As an adult who has struggled basically all of my life with being overweight, I am an expert on Things That Hinder Weight Loss. Not only have I learned all the emotional triggers, I have been able to pinpoint the physical things that seem to stall my weight loss. Some things are obvious, others are ones I have learned only after talking to professionals in the health industry. When you are serious about getting healthy and losing weight as a part of that, it is important to understand how your body and emotions will contribute to that. I have a lot of physical issues that can hinder weight loss, but it tends to be the emotional things that hurt me more.
Things That Hinder Weight Loss
Not eating enough. Crash diets just aren’t healthy. Simply put, not eating enough calories will make your body go into what you can call “starvation mode”. Your body will start conserving calories instead of burning them. Those diets that limit you to only 400-800 calories a day will make you lose weight the first few days or week, but long term success won’t happen easily. Your rate of weight loss will drop drastically, and the second you add back a normal calorie range of 1500-1600 calories a day, you’ll find yourself gaining or stalling out. It is important to make sure you are eating enough to fuel your body properly, while avoiding overeating.
Snacking. Snacking can be a great thing or a bad thing. So – let me say that I find snacking helpful in controlling my appetite. By having some fresh fruit, nuts or other small 100 calorie or less snacks 2-3 times a day, I manage to eat smaller portions during meals and feel full. However, some people snacks mean a candy bar, a bag of chips or even healthy things like nuts, but in portions that are too large. Getting control of your snack habits by working on portion control, as well as choosing better options will help you to get back in line. Pre-measure your almonds, cashews and pistachios so you know exactly what calorie range you are having. Prep fresh fruit ahead of time so it makes it easy to grab and eat on the go.
Liquid calories. Coffee may be the biggest offender these days. Most people automatically realize that things like sweetened tea, soft drinks and juice will contain empty calories. However, coffee is one thing people will drink regularly and not register the calories included. If you are ordering special blends that include milk, cream, sugar or syrups you need to account for the added calories those include in your diet.
Not getting enough sleep. There are many parts of not getting enough sleep that can hinder your weight loss. Not only is your body going to be exhausted and likely not burn calories as well, you won’t have the energy to do what you need at the gym, or even at work. Lack of sleep causes you to not be able to concentrate. It also tends to lead individuals to be lazy about their routine. That could mean skipping the menu plan and falling victim to take out all week. It could also mean only doing half a workout, or running late in the mornings and grabbing breakfast on the go that isn’t as healthy. There are a multitude of reasons why getting plenty of sleep are imperative to your overall health and especially successful weight loss.
Emotional eating. This is a given, but do you realize you are doing it? For those who are emotional eaters, it can be really tough to realize that is what you are doing when you are bored, sad, lonely, excited or frustrated. It goes so far as to be one of the main things we do in celebration. It’s your birthday? Let’s go eat, or have cake. Get a promotion? Let’s make a cake. Emotional eating is one of my personal biggest things that hinder weight loss. Especially with my weird work schedule. Since I work super long hours, and am often up late at night I have a hard time not eating out of boredom. The desire to snack all day is tough for me. I found freezing grapes and mango to be the best healthy option. I also cave and chew sugar free gum quite frequently.
Medications. I remember thinking for years that this was just an excuse. However, this year as I recovered from back surgery, I took a few rounds of steroids. I have never gained so much so fast for no reason in my life. I did feel hungry, but even without eating much more than normal, I packed on pounds in a time frame that was frightening. Yes, some medications can really cause you to gain weight. Whether they make you constantly hungry, or they make it tough for you to lose because they cause bloating and water retintion, medications can definitely be an issue.
These things are truly the things I have personally struggled with the most. Since I have a hard time with them, I figured someone else out there probably is. It’s hard to set a goal and stick with it. I sit here typing this and know that at this point I weigh more today than I have in 15 years. The struggle since surgery to exercise has been tough. Not giving in to emotional cravings has been really hard for me. I need to focus, and I know how to make it happen. Putting it out here will hopefully not only help me, but others in the same boat.
Check out some of my other tips and thoughts regarding exercise and weight loss!