Why is it that when there are so many diets, plans, and programmes to choose from, people still fail to lose weight? Many people see themselves in the mirror and decide they need to reduce weight and get in better shape, but still fail. And then feel embarrassed about it. Are you one of them?
India is a country with a vast population and two-third of its population is malnourished (both undernourished and overnourished) which also gives rise to a nationwide epidemic of poor health due to multiple lifestyle problems like excess body weight, non communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension etc.
Our inability to lose weight is typically attributed to a variety of factors, ranging from bad eating habits to poor exercise routines. Continue reading to see why your weight-loss efforts may not always yield the desired outcomes.
Reasons you are not losing weight despite your best efforts:
- Not making the right diet choices: Consistently binging on unhealthy and junk food could disturb your weight loss goals. People these days think that exercising can help them lose weight even if they are eating outside foods which is not the actual truth. Weight loss can’t be achieved without making sufficient changes to the diet. That does not mean you can’t eat outside food. It’s just you need to maintain a balance between healthy and unhealthy foods.
- Not able to control calorie intake: Keeping a count of your calorie intake is of utmost importance when you are trying to lose weight. Extra calories which are not burnt by the body mainly deposit as fat cells which keep on building with time. That’s why it becomes important to keep tracking your calorie count otherwise you may be consuming more than you think.
- Following Fad Diets: Today most people are seen following fad diets which are similar to fashion. These diets provide results only for a short period of time and people who follow them end up gaining weight once they unfollow these diets. So it is important to follow a personalized nutrition plan that provides the body a balance between the macro (carbs, protein, fat) as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
- Hormonal imbalance: Hormones are mostly associated with mood swings and changing behaviour, an important factor for weight loss. Consumption of healthy carbs and proteins release fat burning hormones whereas consumption of unhealthy carbs and sugars release fat storing hormones which also leads to problems like obesity. So maintaining a balance between healthy and unhealthy foods becomes significant to maintain hormonal balance in the body.
- Not getting enough sleep: The lack of sleep can leave you physically hungry due to two hormones: Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone that causes hunger, and Leptin is the hormone that suppresses it. Low levels of leptin can cause your metabolism to slow down and leave you feeling hungry all the time, prompting you to eat more. Therefore, it is important to sleep for at least 7-8 hours for proper metabolism and hormonal balance in the body.
- Other health conditions: There are some medical conditions that can drive weight gain and make it much harder to lose weight. These include hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) etc. If you are trying to lose weight and still not able to, it's better to consult a doctor if you are suffering from any medical conditions.
Is exercise important while losing weight:
Without exercise or activity plan, no weight loss program is complete. Working out, whether at a health club, gym, or at home, boosts your metabolism and builds lean muscle mass, both of which are necessary for long-term weight loss. It also boosts your energy, lowers stress, and improves your self-esteem. And one of the best parts about improving your fitness is that it makes losing weight easier and more enjoyable overall.
But exercise does not have to be the same for everyone. Some forms of exercise might actually be harmful to your health and create inflammation. This can cause your metabolism to be disturbed, as well as release stress hormones like cortisol. This will start a chain reaction that will cause your body weight to rise due to spikes in blood sugar levels. You can easily counter this by not following intense workouts and mixing it with low intensity routines like yoga. It is usually recommended to exercise for at least 30 minutes everyday that also helps maintain a constant weight.
The Bottom Line:
Nutrition and exercise are not the same for everyone. Nor is it something you follow only for a week or month. That’s why starting with the basics is important because if the nutrition and fitness plan that you adopt is not simple and easy then you are much more likely to get frustrated and quit. So follow a weight loss diet and exercise routine properly and make it a point to focus your efforts on intensity rather than frequency, and make sure you get enough rest and balanced eating, and in return your body will thank you by losing those extra kilos.