But why am I not losing weight?

So, you’ve been cutting down on fat, reducing carbs and exercising regularly. You’ve even learned to resist the ice cream aisle at the grocery store.  Awesome!  But, you are just not losing weight.  Here are a few things that might be keeping the scales from cooperating with you.

1.  Mindless Eating

Admit it, this is probably what made you overweight in the first place, right?  It’s a sneaky occurrence that usually happens when you’re thinking about anything and everything other than FOOD.  It’s eating when you’re watching TV.   Popcorn at the movies.  Sampling things while cooking.  It’s something you don’t think about…it’s something you just do!!

So it makes sense that to overcome mindless eating, you need to start practicing MINDFUL eating.  Things like only eating with others, sitting down to eat and really appreciating the food that you eat will go a long way in improving your food consumption.

2.  Overeating the “good” foods

As losing weight has become a national pastime, there are oodles of articles available about foods that are “approved” because of their health benefits.  For example, things like nuts, dark chocolate, avocados and honey are all considered “good ” foods.  Granted, these are all great sources of nutrients and are beneficial, but it doesn’t mean that it’s okay to gorge on them.

3.  Eating too little

If you are not eating enough during the day your metabolism will slow down.  Your body will think it’s starving, so it will slow down your calorie-burning capacity in order to “survive.”  Also, your body will adjust to the low caloric intake the last few hours of the day, by trying to hang on to the food through the night in preparation for another day of “starving.” Plain and simple – eat early and eat often and eat healthy!

4. Stress

Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” and is released in our body when we are agitated.  Cortisol inhibits weight loss, catabolizes muscles, worsens insulin resistance, and promotes the storage of fat.  We all have stressful situations in our lives and people are biologically “wired” to react differently to stress.  One person may secrete higher levels cortisol than another in the same situation.  Studies have shown that people who secrete higher levels of cortisol in response to stress tend to eat more food, and food that is higher in carbohydrates than people who secrete less cortisol.  If you’re more sensitive to stress it’s especially important for you to learn stress management techniques and maintain a low-stress lifestyle.

5.  Diet junkie

Once you have committed to losing weight and following a better nutrition program it’s easy to become obsessed with your newfound knowledge.  There is a plethora of information on the Internet about weight loss and the latest and greatest “cure”for belly fat, cravings, etc.  Your diet is obviously what will determine your body’s loss of weight, but there is more to life than worrying about everything you put in your mouth and micromanaging your nutrient intake.  Switching from one diet fad to another can be counterproductive–staying on a healthy plan will produce results for the long haul.

6.  Too much exercise

Although regular exercise is a necessary component of a healthy lifestyle, and smart training (lifting heavy things, walking lots, getting your heart pumping) can speed weight loss and improve body composition, there is such a thing as too much exercise.  After all, effective exercise is effective because it challenges our physiology and propels us to rise to the occasion and improve ourselves by getting stronger, faster, and with more lean mass and less body fat.  Taken to the extreme, exercise becomes a chronic stressor and a steady source of cortisol release.  Chronic stress in any form can also induce a hypothyroid-like state, where metabolic rate is lowered and weight loss slows or stops altogether, and exercise-induced chronic stress is no different.

7. Eating schedule is out of whack

There is a considerable amount of evidence that maintaining a regular eating schedule can improve the metabolic response to meals in some people.  Women in particular seem to benefit most from a “regular meal pattern.”  Although adhering to strict tines for meals is not necessary, completely skipping meals is never a good idea.  Leaving home in the morning without eating breakfast, working through lunch of, fasting all day in preparation for a big meal in the evening-skipping meals like this, especially on a regular basis, is likely to undermine your weight-loss efforts.

Unfortunately, when it comes to weight loss, there are no magic bullets.  Body transformation is based on making consistent, healthy lifestyle changes.  Remember, you are not just “on a diet,” you are overhauling old patterns with new ones.  It takes time and commitment, but reaping the benefits in how you look and feel makes it so worth it.

8.  Consistency is key

When we first start a healthy meal plan with appropriate calories for weight reduction we follow it religiously.  We are thrilled with our weight loss and watching the pounds disappear.  During this time it is easy to start “cheating” a little.  Gradually we are back in our old habits and the weight loss stops.   Be consistent with healthy food choices so you continue to reach your weight loss goal and keep it there.

Summer fun with good food

Do not let summer fun sabotage your weight loss goals or lead to weight gain. Summer can be a challenging season for those of us struggling to lose weight or maintain weight. We have lots of things to celebrate with barbecues, pool parties, boating, and vacations. Many of the celebrations we attend involve food and drink that can derail mindful healthy eating. Most often we have no control of the food choices offered us during these celebrations. Here are some tips to keep your weight goal on track.

  1. If you are unsure if there is going to be a heathy choice of food offered at the event then offer to bring a healthy entree or snack. Something you will eat!
  2. Bring your own beverage and when offered one of those yummy high calorie sweet drinks politely decline by saying “no thank you, I brought my own yummy drink”. ( I love my Yeti cup for this).
  3. Always bring plenty of water with you. For some reason many functions do not offer flavored water or any water! We need more water in the summer because we lose water through heat and perspiration.
  4. Stay mindful of the food choices you make. Before the event know just how many calories you need, so you can stay on goal. For example, know how many calories are in potato salad, coleslaw, brisket, grilled hamburgers, chips, and cheesy filled veggies/dips.
  5. Do not go to any event hungry or you will be tempted to overeat foods that will lead to weight gain.
  6. Vacations usually involve eating at a restaurant and following up with a great ice cream choice in a beautiful setting. If you know the restaurant check out the menu prior to going so you know which food choice will best meet your goal. Be persistent in picking the restaurant so you can choose one that offers fish, salads, and whole foods. If you get stuck at an establishment that does not offer healthy choices then try and do damage control by eating only half the portion. And of course you can have ice cream once in a while. One dip in a bowl. Preferably sherbet or low fat soft yogurt. Most of all find your vacation joy in the sites and ones you are with. It is not about the food!!