You work out every day, you eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and you hardly ever overindulge on wine or chocolate, so why can’t you shift that extra weight?
Not losing weight is infuriating when there is no obvious reason why. Unfortunately, eating the right foods and working out hard don’t always do the trick. Our bodies are highly complex biological machines and if one small thing is out of whack, it can have a knock-on effect on everything else. In this article, we are going to look at some unexpected ways that you might be sabotaging your weight loss program, as well as a few health issues that could be causing you to pile on the pounds, despite your best efforts.
Burning the Candle at Both Ends
Modern life is tough. We are expected to work long hours, juggle family and career, and take care of elderly relatives. Is it any wonder we are often sleep deprived? Unfortunately, not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can set off a chain of events that lead to weight gain.
When we are sleep deprived, it upsets our endocrine system. This causes a hormonal imbalance, which stimulates us to eat and then fails to let us know when we are full. The end result is weight gain.
Disruptions to your body clock and weight gain are also linked. Research has shown that disruptions to your circadian rhythm, i.e. because of long-haul travel or working night shifts, makes us more likely to eat at inappropriate times. Eating late messes with our pancreas, which makes it harder to lose weight. People who regularly travel long haul for business are at risk of gaining weight, even when they work out religiously in the hotel gym.
You are Stressed
We all know stress is bad for us, but did you know that being constantly stressed is bad for your waistline? If stress causes you to reach for the biscuit barrel or a glass of wine, it stands to reason that you will gain weight, but stress also works in more insidious ways.
When we are under stress, the body is flooded with cortisol. In short bursts, cortisol is good for us, as it triggers the “fight or flight” response that gets us out of trouble. However, too much cortisol triggers cravings for sweet, fatty foods, hence why you overindulge on chocolate after a bad day at the office.
Underlying Health Problems
Is your thyroid working properly? If your first response is “huh?”, then we are about to enlighten you. Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that controls your metabolism. When it stops working properly, your metabolism slows down and you start to feel sluggish and gain weight. With an underactive thyroid, you can eat virtually nothing and still gain weight.
Consider whether you are suffering from sleep deprivation, stress, or you feel generally unwell. If it’s the latter, ask your doctor to check your thyroid function, especially if you are female and aged 40+.