Why Aren't I Losing Weight? (Part 3 of 3)
Hope you have had an AWESOME week.
In this blog I am going to be covering my final three reasons why you might not be losing weight.
I get it, losing weight can be super frustrating, it is hard work and you do have to make sacrifices... so if you aren't seeing results, that can get you down!
In part 1 & part 2 I went through six other reasons why you might not be seeing results... and if you haven't checked them out I really recommend that you do first.
PART ONE >> CLICK HERE
PART TWO >> CLICK HERE
So now, let's move on to my final reasons why you may not be losing weight.
7. You Are Drinking Your Calories
A lot of us are very careful about what we eat...
But when it comes to our beverages, we can easily overdo it.
Two large soy flat whites, can be roughly 240 - 480 calories. So if you are eating your energy expenditure and not accounting for your two coffee's per day, all of a sudden you can be well into a calorie surplus.
Then if you add sugar to your coffee or tea, or get a fancy frappuccino your intake could skyrocket.
Plus, if you have any fizzy drinks, juice, vitamin water, energy drinks, smoothies alcoholic beverages or cordial you could be having up to an extra 600 to 1000 calories per day.
Just because you are drinking something, doesn't mean you get a free pass on the calories.
And, with something like alcohol, your body will prioritise processing and eliminating the alcohol over processing other fats and sugars....
Meaning, if you have a big greasy burger or kebab when you are drunk it will be more likely to be stored as fat!
Cause your body will want to get rid of the alcohol first cause your body wants to return to homeostasis and get rid of the poison.
So what can you drink if you are trying to lose weight?
I am going to be the boring police here and say pretty much all you should drink is water.
For 1000's of years pretty much all we drank was water. Our body is designed to thrive on water.
If you want to spice up your water you can add in some fruit like berries, lemon or lime.
I also enjoy sparkling water as a nice refreshing alternative to plain water.
If you are going to have a tea or coffee, try have black. But if that isn't an option, try having a small amount of plant based milk and don't add in any extra sugar. Also, try stick to one per day. One is roughly 120 - 240 calories just depending on which milk you use (and what you consider large to be). So that is a lot more friendly and easy to fit in your daily intake.
If you blow out to two coffees at 240 each, that's literally the total calories of a whole extra meal just in your coffee intake!
Kombucha can also be a nice, low calorie drink to have that is reasonably healthy. Just watch which brand, cause some of them now have very little 'mother' left in them and have a bunch of added flavours.
So if you aren't seeing the progress you want and are eating right, start looking at what you are drinking. It could be the missing piece of the puzzle for you.
8. You Aren't Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is rest and repair time. Our body goes through so many healing and vital phases while we sleep, that if we are constantly deprived it can affect us in so many ways.
Research is literally just starting to scratch the surface when it comes to sleep and how detrimental it is to our health and wellbeing to always be living in a sleep deprived state.
The flow on effects on our hormones, digestion, healing, mindset, and hunger regulation are enormous.
There was one study that showed sleep deprived people on average consumed almost an additional 400 calories per day, without even being aware of it! (study here)
This is a nightmare if you are trying to lose weight, eating more calories AND no doubt drinking more calories from coffee like I mentioned above.
Sleep deprived people also produced more ghrelin, the hormone responsible for telling us we are hungry! (study here)
So not only are you tried and need energy, even your hormones are getting in on the act, driving you to find food and eat more.
No wonder it can be a losing battle.
Sleep deprived people also craved more fat and sugar, which is a horrible combination for fat loss... and at 9 calories per gram, eating more fat can be a really bad idea for weight loss if you aren't carefully monitoring intake...
Which, lets face it, if you are sleep deprived and hangry, you really won't feel like giving a shit about what you put in your mouth.
So what can you do?
The simple solution is to - get more sleep.
For a long time, sleeping more was seen as a sign of weakness, a sign that we weren't doing enough, not being productive enough.
This thankfully is starting to change.
However, a lot of the damage has been done.
People have succumbed to illnesses from sleep deprivation, hormonal problems from sleep deprivation and also increased levels of stress.
So if you aren't getting a good 7 + hours per night now, it's time to start working out how you can.
- Can you watch less TV?
- Spend less time on social media?
- Record TV shows during the week and catch up on the weekend?
- Get the family to help you with chores in the evening or on the weekend so that you aren't up half the night folding washing and doing dishes?
- Get yourself a 'sleep routine' to help you fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning?
- Plan your exercise at an effective time so you aren't going to bed at midnight, then getting up at 5 to go to the gym?
Sure, for short periods you can get away with less sleep.
And there are times (like when you become a new mum) that you will have a period of sleep deprivation.
But prolonged sleep deprivation isn't healthy and it isn't good for your body or your waistline.
Setting a sleep routine is so important for your long term health and longevity.
This is what I do...
- go to bed at a set time each night (10pm).
- listen to a podcast or meditation music to help me fall asleep.
- wake up at a set time each morning (6am).
- upon waking drink water, read, journal, meditate, exercise and stretch.
Having that routine helps my body know what to expect.
I'm not perfect, sometimes I will be awake a little later at night, and now I am pregnant sometimes I will sleep in to closer to 6:30/7.
But 9 days out of 10 I follow that routine.
If you are having trouble sleeping other things you can try are...
- melatonin tablets
- lavender or other essential oils
- having a bath before you go to bed
- dimming your lights about 30 minutes before you go to bed
- stop using screens (blue light) for about an hour before bed (or get the glasses that block blue light)
- read before bed
- meditate before bed
Just don't under estimate the importance of sleep for long term weight loss and maintenance.
Yes, you might be able to get away with some short term sleep deprived nights, but in the long term you will only be doing yourself a disservice.
9. You Are Too Sedentary
Hands up if you have heard the saying...
Sitting is the new smoking
Sitting for prolonged periods is having some pretty detrimental effects not just on our weight but on our health too.
It isn't uncommon these days for someone to wake up, get ready for work, sit in their car or on public transport to work, sit at their cubicle or at their desk for hours on end, sit in the lunchroom or at their desk for lunch, then sit again at their desk until the end of the day, then sit in their car or public transport on the way home, then finally.... sit and watch TV or be on social media until bedtime.
That's a huge proportion of our day sitting.
Our bodies were designed to move, and it is only in the last 30 years that we really have moved away from being active and having jobs that required long periods of sitting.
Sitting for prolonged periods can have the following negative health & weight impacts:
- Degenerates muscle, which decreases metabolism. Especially causing muscle wastage in your booty! Now if that isn't a reason to get moving and start an exercise program like my 28 Day Vegan Shred, I don't know what is ;)
- Moving promotes insulin sensitivity as your muscles require glycogen for energy. Sitting for prolonged periods can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
- Your digestion isn't as efficient if you are sitting all the time.
- Sitting can lead to poor posture, hip pain, compressed disks and forward head posture.
- Sitting can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. One study found that men who watch more than 23 hours of television a week have a 64 per cent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than men who only watch 11 hours of television a week.
- And more (these were taken off the Better Health website run by the Victorian Government - for other side effects from sitting you can click here).
So what can you do?
- Can you get in more exercise to and from work? Walk to work or ride a bike, walk to public transport instead of driving?
- Can you get up an hour earlier in the morning and go for a fasted morning walk?
- Can you get up and walk around your office every 60 minutes, have a stretch and reset?
- Can you go for a walk on your lunch break and instead of sitting at your desk or in the lunchroom, find a nice park to sit in?
- Instead of getting takeaway on the way home can you have the TV on in the background while you prepare a healthy dinner and do some house work rather than just sitting?
- Can you stand up and do some ironing while you watch TV?
- Can you set up a stationary bike or treadmill in front of the TV so you can exercise while you watch your shows at night?
- Can you take the kids to the park when you get home from work?
- Can you find 20 minutes up to 1 hour in the morning or afternoon to do an easy exercise program that will get your heart rate up, and help you build lean muscle... like what is in my 28 Day Vegan Shred (which has different programs for both home and gym)?
It might take a bit of extra thought and planning to create these new habits, but isn't your health and happiness worth it??
What isn't worth it, personally for me, is sacrificing 50 years of your life making a living, but never being happy or comfortable with your body... then as the icing on the cake, running into major health issues in your retirement or that force your retirement.
That was the path I felt I was on, working in a law firm doing 10 hour plus days, sitting for most of that time, commuting 1.5 hours to work and 1.5 hours from work (sitting all of that time) every day, being overweight and being sick with chronic illness and autoimmune disease.
I wasn't living and I wasn't happy.
So I said no to that life, and yes to me and making the most of my one life and I haven't looked back.
It is hard to make those changes, but it is so worth it.
You don't have to make every change all at once.
Think what's one easy way you can be more active tomorrow and go from there.
I also find having a step monitor (either a pedometer, smart watch or fitbit) can help challenge you to take more steps each day. If you are barely getting in 5,000 aim for 7,500 and if you are at 7,500 aim for 10,000 every single day.
So there you go....
Nine of my top reasons why you aren't losing weight.
What one did you find most resonated with you... or you think could potentially be holding you back.
I would love to hear in the comments!
P.S. if you aren't already... make sure you join my free fitness motivation group. Each month I run a competition AND there inspiration and motivation posted daily to keep you on track. JOIN HERE
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