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Why you can't lose weight: 8 common problems and how to solve them

'17.07.2020'

Source: Life hacker

Eight reasons why weight loss can stop, and ways to spur this process offers to find out Lifehacker.

Photo: Shutterstock

You went on a diet, ruled out flour and sweets, got used to regular training. At first, the weight decreased, but then the figure on the scales froze or even increased slightly, that is, a plateau came. Below we will analyze why weight loss can stop and what to do to still achieve an ideal figure.

1. You incorrectly evaluate your progress

Fat burning is a rather lengthy process. If you have been on a diet for less than two weeks, it's too early to talk about any progress.

“Losing weight goes in waves, and this process is individual. For some people, weight does not change in the first two weeks and only then the weight begins to decrease along with the volume, ”says nutritionist, gastroenterologist, therapist Svetlana Nezvanova.

Moreover, scales do not always show real progress in losing weight. An increase in muscle volume or water retention, for example during menstruation, can affect body weight. As a result, body fat will melt, but the balance will not show this.

What to do with it

Do not count on quick results. Follow your nutrition plan for 2–4 weeks before thinking about measuring progress.

As for tracking results, Svetlana Nezvanova says that doctors determine weight loss by the percentage of fat, muscle mass and other body tissues. Without special equipment, you can assess progress in body volume: measure the circumference of the chest, waist and hips at the beginning of the diet and after 2–4 weeks of compliance.

“If you do not have breakdowns and overeating, you know exactly how much protein, fat and carbohydrates you consume and do not go beyond the recommended norms, but the weight and volume do not change, we can talk about a plateau. The body gets used to the new diet and adjusts, doing everything so as not to lose extra pounds, ”says the expert.

2. You eat too little or too much protein

For weight loss and weight retention, not only the total calorie intake, but also the amount of protein is of great importance. Dietary protein increases the feeling of satiety and reduces cravings for sweets, speeds up metabolism - increases the waste of energy at rest.

“Since all hormones and enzymes are essentially proteins, when this macronutrient is lacking in the diet, certain metabolic reactions simply do not occur. As a result, metabolic processes slow down, ”explains Svetlana.

By increasing the amount of protein in the diet, you will get some benefits, but the main thing is not to overdo it. An excess of this macronutrient can adversely affect weight loss and overall health.

“A daily intake of more than 2,5–2,7 g of protein per kg of body weight can inhibit weight loss. With an excess of protein, the body does not use it, but converts it into glucose. Also, with this amount of protein, problems with the intestines and other organs are possible, ”says the nutritionist.

What to do with it

Strive to build a diet so that you consume at least 30% of calories from protein. If you do not count calories, you can focus on 1,5–2,2 g of protein per 1 kg of body weight. The exception is people with kidney disease. High-protein diets increase the risk of stone formation.

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3. You have decreased insulin sensitivity

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. Improper diet with an excess of fast carbohydrates, excess weight and a genetic predisposition can reduce the sensitivity of cells to insulin.

In this condition, the body will produce more hormone to cope with the increased level of glucose in the blood, which can slow down weight loss and nullify all your efforts.

What to do with it

Losing weight and eliminating fast carbohydrates in itself improves the body's sensitivity to insulin, but you can use two options to spur progress.

  • Try a low-carb diet. “If you eat cereals and fruits (foods rich in carbohydrates) with every meal, your insulin levels rise after the meal. If you already have insulin resistance or diabetes, you will not lose weight. In this case, it is recommended to try a low-carb diet, ”says Svetlana Nezvanova. These diets lower insulin levels and allow you to lose fat without losing muscle mass. However, a low-carb diet has a number of contraindications, so consult your doctor first.
  • Do strength training. Strength training increases the expression of the APPL1 protein, which regulates the absorption of glucose by cells and improves the body's ability to store it in muscles. As a result, resistance exercises increase insulin sensitivity even without weight loss. In addition, strength training, along with adequate protein intake, helps maintain and build muscle, which increases the body’s energy expenditure. You can choose one way or try both at once. Low carb diets work well with strength training.

4. You eat too often

It is believed that fractional nutrition - small but frequent meals - helps to lose weight faster without experiencing feelings of hunger. However, the analysis of scientific data on this topic did not reveal any special benefits for weight loss and health in those who eat more than four to five times a day. And even if you carefully monitor the calorie content of snacks and do not exceed the daily norm, numerous meals can interfere with progress.

“One of the reasons for the plateau is frequent snacking, and this is due to the release of the hormone insulin. If you chew something almost all the time, it never drops to such a level that the body begins to burn fat, ”explains the specialist.

What to do with it

Eat no more than four to five times a day. You can also try interval fasting: it speeds up the metabolism, provides good results in losing weight and has a positive effect on insulin levels.

5. You do not get enough sleep

“I have been working for over 12 years and have my statistics from practical experience. And the most difficult in terms of metabolism and the level of active cell mass are people who have sleep disorders. Programmers, residents of megalopolises, those who have night schedules, ”says Svetlana.

Reducing sleep affects the secretion of hormones responsible for hunger and satiety: leptin and ghrelin. Just two nights of rest for 4 hours increase appetite by 23%, and also cause cravings for sweets. As a result, you feel more hungry and lean on high-calorie foods or suffer from the inability to do this.

Six nights of sleep for 4 hours increase the level of cortisol, a stress hormone that interferes with burning fat and retains water in the body. A week of 5-hour night rest significantly reduces insulin sensitivity.

Lack of sleep not only slows down weight loss, but also poorly affects its quality. So, in one study, people who slept for 5 hours a day lost 55% less fat and 60% more muscle than those who rested for 8,5 hours.

What to do with it

Try to sleep at least 7-8 hours a day, and go to bed in the first half of the night - no later than 2:00. According to Svetlana Nezvanova, from 10 pm until this time, the body synthesizes two important hormones: melatonin and growth hormone, which are associated with metabolism and fat burning.

If you are used to going to bed well after midnight, the level of these hormones drops, and cortisol increases, which negatively affects body composition and weight loss rate.

6. You have a high level of stress.

“High stress levels clearly inhibit weight loss. With chronic wasting nervous tension, cortisol and insulin levels will continually rise, making it difficult to burn fat. Long-term stress can lead to adrenal fatigue syndrome, hormonal disorders and a decrease in metabolism, ”the doctor explains.

Stress also reduces the amount of the hormone adiponectin, which is involved in the breakdown of fats, increases the levels of interleukins-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), which can cause chronic inflammation, insulin resistance and diabetes.

In addition, the more stress you experience, the less energy you consume after eating and the worse your body oxidizes fat. If yesterday you had a strong negative experience, today you will burn about 104 kcal less than if everything was good. This difference can result in 5 kg of gain per year.

What to do with it

If you can’t remove the source of stress, try changing your reaction to events. Yoga classes, meditation, breathing techniques - all this helps to calmly respond to external stimuli. For example, in one study, an eight-week stress management program helped participants lose almost twice as much weight as people in the control group.

Visualization, diaphragmatic breathing and muscle relaxation - all these techniques contribute not only to losing weight, but also to improving self-esteem and mood, relationships with friends and colleagues, as well as the state of affairs at work.

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7. You drink a little water

There is no direct relationship between a lack of water in the diet and a delay in losing weight. But at the same time, an increased amount of fluid can help move weight off the ground. Consumption of 500 ml of ordinary water speeds up metabolism by 24-30% for the next 60 minutes; 2 liters per day increase energy consumption by about 95 kcal.

What to do with it

Women are advised to drink at least 2,7 liters of water per day, men - 3,7 liters. In addition to boosting your metabolism, this will help you reduce hunger and consume fewer calories even without dietary control.

8. Do you have hormonal disorders

Conditions in which the normal production of hormones is lost can cause weight gain and a hindrance to weight loss. These violations include:

  • Hypothyroidism is a malfunction in the thyroid gland.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome - a violation in the structure and functions of the ovaries, thyroid gland, adrenal cortex. It is characterized by an increased level of male sex hormones.
  • Menopause is a decrease in estrogen production that occurs with age.

What to do with it

Consult your healthcare provider for therapy. You can also consult a nutritionist who will prescribe a suitable diet.

Whatever the reason, do not lose heart. Establish sleep, get rid of stress, look for a suitable diet and training system that will become part of your lifestyle. Only in this case you will receive stable weight loss and excellent health.

The material is published for educational purposes and is not a recommendation. ForumDaily Woman is not responsible for any diagnosis made by the reader based on the materials of the site, as well as for the consequences of self-medication, and may not share the point of view of the author or expert.

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