Just as one shoe doesn’t fit everyone, one weight loss plan doesn’t work for all. If you’ve ever tried a weight loss plan that friends or family members follow, only to find that the pounds haven’t magically vanished, you probably feel discouraged and disappointed. Weight loss is a multi-faceted issue that involves several moving parts. Exercising, managing stress, and eating the right amount of healthy foods are all critical. Here are some factors that could influence your ability (or lack of) to lose weight.
Sometimes, people will dedicate “hours each day to exercise,” says BusinessInsider.com, only to find that they can’t seem to burn off calories. One of the main reasons why this happens is that people commonly underestimate the number of calories they’re eating, but they also overestimate the number of calories that they burn. Ultimately, people often consume more calories than they burn off. If you feel like you’re not losing any weight after starting an exercise program, this might be why!
Eating the “Right” Foods
If you’re trying to lose weight, there are “good” and “bad” foods that will either facilitate weight loss or keep you from shedding pounds. Essentially, you’ll want to focus on foods that are high in protein and fiber. They will fill you up more quickly and make you feel full longer, which is essential for weight loss. Some recommended nutritious foods for weight loss are whole eggs (the whites and yolk), leafy greens, legumes, fish, nuts, grains, fruit, and certain dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese. Foods to avoid – at least in excess – are those that are refined and processed. Potato chips, soda, white bread, and baked goods such as muffins, croissants, and cookies are among the worst offenders for losing weight. They are high in sugar, salt, and calories, and will leave you hungry shortly after eating them.
With all these choices, you can easily get through the day (or multiple days) Healthline.com has some neat tips for eating nutritious foods at every meal. In the morning, you can start with a hard-boiled egg and a bowl of fiber-rich fruit, or you can make a spicy omelet with chili peppers, which are another food recommended for weight loss. At lunchtime, a hearty salad topped with nuts, which are packed with good fats, or high-protein cottage cheese is a good choice. For dinner, try fish like salmon, tuna, or herring, which contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Lean beef and chicken, which are low in fat but high in iron and protein, are other top choices.
A Customized Exercise Plan
Perhaps you have been trying to lose weight through exercise and diet already, but you have had limited success. Or maybe you’ve started to eat healthier foods, and now you want to add exercise into your weight loss plan. Experts agree that the combination of exercise and eating right is the best way to lose weight and keep the pounds off. However, as HCGDiet.com tells us, “Everyone is different, so what may work for one person may not work for another. That’s why it’s important to have an individualized workout plan.” Your doctor can work with you to create an individualized exercise plan that takes into consideration your weight loss goals, your current health (including any physical restrictions), and your preference for specific activities such as running, swimming, or breaking a sweat at the gym. To make sure that you stay safe and keep track of the calories you’ve burned, your doctor may give you a heart rate monitor to wear.
Medications and Underlying Medical Causes
If you find that you’re working out routinely and eating healthier, but the weight remains, there may be other reasons why you can’t lose weight. Certain medications are known to cause weight retention or prevent weight loss, as WebMD.com informs us. Some diseases can also prevent weight loss. An underactive thyroid slowing your metabolism, Cushing’s syndrome, and insulin resistance are medical conditions that may keep you from losing weight. In women, polycystic ovary syndrome and hormonal changes can affect weight. According to TheRecoveryVillage.com, psychological conditions like stress and anxiety produce a hormone called cortisol. This hormone causes the body to store fat instead of losing it, which can trigger more stress and anxiety, creating a vicious cycle of worsening mental health.
There are physical and psychological components to dieting and losing weight, and you will ultimately need to work with your doctor to find a solution that works for you. As with anything that involves your health, you should always consult a physician first before embarking on a weight loss program. However, if you’re interested in the personal training and meal planning programs we have to help you figure out your best weight loss regimen, check out our services!