Everyone strives to lose weight, but if it was so easy, there wouldn’t be so many trending fad diets and weight loss products out there. When it comes down to it, losing weight is relatively simple, all you need to do is: make sure your caloric intake is less than your caloric output.
Simply put, this means that you need to eat less calories than your body actually needs. When you eat a caloric deficit, your body will begin converting its fat reserves into energy. Conversely, if you eat a surplus of calories, your body will convert those extra calories into fat reserves so it can be used later on.
Now, you can simply just reduce your food intake to start dropping weight, but it isn’t the most effective way to lose weight. Instead, combining regular cardio exercises and weight/resistance training with a calorie deficit diet would be the best way to lose weight.
Cardio exercises burn a lot of calories and will help you reach a caloric deficit for the day without sacrificing too much on food, while weight/resistance training will help you build up muscle and increase your body’s metabolic rate and caloric needs.
It’s generally recommended that to maintain a healthy weight, we should be doing 150 minutes of exercise per week or 300 minutes per week if you’d like to drop weight fast. Of course, if you’ve been mostly sedentary for the last few months, it can be hard to start getting into a regular exercise regime, so it’s best to start with light exercises such as jogging or walking.
In theory, you should be losing weight fairly quick with adequate exercise and diet, but if you find yourself still unable to drop the kilos, perhaps there are other factors in play.
You’re not sleeping enough
When you’re sleep deprived, the hormone (ghrelin) in your body that signals hunger will increase while the hormone (leptin) that tells you you’re full will decrease. This causes you to binge eat, and often times it will be non-healthy foods that are high in simple sugars and carbs as they provide the most energy quickly. And without sufficient sleep, you’re more likely going to crash into bed than hit the gym after work.
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, try a bit of chamomile to relax yourself during your night time routine.
You’re eating too many snacks
There is such a thing as “Secret Eaters”, oftentimes, we may eat more than we think we do as we snack throughout the day. Eating processed foods is also one of the biggest sins as portion sizes are usually smaller than you anticipate and calories are much higher compared to whole goods. For example, eating a bowl of sugar free cereal in the morning might sound like a good healthy option, but most generic cereal brands will have around 400-500 calories per serve. Add on the milk for the cereal and that could be half your caloric intake for the day.
To combat this, try eating whole foods instead. Boiled eggs, bananas, oatmeal and nuts are all great options for breakfast or a mid-day snack. If you’re having problems beating the cravings, try taking a bit of slippery elm, marshmallow root and banaba. When taken as a dietary supplement, the three herbs have been found to be able to promote satiety and reduce appetite.
You’re not drinking enough water
Our parents were right when they said we should be drinking more water. When we’re dehydrated, our bodies will start diverting it’s energy into maintaining internal water levels in check. Getting enough water will help prevent this while also helping reducing any water retention. We also tend to mistake thirst for hunger so having adequate water will help us not break our diets. If you’re having some issue with water retention, try some senna to help flush out excess water.
You’re not eating the right amount of protein
It’s a misconception that we need to load up on protein in order to lose weight. While it’s true that having extra protein in our normal diets can help build up muscle, consuming too much protein can actually cause us to gain weight. Our bodies can only absorb about ~30-40g of protein at a time, so if we overeat, that extra protein will just be contributing to weight gain. However, that being said, it’s also not good to have too little protein as a lack of protein in our diets can cause us to feel hungry and overeat on other foods or meals.
You’re not exercising right
When you first begin working out, you might take it slow and easy to begin building up stamina. But we should also push ourselves to do more as our fitness and stamina improves. If you find yourself not dropping anymore weight despite maintaining your exercise regime, it might be time to turn up the intensity. If you usually do a daily 20 minute jog, try adding extra time or increasing your speed or intensity.
You might need a little boost
Sometimes when you hit a plateau, all you need is a little push in the right direction. There are plenty of products or foods out there that can help aid in healthy weight management, and I don’t mean diet pills or laxatives. Herbs like bitter orange and coriander have been found to have some impact in increasing fat burn and metabolism. You could also try detoxing yourself for better optimal health, after all if your body is functioning more efficiently, so will your metabolism and weight loss.