Many people go on diets, eat only certain types of food, and exercise. Sometimes you get the results that you want, which is great! Sometimes you can’t, which can be super frustrating.
This is because there are many things that can impact how much weight you lose – from how stressed out you are to your personal biology. Weight loss actually does involve a lot more than just counting calories and cutting back on certain food groups.
I am going to cover how your biology, your emotions, and the environment you live in can impact your weight. Hopefully being aware of factors that can impact your overall health and body weight, can help you reach your goals with a bit more ease!
1. Poor Sleeping Patterns
Sleep is the first factor on the list because sleep impacts so many different areas of life.
There have been several reasons found as to why sleep loss can impact your eating habits or even your ability to function at a good capacity. You know those lazy days – you need coffee to wake up in the morning, you buy takeout food because you don’t want to cook, and you skip the gym because you’re so tired.
Another reason is our metabolism. Of course, we know this impacts how much we can eat or should eat in a day. But, without enough sleep, our metabolism will slow down to save our energy. When our metabolism slows down like that, a hormone called cortisol will be released into our system to make us want to eat more.
Less sleep will also release more of the hormone that tells us when we are hungry and less of the hormone that tells us when we are full. So the less you sleep, the more you are going to want to eat and continuously eat!
2. Stressed Out to Stress Eating
I think almost everyone who is trying to lose weight knows about stress eating. Stress eating is how some people handle their stress – they decide to eat more and more food, often unhealthy food, in order to feel better and try to not be stressed out.
This isn’t only because eating your personal comfort foods (mmm, chocolate…) can help make you feel better emotionally, but also because stress also releases more cortisol.
This means you will want to eat more the more you are stressed because your body is releasing hormones that make you feel hungrier, even when you really aren’t.
Another reason why stress can make it so much harder to lose weight is that stress is a more negative emotion. Negative emotions or states of mind are difficult to deal with when you are trying to lead a healthy life because your mind and body will often make you feel more pessimistic or only allow you small amounts of energy.
Pessimism and low energy are the main ingredients in making you lazier and wanting to eat food that isn’t very good for you. Trying to keep your spirits up, having a good support system, or finding the good motivation to keep working out or eating well can help you make it through these times.
Speaking of a support system…
3. Finding Support
Things can be done by one, but are usually more successful with accountability and support from friends and family. Make sure to surround yourself with people who are positive and can cheer you on. Positivity is infectious, so having people to turn to for positivity or support can help you reach any of your goals with a lot more ease than you may expect – especially if you are trying to lose weight. Need help finding a group? Come on over to the Appetites for Life Facebook page for free support, tips and inspiration.
4. Chemicals in The Home
Something that you may not often think about is the toxicity of the household you live in – from literal chemicals to emotional toxicity. The chemicals in your cleaning supplies to the formula within your facewash or shampoo could actually be impacting your weight loss regimen.
The chemicals in the everyday items we use are important because we absorb some of it every time we use it. Widely used manmade chemicals are known to slow down metabolism. Many of estrogen mimickers, called Xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are endocrine disruptors that act like estrogen, which is a fat storing and fat creating hormone.
So, it may be time to clean out the cabinets and take a closer look at what you are putting on and spraying around.
5. Your Gut
There are bacteria within our digestive system that has a large impact on how lean a person can be. People with this type of bacteria in their system have a tendency to gain less weight.
So if you are really struggling with losing weight – this could be part of the problem.
Adding in more whole foods, non-processed foods like whole grains, vegetables, or lentil will provide the fiber needed to promote the change of your gut bacteria into better quality gut bacteria, helping you to fight inflammation, balance blood sugar, and aid digestion, which will help you to keep the weight off.
Now that you know the potential factors… What Can You Do Now?
Here is a more concise list of the reasons I mentioned that could be preventing you from losing weight, and some solutions:
- Sleep Troubles – go to bed at a set time and wake up at a set time (if possible) to establish better sleeping patterns; sleep for at least 6-8 hours every night (remember everyone is different). Practicing sleep hygiene is important too to get your body ready for bed.
- Stress & Support– take a break every now and then to relax; try to stay positive; keep in touch with your support system; hire a nutritionist for accountability and guidance.
- Chemicals – check for certain ingredients in the formulas of the things you use; use less harsh chemical cleaners and cleaner beauty products. Research healthier alternatives.
- Gut– eat lots of vegetables, fruits, lentils, and other healthy food products to feed the good bugs, balance blood sugar, and reduce inflammation; Reduce processed foods.
Hopefully, now that you are aware of the potential reasons as to why you aren’t losing as much weight as you want – or none at all – you can at least be more aware of your actions and take steps so you can lose more weight.