Many people have tried to lose weight or embark on a weight loss program, only to find the process mightily hard. Invariably, these are the people who knowingly or unknowingly work against their goal by doing things they should not be doing.
What are these things? What are the main reasons why some fail to lose weight?
Here are top 20 reasons why people are unsuccessful at losing weight. If you are doing one or more of these things, make amends immediately to reach your weight loss goals.
2. You Are Not Doing Resistance Training
Studies have shown that lifting weights help one to burn more calories. More importantly, it ensures you build and preserve muscle mass.
In one study, researchers classified dieters into 3 groups: cardio and weight training, cardio, and no-exercise. Each group shed 21 pounds, but the first group (that is, the group that did weight training) lost more fat than the participants of the other two groups.
If you want to lose weight without losing muscle mass, do resistance training a few times a week.
3. Not Eating Enough Protein
For weight-loss enthusiasts, protein is the most important nutrient, and for good reasons.
Gram for gram, protein promotes more satiety (feeling of fullness) than carbohydrates. What this means is that when you eat a protein-rich meal, you do not feel hungry for a longer time than had you eaten a carb-rich meal. Increasing your protein intake will likely allow you to eat fewer calories in a day.
So how much protein is recommended for those trying to lose weight?
Experts believe that 30% of our daily calories intake should come from protein. If you are on a 2000-calorie diet, you should eat 150g of protein every day. Calculate your recommended protein intake by multiplying your daily calorie intake by 0.075.
Protein-rich foods include eggs, almonds, chicken breast, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, broccoli, milk, lean beef, tuna, and lentils.
4. Your Diet Does Not Include Whole Foods
Food quantity is important—but so is food quality. Both go hand in hand. Leave out one and you will fail to achieve your desired weight loss result.
Whole foods are more filling than processed foods. They also offer better nutritional value and do not contain added preservatives. As far as possible, try to eat whole foods whenever you can.
5. Consuming More Calories Than You Should
Many people are unable to lose weight because of a simple reason: they are consuming more calories than they should.
True as this statement is, it is equally true that majority of dieters believe they are eating significantly less number of calories than they actually are.
If your weight has not budged even after your strong efforts, you should carefully monitor your foods and track the total number of calories you are consuming. You do not need to do this all the time; tracking for a few days every few months is sufficient.
There are several online calorie calculators or calorie counting applications or websites that you can use for this purpose.
6. Drinking Sugar
Sugar drinks should be completely off your list if you want to eat healthily. They not only contain a lot of calories, they are ‘empty’ calories. Calories consumed through sugared drinks are not registered by the brain in the same way as calories consumed from solid foods.
A person will not feel satiated after consuming a calorie-rich sugar drink, and so your body will not compensate the calories gained from it by eating less in the following meals. As a result, your daily calorie intake increases.
All this is true for soda-based drinks as well as many so-called healthy beverages that have high sugar content. In fact, fruit juice when drank in large amounts also poses the same problem. Instead of drinking fruit juice, eat whole fruits which are much healthier.
7. Not Doing Enough Cardio
The most effective exercise combination for someone wanting to lose weight is cardio and resistance training.
For inexplicable reasons, cardio has received a lot of flak in recent years, but the fact remains that no other exercise is as effective as cardio in burning fat, promoting good heart health and improving our overall health.
The only problem is that the weight loss from cardio may also be due to a loss of muscle mass. To preserve muscle mass, experts recommend a mix of cardio and resistance training, which keeps your muscle mass intact but promotes fat burning and fat loss in your body.
8. Binge Eating
Binge eating is not the same as overeating, which is something we all do once in a while. Binge eating is eating unusually large amounts of food in a short time and feeling powerless to stop the eating spree.
Many dieters struggle with binge eating, and unsurprisingly they are the ones who find it extremely tough to lose weight. Depending on the quantity of the food, a single binge eating spree can make you lose all the gains achieved through a week of conscientious dieting.
While binging on junk food is bad, gorging indiscriminately on healthy foods like nut butters, cheese, dark chocolate, etc., has the same effect as binging on junk food. All foods, healthy or not, contain calories. If you eat in huge quantities, your daily calorie count will increase significantly which ultimately gets stored as fats in your body.
9. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep can lead to a slew of health problems including weight gain. In fact, according to studies, poor sleep is a major risk factor for obesity. Children who sleep poorly have an 89 percent greater risk of becoming obese, and poor sleepers among adults are 55 percent more likely to be obese.
10. Not Drinking Enough Water
There are three ways you can use water to lose weight. One, drink 1 to 1.5 liters of water daily for a few weeks every few months. According to a study involving overweight people, those who drank this much quantity of water for a few weeks showed significant reduction in their body fat, waist circumference, BMI, and weight.
Two, drink water 30 minutes before meals. Doing so results in an average reduction of eating as much as 70 calories less per meal.
Three, replace sugary drinks with water. If plain water does not sound exciting, add some lemon to it. Lemons contain a lot of pectin which reduces food cravings.
11. Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol and weight loss do not go hand in hand, but this too does not mean that you have to shun alcohol completely if you are on a weight loss mission.
Alcohol in moderate amounts is never an issue. Too much of it however can increase your calorie count substantially, as alcohol itself contains approximately 7 calories per gram!
Also choose spirits, such as vodka, over sugary alcoholic beverages. The latter are packed with calories due to its sugar content. However, choosing spirits and mixing it with a calorie beverage will negate any advantage of fewer calories that spirits give. You should mix spirits with a non-calorie beverage instead such as carbonated water or zero calorie green tea for example.