Losing weight seems to be a difficult task for a lot of people. With all of the information out there it can be tricky to know what is the best diet to follow or what the best foods are for weight loss. Some people may have everything right - the healthy nutrition and the exercise but seem to sabotage their own efforts or fall of track. Here are some reasons why you struggle to lose weight:
1. Not In A Deficit
In order to lose weight we must be in a calorie deficit. This means we need to expend more calories and/or consume less calories than our bodies need. What happens when we are in a calorie deficit is our body will mobilize fatty acids to use for energy which equals weight loss. It will also break down some muscle tissue but we can negate that by eating enough protein.
When people tell me they can't lose weight, the simple answer is they're just not in a calorie deficit. Extra snacks, and extra licks of spoons when baking/cooking all add up those pesky calories. Another common problem is a discrepancy in accuracy. If you measure 1 cup of oats as an example, are you measuring a rounded cup or are you measuring it evenly? Are you eating a large banana or a small banana?
Are you using a dinner spoon to measure your peanut butter or are you using an actual tablespoon? These are some things to keep in mind because it could be a difference of 100-300 calories more per day which will put us into calorie maintenance, and that means... no weight loss.
2. Social Pressure
As humans, on a deeper level we have the desire to belong and to fit into a group. Think back to basic survival, if we were shunned from the group we would be alone and have to fend for ourselves, and ultimately have no protection and die. This sounds quite serious but it's deeply ingrained in us. If our best friend or partner isn't on board with our weight loss efforts it becomes incredibly challenging.
Oftentimes others have the great ability to make someone uncomfortable for being the only one who wants to eat healthy or eat a salad instead of fries. It's important that we set healthy boundaries for ourselves and find people who are on the same mission as us. A new, supportive community of like-minded people can make a world of difference.
3. Lack Of Preparation
Preparation is key. When we are unprepared with meals and snacks we are more likely to grab something that is quick and potentially unhealthy. Oftentimes these meal and snack choices from a fast food restaurant or café are loaded with extra calories that negate all of our efforts. Not to mention, these quick meals usually don't make us feel that great or provide healthy energy. Decrease the stress in your life by taking an hour or two to prepare what you want to eat ahead of time for a few days in advance.
This could be done be either preparing full meals or doing something called bulk cooking. Cooking in bulk makes the morning rush so much easier. For example, cook up an entire pack of chicken breasts, hard boil some eggs, bake some sweet potatoes, boil some brown rice, chop up veggies and store them in containers in the fridge. When you need a meal or snack you can then portion out what you need and piece together a meal in no time!
Results come with consistency so having a plan that you can adhere to is crucial. Your plan needs to be one that is maintainable and realistic. Think about what you would do if you got invited to a wedding or a backyard BBQ or someone brought donuts into the office... do you really want to have to pass up on eating foods because your weight loss plan is too restrictive?
Find a method that is going to allow you to live your life with the least amount of stress possible. I always recommend staying flexible with your nutrition by eating treats in moderation and keeping portions under control, this leads to a healthy balance and weight loss.
5. Subconscious Beliefs
Not everyone experiences this but self-sabotage due to subconscious beliefs keeps us stuck right where we are. Everyone is different and it's not always the same issue but extra weight on the body acts as a metaphorical form of protection. Some people have experienced abuse or assault and food becomes comfort and body fat becomes protection. If one were to lose weight they are losing their safety and protection.
In other cases there is a subconscious belief that change is scary and if they lost weight something bad might happen. Consciously they want to lose weight and know it's a healthy thing to do but there is something deeper holding them back. Maybe losing weight means being different from your friends, family or partner.
Maybe losing weight worries you about what others might think or that you're a "bad mom" if you put energy into your own health instead of focusing only on your children (not true but subconsciously it is believed). The case is different for everyone but I highly recommend going deeper and finding out what is holding you back. Work with a hypnotherapist or an NLP practitioner to get rid of and change those subconscious beliefs.
Ultimately, losing weight is fairly easy but it's changing your mindset, your subconscious beliefs and habits that make it difficult. There are solutions though, so never give up.