In a typical year, thousands of new diets, mostly fads, flood the market, and 2015 is no exception.
Some have been around for some time — Atkins, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers, just to name a few. 2015 is bearing witness to a batch of new diets — Detox Food (Delivered, Florida), 3-1-2-1 Diet, and the Girlfriend’s Diet are all gaining in popularity this year.
Perhaps you participate in a diet program, and you’re working out but you’re still not losing weight. So, what gives? Why aren’t you seeing results? Several reasons might be to blame; some may be out of your control and may come from unexpected sources. Everything from your age to genetics, even mental roadblocks, might be to blame. Here, we explore three common reasons people have trouble losing weight and some solutions.
1. Emotional Eating
Author and retired family physician, psychiatrist and “mindful eating” expert, Dr. Michelle May, is quoted with saying, “Food has become our focus instead of being the fuel for a full life.”
Indeed, food is the fuel that our bodies run on, much like the gasoline a car requires to operate. However, there are times when our eating habits become influence by our emotions and moods instead of by our bodies’ needs. In those cases, food can fuel that which is distressing much like putting gasoline on a fire.
To avoid emotional eating, it’s essential that you learn ways to channel your stressors into alternative activities, whether it’s exercise, hobbies, or meditation. Do anything, that’s healthy, that can act as a substitute for food.
Exercise relieves stress by releasing natural endorphins in the brain — these “feel good” neurotransmitters can help alter your attitude, put you in a better frame of mind, and help take your mind off eating. Let’s not forget that exercise can help you lose weight.
If you still feel an overwhelming urge to eat, try something healthy, yet satisfying.
Carrots can help you when you feel the need to chew meanwhile giving you essential vitamins and minerals. Not in the mood for carrots? Try cashews, or any kind of nut. Nuts are chock full of various vitamins; cashews, almonds and pistachios, in particular, are heavy in zinc, a mineral not stored by the body.
If you feel you might have any type of eating disorder, talk to your physician and let him or her refer you to a specialist who can help you reconnect to a healthy mindset toward food. You don’t need to be anorexic or bulimic to have unhealthy attitudes toward food and eating!
2. Genetics and Gender
Part of the problem might be some things completely out of your control: genetics and your sex.
The amount of muscle your body has determines how you burn off fat and, since men have more muscle, they burn off fat more rapidly. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), men burn calories faster than women because they have more muscle (muscle burns more calories than fat) and the weight differential between men and women also contributes to men burning up more calories than women.
If your parents are/were obese, you have more than likely inherited the “fat gene,”according to Jill Comess, M.S., R.D., in an article on Lifescript.com. With the “fat gene”, if one parent is obese, you have a 50% chance of inheriting the “gene”. If both are, you have an 80% chance, according to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, from the same article.
But never fear: you are not doomed by your genes! A 2011 study published in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) online says that only about two pounds of body weight can be attributed to “fat genes” and even if you’re prone to being overweight, regular exercise should take care of your genetic weight gain issues by up to 27%.
May of us know that, as we age, our metabolisms slow to a crawl. A person’s metabolic rate while at rest (basal metabolic rate) decreases by 1 to 2% per decade, (about 150 fewer calories burned per day), and our modern, sedentary lifestyles make matters much worse. The end result is more muscle loss than fat loss but, this too can be undone.
The solution? You’ve heard it time after time, change your diet! Increase your physical activity, and increase water intake. If you have any hope of losing weight, you must follow a strict regimen of exercise, healthy dieting, drinking plenty of water, and having a positive attitude, especially if you have any of the above predispositions. No one ever lost weight by eating everything they desired, followed every craving, and not moving a muscle. Extra effort, in light of the realization you might have obstacles out of your control, must be factored into your routine if you are to successfully create the body of your dreams!