While it may seem like you're doing all you can do to lose weight, but the scale just won't budge, don't give up hope. There are plenty of reasons why people don't lose weight or why they all of a sudden stop losing weight and reach a plateau. Luckily, we have those reasons to help you get out of that slump.
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No matter what kind of stress you are under, whether it be physical or emotional, your body's stress system is subconscious. Stress causes the body to produce cortisol, the hormone that breaks down muscle, worsens insulin resistance, and promotes the storage of fat. So, if you are under any kind of stress at the moment, this may be preventing you from losing that weight. Try to destress by doing a little yoga or taking a long bath.
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Muscle gain is one of the reasons that scales can be your worst enemy. If you've been working out and doing your best at eating healthy, but that scale tells you otherwise, you feel defeated. Many people forget to take into account that muscle weighs more than fat and the scale might not reflect a change in your body. Don't rely on the scale to tell you that you are making an improvement. Try measuring your body fat percentage or take measurements of your waist, hips, thighs, etc. You may be surprised with the results.
Not Enough Sleep
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An important aspect to your overall health and a great contributor to your weight loss is the amount you sleep. Whether you have a screaming baby to tend to in the middle of the night or are constantly pulling an all-nighter to finish a presentation or school essay, you must make sure that you catch some z's to prevent a plateau in your weight loss. Just like stress, sleep deprivation releases cortisol, promoting fat storage. It is recommended to get approximately eight hours of sleep a night.
Not Enough Water
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Aside from drinking water to keep you hydrated, drinking water throughout the day is a great aid in weight loss. If you drink water before you go out for a meal, it will fill up your stomach, helping you not overeat. Plus, drinking cold water can help you speed up your metabolism, another contributor to weight loss.
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Even if you have cut down on the junk food and upped it on the healthy food, you can still overeat. While sorts of nuts offer a great source of protein, be careful and portion your intake. Although healthy, these snacks can be up to 200 calories for just a handful.
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If all you do is cardio, you may have reached a plateau in your weight loss regime. Adding in a little weight training can go a long way when trying to lose weight. It boosts your metabolism and helps you build muscle. Don't forget that muscle burns fat, so get that weight in your hand and give those running shoes a break.
Too Much Dressing & Toppings
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While you may feel like you're eating healthy by ordering a salad, think twice before you pour on that dressing or the toppings. When you start adding on those topping such as bacon bits, cheese, and croutons, you can easily be adding on an extra 200 calories, and don't forget about the dressing! Next time you make or order a salad, have the dressing on the side so that you can just dip your fork into the dressing rather than pouring it all on top of your lettuce.
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You may think that skipping a meal will save you some calories, but you are actually hurting yourself. Instead of losing weight, your body goes into starvation mode when it has not had enough food. This means that your body stores your fat instead of sheds it.
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If you're watching what you eat and have cut out all of your favorite treats, you may be in for a rude awakening. Let yourself cheat every once in awhile instead of never indulging. A small piece of chocolate cake for the week won't kill you and it isn't necessary to make up those calories in running extra miles. Plus, if you never indulge, you may end up having a much larger craving and end up binge eating a whole cake!