Did you resolve to make 2018 the year you finally lose the extra weight? If so you’re in good company. Weight loss tends to be the number one New Year’s resolution.
In fact, more than 21 percent of people set it as their goal in 2017. And as the old saying goes, losing weight isn’t hard, it’s the keeping it off that’s the problem.
But what if losing weight is the problem? What if, in spite of your best efforts, the number on the bathroom scale refuses to budge?
Well, it turns out you aren’t alone there, either. Lots of folks are in the same boat.
If you have a heavy ice-cream obsession, or simply can’t say no to junk food, your roadblocks to weight loss are clear. But more often than not the reasons why you can’t lose those extra pounds aren’t obvious.
Following are four surprising things which could be standing in the way of your weight loss.
1. Not getting enough sleep:
You may have never thought of sleep and weight loss as being related, but they’re actually tied together like two ends of a Christmas ribbon. Being sleep deprived effects your hormones. When you’re tired, your body pumps out more ghrelin, a hormone that activates your hunger centers, and less leptin, a hormone that tells you to stop eating. And this combo often leads to overeating.
Then, to make matters worse, we tend to choose unhealthier “comfort” foods when we’re overtired. Study after study has found that folks who are chronically sleepy choose higher-calorie, higher-sugar and higher-fat foods than those who are well rested.
So, not only are you eating too much, you’re eating poorly, as well.
But even when your calories stay exactly the same, sleep deprivation can still make it harder to lose weight. A study out of Chicago found that people who got less than six hours of sleep per night lost less weight even when the number of calories they were eating was controlled.
2. Thinking you can outrun your fork:
Exercise is a critical aspect of weight loss. In general, if you burn more calories than you take in your weight will go down.
Unfortunately, a good workout can also make you hungrier, which can lead to overeating. Plus, many folks make the mistake of feeling like a workout gives them a greenlight to relax a little when it comes to their diet. After all, if you just burned a ton of calories you can afford a couple extras, right?
The truth is exercise doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as people think. Consider this, walking at a moderate pace only burns between 120-200 calories in an hour. That’s not much when you’re thinking about adding a second helping to your plate.
3. Forgetting liquid calories:
Water, plain tea, and black coffee are “free” foods. They’re free of fats and calories, which means they will not work against your weight loss efforts. And that means you can drink them freely too. (And no, those sugary coffee drinks that are more candy than coffee DON’T count.)
But every other sip you take, from your morning orange juice to your healthy green smoothie, add to your fat and calories for the day. And while those drinks can certainly be a part of a healthy diet, you have to factor them in when you’re trying to lose weight.
4. Skipping meals:
Although skipping a meal to lose weight may sound like a good idea it’s not when you take a closer look. According to Cornell University, people who skip meals are 31 percent more likely to overeat—and to choose junk food—when it comes time to shop or eat.
The same is true if you draw a hard line about no snacking. Letting yourself get too hungry will backfire on you leading you to make poor food choices throughout the day. Plus, you’re far more likely to skip a workout if you’re running on empty, because being hungry also makes us tired.
In other words, it’s a lose-lose situation, but it’s not the WEIGHT you’re losing.
If you’ve been trying to drop a few pounds but are losing the battle don’t blame yourself. The struggle could be caused by one (or more) of these four surprising weight loss obstacles. Clear the roadblocks and you could soon find yourself in the weight loss fast lane.