One of the most frequent emails I get is from people asking why they can’t lose weight.
Weight loss is a very complex subject: it’s so much more than just calories in/calories out (that does matter, but it’s not the whole story).
There are numerous factors involved, including age, activity level, body type, metabolism, diet, past dieting and weight history, hormonal factors, psychological factors, lifestyle factors, etc.
People want a simple answer and unfortunately there is usually a combination of factors at play.
Here is a list of the most common reasons why people can’t lose weight.
1. You may be taking in more calories than you're aware of. Even if you're eating healthy, those healthy foods can add up. Those extra servings of nuts, nut butters, avocados, salad dressing, bread, or even an extra glass or two of wine at night can keep you from losing weight.
2. Your diet is high in white sugar, refined white flour, and high in fat. You eat mostly processed foods that have little nutritional value. You eat very few fruits and vegetables, whole grains, whole foods, and healthy fats.
3.You eat way too much over the week-end. I have many clients who do well during the week but then eat out all week-end and overdo it with drinks, appetizers, bread and butter, main courses, and large desserts all in one sitting. Do that a couple times over the week-end and any weight you lost during the week is gone. You may even gain weight.
4.You have hormonal issues working against you: thyroid, estrogen imbalance, or insulin resistance.
5.Lack of sleep or too much stress can make you hang on to weight and even make you gain weight. Stress and lack of sleep makes your body release cortisol which raises insulin levels causing you to crave sweet and fatty foods. It also increases your appetite.
6.Your body may be hanging onto the weight because you are ambivalent about being at your desired weight. You may be afraid of intimacy or attention, and don't want to lose your protective layer of fat.
7.You use your food and weight struggle as a scapegoat so that you don’t have to face your fears and the real issues in your life. As long as you’re overweight, you can blame your weight as the reason you don’t have what you really want in life.
8. Your body may like being a certain weight and won't go down any further. Not everyone, especially if they've been overweight a long time, can be a normal weight. The body has a certain set point that it likes to be at and sometimes won’t budge below this unless you eat very little and/or exercise all the time.