Why are you not losing weight?

With Spring Break approaching, many students and staff are working their hardest to lose weight and get into better shape.  Unfortunately, even with dieting and exercise, some people just can’t seem to shed those dreaded last few pounds.  Here are some possible reasons why:

  1. You think you are eating healthy, but in reality you are not: People often think of eating healthy as simply eating low carb diets, fat free food, or limiting calories.  In reality, your body needs both carbs and fats to give you energy and to function properly.  A way to make sure you are eating healthy is to keep track of the food you intake and make sure you eat the proper macronutrients.
  2. You are not getting enough sleep: Most people do not get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.  Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain.  Getting to bed at an earlier time could help resolve this. 
  3. You are under too much stress: When your body is under stress, both emotional and physical, it responds by producing cortisol.  Cortisol is a hormone that catabolizes muscle, worsens insulin, and promotes the storage of fat.  No matter how tough things get, always remember to relax!
  4. You are adding muscle: It is important to remember that weight is just a number.  When you exercise, you are not only burning fat, but also building muscle.  Because muscle weighs more than fat, you may see an increase in weight, even though your body fat percent decreases. 
  5. You may have reached a healthy homeostasis: Your body has an “ideal” weight which is the genetic set point at which it is most effective.  Often times this healthy homeostasis is achieved at a higher body fat percentage in women.  When you reach this point, you may want to ask yourself if losing more weight is really necessary.
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