3 Reasons Why You Aren’t Losing Weight

3 Reasons Why You Aren't Losing Weight

It’s frustrating when you’re trying hard to shift some weight, and nothing happens. Here are three areas to look at when food and exercise are just not doing it.

You’ve probably heard that your hormone levels fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle but did you know this affects how your body reacts to exercise? In the first half of your cycle, you burn fat more efficiently, and it’s easier to gain lean muscle. This is why now is the time for high-intensity cardio exercise. In the second half of your cycle, it’s the opposite. Now intense cardio sessions work against your metabolism leading to fat storage and muscle wasting. You’ll notice this because everything suddenly feels a lot tougher. Instead, focus on low-impact exercises like Yoga or Pilates and build your muscles with weight training. ⁠

You can lose weight literally in your sleep. Two hormones are responsible for that – ghrelin and leptin. They both increase and decrease throughout the day in opposite directions. Ghrelin decreases while you sleep, while leptin increases, signalling your body that you don’t need food and can start burning calories. When you’re sleep-deprived, your ghrelin levels aren’t as low as they should be, leading to an increase in hunger. And to make matters worse, your lower leptin levels mean your body starts to store fat. So you’re not only hungry, but your metabolism slows down as well.⁠

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but stress can make you fat. When you’re getting stressed, your body is preparing for combat, flooding your system with cortisol. This is helpful when you’re fighting a tiger, but if the threat appears in the form of your angry boss while you’re sitting motionless in your office chair, it’s not doing you any favours. Firstly it leads to sugar cravings, and secondly, it slows down your metabolism. This is bad news because even if you resist the urge to have a few comforting pieces of chocolate, losing weight is now even more challenging. It’s best to avoid stress altogether, but since it’s not always possible, I recommend calming your nervous system down by taking a few deep inhales and exhales. Go to the bathroom, sit down, breathe deeply into your belly for 1-2 minutes, and you’re back to normal.

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