I hear from a lot from clients how they feel like they are doing all the right things with diet and exercise but are not seeing any weight loss results.
Here are 10 things to consider if you feel like you are working hard but seeing no budge on the scale
- Are you getting too much sugar in your diet? Do you have cereal for breakfast? Have bread with every meal? Do you eat a lot of fat-free food products or drink sweetened beverages? You may be getting more sugar than you think. Look at the sugar content in your diet. It may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. If you add sugar and cream to your coffee or get a flavored whipped coffee drink you are taking in sugar that you do not even think about. Do you eat out a lot? There is a ton of hidden sugar in breakfast foods, yogurts, and other marketed foods touting health benefits. Read labels and avoid anything that has sugar in it. Food markers are getting smart and starting to name sugar other things. See my “The Many Names of Sugar” cheat sheet HERE!
- Getting enough fiber? Do you have whole grain bread, pasta, and other products but feel still hungry for more? The problem is that a lot of products that tout “whole grain” are really not truly a whole grain. If you have a bread or other grain product that says “enriched” on the package it is not truly a whole grain. The FDA says that only 80% of the product needs to be a whole grain to be legally be a whole grain. So if it is making a claim on the front do not eat it. Also don’t be fooled by “wheat flour” in an ingredient. This is not really a whole grain.I strongly recommend to cut out any product that is not a real whole grain. A better way to get fiber is through non-starchy vegetables (dark leafy greens, zucchini, cabbage, etc). Add a vegetable to each meal of the day. An added bonus to eating these is they will give you a dose of your needed nutrients and disease fighting antioxidants. For those who are eating whole grains and still experiencing weight loss you may not be getting an adequate source of other nutrients (see the next points).
- Got Good Quality Protein? Time and time again I see clients suffering from weight loss goals because they are eating the wrong type of foods. If you are eating a diet high in carbohydrates (even whole grains) you may have an imbalance of nutrients. Protein is an excellent way to fill you up. How many grams should you be getting? 1 – 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight.So if you weigh 150 pounds you want to get between 68 and 102 grams per day. To find your grams of protein. Take weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2 to get kilograms = 150 / 2.2 = 68. Multiply the kilograms by 1 or 1.5 = 68 kg x 1. 68 grams OR 68 kg x 1.5 = 102 grams. This may seem like a lot of protein but if you divide it by the number of meals and snacks per day it is an easy digestible number so 68/5 = 22 grams per meal.You also want to make sure you are getting quality sources of protein. If you eat meat you want to be sure that it is organic grass fed beef or organic pasture raised eggs, chicken, and sustainable seafood. If you are a vegetarian you need to make sure you are getting quality sources of protein from veggies, nuts, and other plant sources. Be careful with any processed veggie burgers or vegetarian food products they often have added sugars, processed sodium and chemical preservatives that can lead to weight gain.
- Are you getting enough healthy fat? Often people are not meeting their goals because they are getting enough healthy fat in the diet. Are you scared of fat? I had a client who kept complaining she was not losing weight but it was because she was not eating any fat. Your body needs fat to process vitamins like A, D, E, and K. If you are not absorbing these nutrients you may be unable to lose weight. Eating foods that are fat-free often will be worse for you than the regular full fat version. That is because the fat is taken out and replaced with sugar and chemical preservatives. Scientific evidence that shows eating these foods will be detrimental in the long run even if eaten in moderation. Instead of eating fat free foods be sure to get healthy sources like chia seeds, flax seeds, pasture raised eggs, avocados, nuts, seeds, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, unrefined cold pressed coconut oil, nut butter (no added oils, sugar). If you are able to eat dairy you should stick to full fat grass fed organic brands. You should not have too much cheese as it is high in processed salt and saturated fat. It has also been found to be very addicting. You want to limit your dairy intake to earlier in the day.
- Are you eating too many simple carbohydrates? One thing that can definitely derail your goals are eating refined carbohydrates. This is anything that has white flour. While you want to stick to whole grains, the quantity of them in your diet is important too. Whole grains are great for the fiber content but if you are eating more grains than vegetables you may be left with food turning to sugar. For example a 1 cup serving of brown rice provides about 48 grams of carbohydrates and only 3.5 grams fiber and 4.5 grams protein. This leaves you with 44 grams of carbohydrates that may just turn to sugar. I like to treat grains as a side dish and recommend them to be had only 1 time a day preferably for breakfast or lunch. Some people have digestion issues and cannot process the grains (see number 7 and 9) they should be taken out of the diet and replaced with vegetables to provide the vitamins and minerals in grains.
- Are you getting enough of the right type of exercise? How many days do you work out a week? For how long? Are you getting a good sweat? Making a commitment to exercise 5 days a week is important for seeing results. Furthermore, physical intensity is just as important as duration. Are you working to build muscle? Building lean muscle has been found to speed up metabolism. You want to incorporate two days of strength training into your routine if you are currently just doing cardio. If you are starting to work out you may need to ease your way into it. I had a client who could not walk for more than 15 minutes but everyday added a little more time and now he is up to 30 minutes. Are you lifting weights or using resistance bands? A recent study showed that interval training was the best way to increase muscle mass.
- Are you drinking enough water? Proper hydration is needed for the cells to function properly. Do you drink a lot of sweetened beverages? Drink a lot of caffeine beverages? If you are not getting enough water this could derail your weight loss goals. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you are having a caffeinated beverage you must be sure to drink at least 2 glasses of water to make up for dehydration from caffeine. Strive for 64 ounces a day.
- Could you have a hormonal issue or autoimmune disease? Nowadays people are having a hard time losing weight despite their efforts. They do not know there may be another issues at play. Even if there are no signs, you may have an autoimmune disease that stems from food sensitivities and hormonal issues. Digestion issues can be due to an autoimmune disease and cause weight loss issues. Those with thyroid or adrenal issue that is preventing you from losing weight. Often times when you blood sugar levels are imbalanced you can have low sex hormones. If you find that you are eating and exercising and not seeing any results I recommend getting a complete blood panel done.
- Is inflammation preventing you from losing weight? If you found that you are doing all the things that should be helping you lose weight but are still not seeing results it may be an issue with inflammation which can arise from different issues. Often times there is something going on inside our bodies that can result in weight gain. You could have an omega 3 deficiency or food sensitivity? Sometimes our body cannot process dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, corn, nuts, shellfish, or chemical preservatives in foods and this leads to inflammation and weight gain issues. Do you have digestive issues like diarrhea, bloating, or IBS? It may be a food sensitivity. There could also be an imbalance of. Signs of inflammation are high cholesterol, low vitamin D, skin rashes, and high blood sugar or craving sweets. Those with diseases like Ulcerative Colitis, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Lupus need to be sure they get a nutrient rich diet free of foods that will flame the fire of inflammation (refined foods, sugars, etc).
- Do you have a nutrient deficiency? You would be surprised how many vitamins play a role in weight loss. Having a deficiency in the following nutrients could be the reason why you are not seeing a change:
- Zinc – Deficiency reduces leptin which helps to regulate appetite
- Vitamin K – Poor status is linked to excess fat tissue, this vitamin helps metabolize sugars
- Vitamin D – Deficiency linked to poor metabolism of carbohydrates. Genes regulated by vitamin D may alter the way fat cells form in some people
- Vitamin E – Stops pre-fat cells from changing into mature fat cells, reducing body fat
- Vitamin A – Helps genes stop storing food as fat and reduces the size of fat cells
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) – Increases adiponectin, a weight loss hormone secreted by fat cells
- Asparagine – an amino acid that increases insulin activity to store energy in muscle instead of body fat
- Biotin – boosts metabolism by improving blood sugar levels and preventing fat formation
- Carnitine – carries fatty acids into the cell so they can be burned for fuel, helps reduce belly fat
- Calcium – inhibits the formation of fat cells, also helps to burn fat cells
- Inositol – may help to increase adiponectin levels
- Cysteine – an an amino acid that has been shown to reduce body fat in obese patients
- Glutamine – reduces fat mass by improving glucose uptake into muscle
- Magnesium- If your are low in magnesium your body cannot use glucose for fuel, it will then store it as fat. Correcting a deficiency will help sugar get into cells for energy and not be stored as fat.
- Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) – Activates the enzyme lipase which burns fat cells
- Chromium – helps reduce body fat and increases lean muscle by making available for cells to use as energy
- Lipoid Acid – Helps to get sugar into the cells and burn carbohydrates more effectively
Want to get your nutrient status tested? Learn more HERE!
One thing to note with weight loss is to not just go by the number on the scale. Your body could be changing on the inside which means that the amount of fat is decreasing and muscle will increase. Look for signs of clothes becoming loose or a decrease in your waistline. Don’t let the scale not budging stop you from continuing these healthy habits. Ultimately, they will improve your health as well.
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