Trying to lose weight but getting frustrated because the scale isn’t budging? If you’ve been exercising, paying attention to your nutrition, and making lifestyle changes but you’re still not seeing the scale move or you feel like you've hit a plateau, it may be worth looking at three sneaky culprits that could be to blame. Sometimes, even the smallest of things can actually hold us back from seeing the biggest results. Here are a few of them.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Without getting too scientific, it’s important to know that sleep helps us do more than just get adequate rest. If we’re not getting enough sleep at night, our bodies will start to produce more hunger-causing hormones, as well as cortisol, which is a stress hormone. It’s been shown that cortisol can actually trigger our brains to crave more food: think all things sweet and salty. Inadequate sleep also leads to inadequate levels of growth hormone and insulin levels, and can even lead to bigger problems like heart disease and other issues. The experts say we should be aiming for 7-8 hours of zzz’s consistently every night.
Not Drinking Enough Water
We should be drinking at the very minimum half of our body weight in ounces of water every single day - and more if you’re adding exercise into your daily routine. But the truth of it is most people aren’t taking in enough water on a regular basis. Not only does staying hydrated keep our skin youthful and us looking younger (ladies, that’s a big one!), but adequate water intake can also play a role in our weight and body composition. Drinking enough water helps boost our metabolism, remove waste from our body, and actually helps us get rid of any excess water we’ve been holding on to.
If you’ve been tracking your calories or macros but still feel like you’re not losing weight, you may need to really take a look at how and what you’re tracking. Failing to measure those quick handfuls of crackers, nuts, candy, etcetera that you may grab throughout the day can have enormous effects on our overall calorie exchange daily and weekly. For example, one tablespoon of peanut butter yields about 95 calories and 8 grams of fat. Not a big deal if you’re tracking, but if you’re not measuring out the exact amount, what may look like one tablespoon to you might actually be three. You could potentially be adding hundreds of calories to your day without ever accounting for them or even realizing it.
If you think these habits might be holding you back but you’re just not sure where to begin, try picking one of the three to improve on first and see if it helps. If after a week or two you’re still not seeing results, try addressing another of these habits in your routine. Most of the time, making these minor changes with our daily habits is all we need to start seeing results again. To get a personalized nutrition plan and train with Natasha Funderburk, NASM C.P.T., AFPA Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, visit here.