So why does it feel like you’re utterly failing at weight loss?
Sometimes it takes more than just exercise and a healthy diet to get you where you want to be in terms of weight. Many fail to realize that there are several factors that play into a healthy lifestyle, such as a good night’s sleep, a solid fitness routine, and mental preparation.
Here are five outside-of-the-box ideas that could explain why you’re still experiencing problems with weight loss.
1. Your weight-loss plan is too drastic
If you’re not feeling very happy with your weight-loss plan, then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to stick with it long-term. Eating healthy and exercising regularly should make you feel good both physically and mentally, so if you’re not feeling satisfied or if you feel too overwhelmed, you might be trying to do too much at once.
For example, if you’re constantly feeling hungry as a result of starving yourself, make healthier food choices and eat more fiber-rich fruits and vegetables to create a lasting feeling of fullness. If you hate your current fitness routine, stop right away and do an exercise you truly enjoy. The more fun you’re having during your workouts, the more weight you’ll end up losing in the long run.
2. You’re being too hard on yourself for not meeting goals
While infomercials and weight-loss reality shows can be both entertaining and motivating, try to avoid basing your weight-loss goals on these sources. In most cases, losing 30 pounds in 30 days is unrealistic, and can be unhealthy if you’re doing it the wrong way.
Instead of setting these types of goals, set smaller, more achievable weight-loss goals at first until you’ve settled into a fun and comfortable diet and fitness routine. Only then might you be familiar enough with your body and what you can achieve within a 30-day period. Also, instead of focusing on goals that measure your weight-loss success based on pounds lost, focus on non-scale victories such as being able to fit into your favorite pair of jeans, or being able to run an extra lap on the treadmill.
3. You’re failing to take liquid calories into account
Yes, if you’re not drinking water or herbal teas, the beverages you’re drinking could be affecting your ability to lose weight. Soda, coffee with cream and sugar, energy drinks, sugary fruit juices, and especially alcohol could be causing you to maintain your current weight, or even gain weight. Drink water all throughout the day, and start cutting back on other fattening beverages on a daily basis — particularly alcohol.
4. You’re not getting enough sleep
Sleep plays more of a role in weight loss than you might think. Lack of sleep not only makes you feel tired, fatigued, and unmotivated, but affects your hormones in a way that could lead to poor food choices and overeating. If sleep is keeping you from exercising and making healthy choices, make it a priority to improve your sleeping habits and sleeping environment, if necessary.
5. You’re focusing strictly on exercise
Exercise is one of the key components of healthy weight loss, but if you’re focusing too much on exercise and neglecting diet and sleep, then it might not help you get where you need to be. If you’re following a strict, intense fitness routine, that’s great, but make sure you’re fueling your body with a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and lean protein. Don’t eat extra dessert to compensate for any extra exercises you may be adding to your routine.