Most of us have gone on diets before: we eat only certain types of food, we restrict ourselves, we try and eat healthily and we exercise. Sometimes we get the results that we want, which is great! But it almost never lasts.
This is due to the fact that there are many things that can impact how much weight we lose – from how stressed out we are to our personal biology. Weight loss involves a lot more than just counting calories and cutting back on certain food groups.
I am going to cover how your biology, your emotions and the environment you live in can impact your weight.
Hopefully, by being aware of the following 6 factors that can impact your overall health and body weight, you may be able to reach your weight loss goals with a bit more ease!
Poor sleeping patterns
Sleep impacts every part of our health. That’s why we feel our best when we’re well rested and why we may suffer from mood swings, blood sugar imbalances, poor memory and everything in between if we’re not getting enough.
There have been several reasons found as to why sleep loss can impact your eating habits or even your ability to function at a good capacity. Think of those lazy days – you need coffee to wake you up in the morning, you buy takeout food because you don’t want to cook and you skip the gym because you’re too tired.
In a review of 18 studies, researchers found that a lack of sleep led to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods. This is because less sleep will release more of the hormone, Ghrelin, that tells us that we are hungry and less of the hormone, Leptin, that tells us when we are full. So the less you sleep, the more you are going to want to continuously eat!
Stressed out to stress eating
Almost everyone who is trying to lose weight knows about stress eating or emotional eating. Stress eating is how some people handle their stress – they decide to overeat in order to feel better and to distract themselves from their negative emotions. Have you noticed how this doesn’t actually work- you probably feel even worse after you have drowned your sorrows in food and now you have extra weight on you?
When you are stressed your body will release the hormone Cortisol, that makes you feel hungry even when you really aren’t and it makes you crave sugar which won’t exactly lead you to eat a plate of healthy salad.
Living without supportive people
Constant negative critique or pessimism – from your looks to your hobbies – can make your weight loss journey even more challenging.
That’s why belonging to a community of like-minded people can help you to lead a healthier life – positivity is infectious, after all, Having a group of people to turn to for support can help you reach your goals with a lot more ease than you may expect – especially if you are trying to lose weight
Studies have shown that your social connections are more important than your genetic connections in determining your health. The reason? Social connections influence your behaviour. It’s the power of peer pressure.
Happiness or unhappiness can make a difference in the amount of weight you can or cannot lose.
Being in a state of pessimism or unhappiness will certainly make sticking to a weight loss plan challenging. It’s difficult to feel empowered and motivated to stick to a goal when you are not feeling at your best.
So if that’s the space you find yourself in, give yourself permission to not fully stick to your weight loss plan and rather work on cultivating the areas of your life that bring you pleasure and enjoyment.
Chemicals in the home
Unfortunately, in our modern world, we are exposed to a huge burden of toxins from our environment and our diet.
These toxins, including plastics, pesticides, phthalates, bisphenol A, flame retardants, metals like mercury, lead or arsenic have been shown to cause weight gain even in the absence of extra calories.
They can cause weight gain by affecting your metabolism, your hormones and your brain function. There is a lot you can do to cut your exposure to toxins such as using organic (chemical-free) household cleaning products, removing air fresheners from your home, eating organic fruit and vegetables and even switching plastic containers for glass containers used for food storage.
Something we can’t change – Genetics
There are definitely some genes that can cause obesity. Though some of us may have the genes that predispose us to obesity and type 2 diabetes, predisposition does not mean pre-destiny.
If you have a family history of obesity or type 2 diabetes, you are much more likely to be carbohydrate intolerant. A little bit of sugar or starch will cause you to make more insulin than others. This starts you on the vicious cycle of weight gain, hunger and fatigue. The good news is that by eating well and exercising you can completely prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Hopefully, now that you are aware of the potential reasons as to why you aren’t losing as much weight as you want – or none at all – you can at least be more aware of your actions and can take steps towards adjusting some of the factors discussed.
Best of luck to you!
Medical Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For medical advice always consult your physician. The information provided in this blog is based on the best knowledge of the author at the time of writing and we do not assume liability for the information within this blog, be it direct or indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages.