If you have been working hard to lose a few pounds through healthy eating and exercise, you may be surprised to find somewhere down the line you start putting the weight back on.
Staying committed to a healthy lifestyle is no walk in the park, and requires lots of willpower to keep you going.
It also requires listening to your body and readjusting your habits as you lose weight.
So if you’re worried you may be gaining back the pounds you have worked so hard to lose, we have some tips to ensure you don’t end up back at square one.
Your metabolism has slowed down
It’s a myth that the slimmer you are, the faster your metabolism. In fact, the opposite is true. The amount of calories you burn on a daily basis is closely linked to your body weight. An overweight person tends to burn more calories during a workout because their body requires more energy to move and cope with the extra weight.
As you start losing weight, your body starts burning less calories. Therefore, if you don’t adjust the amount you eat to correspond with your slimmer frame, the weight will very likely creep back on.
You’re not getting enough sleep
Lack of sleep leaves you feeling sapped of energy and as a result more prone to snacking to keep up your energy levels throughout the day. Furthermore, when you are sleep deprived your body produces more ghrelin (a hormone that makes you want to eat more) and less leptin (a hormone that notifies the brain to stop eating). Research shows exhaustion also causes the metabolism to slow down which further adds to the possibility of weight gain.
You haven’t considered the long-term
Celebrating weight-loss by tucking into a cheeseburger is not a great idea. Many people who lose weight do not have a long-term outlook and as a result may quickly pile the weight back on. According to nutritional experts, one of the best ways to ensure long-term weight-loss is to eat a balanced diet of small portions. Making changes that will stick for the long run such as eating more fruit and veg and opting for whole grains over refined foods is much more effective.
Your willpower is being wasted
Studies show we are only given a finite amount of willpower to use each day. So if you’re draining your reserves of self-discipline on resisting a piece of chocolate, you will be more likely to eat unhealthily later on. Our willpower and motivation is at its highest in the morning so focus on planning your daily meals and snacks first thing. This will help to prevent your mind from wandering to unhealthy foods later on in the day.
Your old habits are lingering
Dieting and changing your eating habits doesn’t always mean changing your thoughts about how or why you eat. Failing to address your underlying feelings towards food may prevent you from maintaining weight-loss. This is because relying on food for pleasure and comfort gives it power over you. To beat your emotional connection with food, keep a diary to illustrate why and when you make unhealthy food choices. Also aim to distract yourself from reaching for comfort food with exercise or making a phone call.