting. Strength training can help you maintain muscle mass, which is often burned along with body fat when you’re not exercising. Lifting weights can also help prevent metabolic deceleration and can keep your body toned and muscular.
5. You don’t sleep enough
A good night’s sleep is one of the most important factors for your physical and mental health, including your weight. Studies show that poor sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for obesity. Adults and children who sleep poorly are 55% and 89% more likely to be obese, respectively.
6. You don’t drink water
Drinking water can promote weight loss. Research shows that people who drink half a liter of water 30 minutes before meals lose 44% more weight than those who don’t. It has also been found that by drinking water, you increase the number of calories burned by 24-30% over a period of 1.5 hours.
7. You have a medical condition that makes weight loss more difficult
A number of medical conditions can contribute to weight gain, including hypothyroidism (thyroid problem), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and sleep apnea. Certain medications can also complicate weight loss or even cause weight gain.
8. You’ve been dieting for too long
If you’ve been losing weight for months and you’ve reached a plateau, you may need to take a break. Try to increase your calorie intake by a few hundred calories a day, sleep more and do strength training. Aim to maintain your body fat for 1-2 months before trying to lose weight again.
9. You have too much stress
Stress can make you reach for high-calorie, high-fat foods. Your body also tends to store more fat when you’re stressed. Try exercising or meditating to reduce stress.
10. You focus too much on diets
Dieting almost never works in the long term. Studies show that people who go on a diet actually gain more weight over time. Instead of focusing on healthy weight loss, strive to maintain healthy lifestyle habits.
Choose a balanced diet with lots of nutrients, as much exercise as possible, and regularly do things that make you happy. Try to nourish your body instead of depriving it of essential nutrients and then weight loss will become a natural side effect.