The question of weight loss has been plaguing people for years. When you are trying to lose weight, it can feel like the pounds will never come off no matter how hard you try. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re faced with this type of frustration. However, there are a lot of things which can be done to increase your chances of losing weight and keeping it off! In this blog post, we’ll explore some reasons why weight loss may seem so slow as well as ways to overcome the obstacles that stand in your way.
What does it take to lose weight?
The only way to lose weight is to be in a calorie deficit. The first thing I recommend is to use this calorie counter to determine how many calories you should be eating per day. If your goal is to lose weight, I would recommend subtracting 200-400 calories from that number. This will put you in a calorie deficit, and if done correctly, you will start to lose weight.
Why is my weight loss so slow?
To say it simply, losing weight is not an easy process. It takes time, effort, and dedication to see results! It’s hard not to feel like you’re spinning your wheels after making changes for days, weeks on end with no significant progress. The feeling can especially become discouraging if you’ve tried different methods before without success. But just because you are not losing weight quickly, that does not mean you’re not making progress. Some reasons why weight loss may seem so slow could be due to several factors.
1- You are eating more than you think
Many people think that they are in a calorie deficit but are actually eating more than they think. When trying to lose weight, It is important to track your food. Tracking what we eat can help us know how many calories we are eating and whether we’re in a deficit or not.
2- You’ve been yoyo dieting for years
This means that you have been on multiple diets on and off. This is a sure way to slow down your metabolism, making it even harder to lose weight. Having a slower metabolism means your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is low and your body won’t burn as many calories at rest.
3- You’re not adjusting your calories as you’re losing weight.
If you’re not adjusting your calories as you lose weight, then it will be even harder to see those last few pounds come off. When we are in a calorie deficit, our metabolism will adapt to the number of calories we are eating and what was a calorie deficit at the beginning of your weight loss journey, will now become your maintenance calories.
4- You have an underlying health condition.
Some people may be diagnosed with an underlying medical condition that contributes to slow weight loss. This can include type II diabetes, PCOS, thyroid dysfunction or hypothyroidism, and many others. Many of these conditions cause your metabolism to slow down and it’s harder to be in a calorie deficit and lose weight.
5- You’re on medications that are slowing down your weight loss.
Some medications will slow down your weight loss progress. Certain medications, specifically steroids, and medicines that treat mental health problems, such as depression and schizophrenia can cause weight gain. You can talk to your doctor about possibly switching medications.
Is it possible to lose weight without noticing a change on the scale?
The scale can really mess with our minds and is not always accurate. It’s important to not solely rely on the number on the scale to tell you how much weight you have lost. There are so many other factors including muscle mass, water weight, hormones and so on that can make the number on the scale go up. I like to tell all my clients to take progress photos and measure themselves as a more accurate method of tracking their progress.
How can I speed up my weight loss?
1- Make sure you’re drinking enough water. Hydration is an important component of weight loss as it aids with the digestive processes and muscle functions in the body.
2- Make sure you’re getting at least two servings of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer.
3- Add in 3-4 strength training sessions a week. Strength training can help us build muscle mass. The more muscle we have, the faster our Basal Metabolic Rate is, and the quicker we can lose weight.
4- Get a good amount of sleep. Many people will not focus on getting sleep while dieting. Poor sleep can lead to increased appetite, cause more cravings, and can decrease your BMR.
5- Eat enough fiber and protein. Eating food high in fiber and protein can help keep you feel full and decrease snacking throughout the day.
6- Manage your stress levels. Cortisol, which is the stress hormone, can increase our sugar cravings, and slow down our metabolism.
The bottom line
The difficulty of losing weight may be due to a few different reasons. Some people may have an underlying medical condition or they are not in a calorie deficit and consuming too many calories. Many people end up quitting before they reach their goal or give up completely because they think they are not making progress when actually they just have to keep pushing and the results will come.
It’s also important to keep in mind that some people just take longer than others when it comes time for results! Weight loss is not always easy, but if you keep trying and stay determined, it will come off! Be patient with yourself. The weight doesn’t need to be gone overnight. If you feel like you’re stuck at the same number on the scale, and you’re doing everything “correctly” I would suggest working with a registered dietitian to help you achieve your goals.
I hope this helps you understand why weight loss can seem so slow but don’t give up. You’re doing the right thing by continuing on your health journey and making changes for yourself!