Why Can't I Lose Weight?

>> Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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We live in a time where we are all focused on health & diet. We are bombarded on a daily basis by friends and family that are extremely health conscious. It can be confusing. Should I eat a no-carbohydrate diet, low-carbohydrate diet, low-fat, no-fat, low-glycemic, the blood type diet, the Bible diet, the Hindu diet, hormone free, non-GMO, vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian or raw-diet? It is all very exhausting and time consuming to figure it all out.

Then we have to worry about exercise. We all know how many methods and intensities of exercise we can participate in. Some feel that anaerobic exercise like weight lifting is the best; others feel exercise should be fun, so they play sports, whether team or individual.

Most of us feel the guilt and pressure put on us from others, and this can be much more unhealthy than not exercising or changing your diet. In fact, it can discourage us and cause us to freeze up and do nothing. It's just too much pressure! At some point, we have all promised ourselves to start a new diet and exercise program, only to find that by the end of the week we have gained weight, and feel much worse. Why is that? We don't realize that there is much more to weight loss, metabolic control and well-being than just food and exercise. Most of have been taught wrong - eat less and exercise more. We look back to the day when we could basically starve ourselves for three days and lose 5-10 pounds even without exercising. Now that doesn't work, and it's so frustrating.

It's important to know that stress can be damaging to both our physical and mental health, and it also can play a role in weight loss. Stress increases cortisol, and will fight against weight loss. In fact, it can cause weight gain. It is more powerful than any food we put into our mouths.

Today, more women than ever are overly obsessed with weight and feel they need a “perfect” body for their own satisfaction or just to be accepted and loved. Research findings published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that 16 per cent of normal or underweight women studied believed themselves to be overweight! This often leads to "yo-yo" dieting or popping diet pills, which in turn can completely confuse our metabolism. While these methods may work for a time, they may flip our metabolism around, and every time we try these "starvation" techniques, it will make it harder and harder to lose weight. In fact, it may actually cause weight gain.

Another consequence of stress (and the pressures of looks and weight) on women is emotional eating. Once we begin a new diet and active lifestyle, if we don't see immediate results we quickly become emotionally upset and we give up. The truth is, we did not gain the weight overnight, so we cannot expect to lose it overnight.

Another aspect to keep in mind is sleep. Not only can lack of sleep make us look and feel our worst, but insufficient sleep can also increase stress on our bodies and increase cortisol levels. This can lead to increased accidents, calorie consumption and heart disease. When we are tired, we are more likely to reach for sweets and carbohydrates because we need energy to stay awake and alert. Lack of sleep can also affect blood pressure, blood sugar and our moods.

Not only are women more likely to compromise their sleeping habits to care for children and others, they are also prone to putting their own wants and needs at the bottom of the list. To avoid running yourself into the ground, learn to sometimes say no to those requests and commitments that are less than essential, and make sure you set aside some “me” time each week to do something enjoyable just for you.
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