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It never fails: you start the new year with a strong commitment to your fitness journey. This is going to be your year to finally shed those extra pounds. You change your entire diet, start incorporating some exercise, and wait for the pounds to melt off.
You weigh in after a week. The number on the scale doesn’t budge. You step off the scale, then step back on, certain there must be some mistake. The number, stubborn as ever, refuses to move. You give it another week. The same thing happens. What gives?
Weight loss struggles happen to all of us and are the main reason why people’s weight loss resolutions fail within a month or so after the new year. Thankfully, we have five potential explanations behind why you can’t seem to lose any weight, despite your best efforts.
1. You’re Drinking Your Calories
You track every calorie you consume with religious fervor. You can’t be missing something there. You’re positive.
Are you tracking the calories you drink?
Whether it’s soda, alcohol, or your Starbucks addiction, you may be drinking more sugar and calories than your current exercise regimen expends. While most people remember to track the food they consume if counting calories is their go-to, fewer track what they drink.
Your average full-sugar soda contains at least two hundred calories per can. A grande latte from your local coffee shop? At least one hundred and fifty, if not double that by the time you add chocolate and whipped cream. Even fruit juices, long touted as healthy alternatives to soda, offer sugar-packed glasses of at least one hundred calories a pop.
And if you’re going out for drinks with friends or indulging in a weekend boxed wine, those numbers can affect the scale as well. Drinking a glass of wine every single night can add as much as fifteen hundred calories to your intake over the course of a week. That just adds to your weight loss struggles!
2. Improper Portions
It’s not your imagination: portion sizes in restaurants are getting bigger every year. Unless you pay premium prices for haute cuisine, you’re more than likely eating almost a double portion of your food. And while every restaurant in the United States with more than twenty locations has to post calorie counts, the sad fact is, many of them still find ways to fudge those numbers.
Trying to cook at home? You’re not safe from super-sizing your portions. Unless you meticulously measure and weigh your food, chances are, what you believe to be a single portion is more like two or even three. This may not seem like much when it comes to vegetables or fruits, but if you underestimate portion sizes on meat or pasta, your waistline is in for a world of hurt.
3. Mindless Consumption
This factors back to the idea that you don’t track as much as you think you do. How often have you had a bag of chips or popcorn next to you while watching TV or working, only to find the whole thing empty before you know it? Do you find yourself wandering to the refrigerator at night, grabbing whatever you can find out of it or the cabinets for a quick bite before going back to bed?
We don’t judge if you have. But are you keeping track of those calories or foods? The most likely answer to that question is “no”.
Scientists have screamed until they’re blue in the face that if you sit down to eat, it should be the only thing you’re doing. It hasn’t stopped any of us from wanting popcorn while we binge something on Netflix. Speaking of…
4. Stress, Sleep, and Sitting
Take a second, stand up, and stretch. How long have you been sitting at your computer or in front of your TV? With so many more of us working from home, it’s important to take time to get up, walk around, and get exercise. Our lives have become increasingly sedentary over the past several years, and it’s not helping us shed pounds.
Additionally, if you’re not sleeping well or feel stressed out all the time, your metabolism slows to a glacial crawl. Sleep deprivation also affects our judgment centers, making us more likely to make diet mistakes. Think of the last time you felt exhausted and strung out. Chances are, you didn’t opt for any healthy foods during that period: rather, you went for fatty, creamy, sweet, and comforting foods to make you feel better.
While indulging your cravings during periods of stress is understandable and nothing to be ashamed of, it’s detrimental to your weight loss efforts in the long run.
5. Taking One Failure As a Total Failure
You’ve followed all the weight loss tips in the world, but something happens. You go out to eat with friends and split a massive pizza. You get so stressed out you cry and eat a pint of ice cream. A deal comes on for your favorite fast food on television, and you can’t resist the urge to buy.
Your diet is ruined forever, and you may as well just throw the whole thing in the garbage where it belongs-!
Stop. Take a moment. Calm down.
Falling off the wagon once isn’t going to wreck your entire fitness journey. It’s hard to keep at it when you lose track of what you’re doing. Doubly so if you can’t see your progress. We understand that.
However, even when you feel like you aren’t making progress, you’re doing more than you realize. (See this article for more about that.) One bad day is no reason to throw all your hard work away. Just dust yourself off, and get back to it.
Need More Solutions for Your Weight Loss Struggles?
Now that you understand the reasons behind some of your worst weight loss struggles, you’re probably in the market for some tips to help you get back on your fitness journey. No worries. Check out the health section of our blog for more articles like this one!