Most of the people fail to lose weight because they don’t recognize the fact that everyone is different and what works for an individual might not work for another.
Some people have good metabolism or they are genetically gifted, it doesn’t take much effort or discipline for them.
But, for many people, luck is not a friend, they have to be very precise about things and follow a very strict routine in order to lose some weight.
In this article, we will talk about why is it that you can’t lose weight no matter what, in spite of all the efforts.
Reasons why you can’t lose weight
Carbs-yes and fats -No
What most people think is that, FATS make you ‘FAT’. But, the fact is, carbs in more responsible for making you fat.
Carbohydrate is the only macro nutrient, which your body can do without. That means, you can live without carbs, but you can’t live without eating fats.
So fats are not the enemy!
Look, carbs are important for you as they are primary source of energy. A balanced macro-nutrient diet should definitely include ample amount of carbs in it.
But, if you are on a weight loss program, then you don’t need a balance diet. If you eat carbs like how a normal/healthy person would eat, then you wonder “why I can’t lose weight no matter what I do”.
But, I eat complex carbs?
Complex carbs are definitely better than simple carbs. But, they are carbs, they are broken down into glucose and the excess part of it is stored as fat.
Why should I eat fat?
Fat is used to build cell membrane, your brain is entirely made up of fats and fat is the building block of hormones.
Testosterone, which is the most important anabolic hormone and helps in losing belly fat is made up of fats.
No physical activity
Have you ever wondered why people from older days were not as fat as we are now. The obesity level has climbed like crazy in past few years.
Now days, we have all sorts of gyming facilities, we have more knowledge of our body and nutrition, then our people ever had.
Yet, we are fatter, unhealthier, unhappier then our previous generations.
The level of daily physical activities have been reduced to bare minimum.
A study was conducted comparing which had more effect on fat loss, working out for a couple of hours or just being mobile all day.
The later one won. People who had jobs that involved constant movement within work space burned more calories without going to the gym.
Wrong way of exercising
A simple rule to burn fat or for that matter build muscles; get exhausted. If after each set you are not out of breath or your muscles aren’t burning, then you are doing it all wrong.
The weight you lift should be heavy enough to give you burn after 7-8 reps.
Performing exercise at high intensity causes release of anabolic hormones, which are indirectly effective in burning fat.
Note: In fact, if you do very low intensity cardio for a long period of time, instead of increasing the production of testosterone, can effect negatively.
Doing compound movements like deadlifts and squats train your core and burn lots of calories.
The best part about weight training is that, it gives a boost to your metabolism for a long period of time(24-36 hrs), which means you’ll be burning calories even after finishing your workout.
The more you are sleep deprived the more you’ll gain weight.
More Wake Time= More Eating
It might sound ‘obvious’, but it is true and it has been proved several times.
Secondly, sleep can really effects your metabolism to make it slow, and a slow metabolism means low amount of calories will be burned.
You have Water weight
Your body is able to retain water and this retained excess water can weigh way up to 20 pounds. So, it may be possible that the reason behind why you can’t seem to lose weight might be; water and not actual fat.
What causes water retention?
When your body feels that you are not getting enough water input, then it retains water.
This reaction can be based on genuine problem, like you are stuck in a desert and losing water, but not being able to refill it.
It can also happen because you are not drinking enough water or you are consuming too much salt. Having too much salt deludes your body into believing that you are short of water.
Signs of water retention?
Firstly, you’ll get puffy face, like what you get after drinking lot of alcohol.
Secondly, after pressing your fingers against the skin, it will hold a dent for few seconds even after removing the finger.
What you can do to get rid of water?
- Do Cardio
- Eat less salt
- Drink lots of water
- Take sauna bath once in a while
- Eat half a banana-it has Potassium which reduces sodium
Eating too much at a single time
You eat without any thoughts and you wonder ‘why I can’t lose weight?’
Let us say, you eat 20 g of carbs in the morning, your body will break down it into glucose and this glucose will float in your body.
Depending up on your physical activity after that meal, a part of those 20 g will be used as energy, say 15 g. Now, rest of the 5 g will either be stored as glycogen or be converted into fat.
Suppose, your body can only has space for 3 g of glycogen, then rest of the 2 g will be stored as fat.
Now, suppose instead of eating 20 g, you ate 100 g of carbs(1 bowl of kidney beans + 1 bowl of rice), then you can imagine how much left over will be stored in the body.
Hence, it is always a better idea to divide the carbs into a number of meals, so that there is minimum leftover from each meal.
You take too much stress
When you are stressed, a hormone called cortisol, is released in your body. An adequate amount of cortisol is good for your health.
But, a prolonged increased quantity of cortisol can cause increase in weight .
When cortisol is produced in a large quantity in your body, testosterone production falls down. A high testosterone is known to burn belly fat.
Secondly, stress makes you crave for unhealthy junk food. This is termed as Emotional eating.
Thirdly, when you are in a stressed state, you find it difficult to sleep. And, when you fail to have quality sleep, you end up gaining weight, like we have discussed before.
Insulin resistance might be a reason you can’t lose anymore weight. Insulin resistance is a condition when the cells of your body, especially muscle cells get resistant to insulin.
Insulin is the doorman that allows glucose to enter a cell.
So, if your body is insulin resistant your cells won’t respond to insulin which means glucose will not be taken in by the cells.
This means a lot of glucose will be floating around in your blood, finding no other way, to decrease the blood sugar level, your body will convert the glucose into fat and store it in your body.
On the other hand, your cell won’t get enough glucose. This means, in spite of having more than enough glucose in the blood, your body won’t be able to use it.
This will make you feel sluggish and you’ll lack energy. Since, your body is ‘starving’ you will crave for food more and more.
Your body is Oestrogen dominant
Oestrogen also known as Estrogen is a female counterpart of testosterone. It is responsible for development of female characteristics.
It is present in both male and female in different quantities and it has an inversely proportional relationship with testosterone.
That means, the more Oestrogen in your body increases, the more the level of testosterone will fall.
In men, if Oestrogen is increased beyond a point it can cause many problems, ‘man boobs‘ is a problem caused by increased level of Oestrogen.
When estrogen level is increased it can cause weight gain, especially in the belly area. It also means, if you are trying to lose weight it will create solid impediments.
You eat too fast
When you chew slowly you’ll eat less food in more time. After some time, your brain will be tricked into thinking that you have eaten more foods, which will make you feel fuller.
So, if you are eating less, that means less calories are going into your system, which means that you’ll gain less weight.
When you are eating quickly, you end up eating too much before your brain can figure out that you have eaten too much.
This not only increase the total food intake, but it also prevents proper absorption of food.
Not enough metabolism boosting food
Coffee is a good metabolism booster. It can boost your resting metabolic rate by up to 8%, which can be very helpful when you are trying to lose weight.
That is why, many trainers tell you to drink coffee a few minutes before working out, the combined effect of coffee and workout can help to shed lots of weight.
Green tea is also a great alternative to coffee. It has tons of anti-oxidants, plus it helps in boosting your metabolism.
Not only that, but Green tea also has enzymes that helps with the fat burning process even more. Drinking 1-2 cups daily of green tea can help you to lose weight and be healthy.
Low protein diet
People who have bigger muscles can lose good amount of calories if they just sit at a place, this is because your muscles are metabolically active.
So, if major portion of your weight comes from body fat, then losing muscles will become more difficult for you.
That is why it is important to have enough protein in your diet.
Protein synthesis is a calorie consuming process which means more protein you eat, the more calories you lose.
Having good amount protein(egg/fish/meat) helps you to stay full for a longer time. It helps fighting inter-meal craving, which causes you to eat junk.
How much protein should I take?
You don’t have eat too much protein to assist fat loss, 0.8 – 1 g per kg of body weight is fine. If you workout intensely, you can have 1.2-1.5 g per kg also.
Eating a lot before working out
Many people feel that it is fine to eat a lot of carbs or fat 2-3 hours before they workout, as the following workout will burn all the calories they had.
Although, it is true that workout will burn out calories you ate before, but it doesn’t mean you eat any amount of everything.
Secondly, eating high carbs before a workout has its disadvantages. When you eat carbs, you are providing your a body lots of glucose.
And, when glucose is already flowing in your blood while working out, your body will never tap into your fat storage for the energy it needs.
Working out on empty stomach
Yes, you can workout on an empty stomach. It is a good way to burn all the stored fat fast. The problem is when you do this, apart from using stored fat, your body can also use protein of your muscles.
One way to deal with it is to have food very high in protein 1-2 hours before working out on a empty stomach.
It will help you to lose fat while preventing muscle loss. And, it is better to have something in your stomach while exercising.
Whey protein is the quintessential protein source for this job, as it gets absorbed very fast and it has very low carbs- fat content.
Not targeting the big muscles
Problem with isolation exercises is that, they fail to help your body release anabolic hormones.
Without proper quantity of anabolic hormones, like testosterone, it is almost impossible to have good physique. Or, you have to work really hard.
When testosterone is released, it helps to build muscle faster, which requires protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is a fat burning process on its own.
Plus, when you use big muscles simultaneously, you burn relatively more amount of energy at a single time. Deadlift is one such exercise, it uses multiple big muscle.
All the compound exercises are a good way to increase testosterone and burn fat.
You have a bad liver
Liver is responsible for many things including discarding toxins from the body, and converting T4 thyroid hormone into T3.
T3 is one of the hormone secreted by your thyroid gland, unlike T4 it is very active. It plays lot of roles in maintaining your body.
T3 is linked to weight loss, that means, if you have low level of T3, then weight loss resistance of your body will be more.
How T3 is related to your liver?
Only 20% of the total T3 is produced by your Thyroid Gland and rest of the T3 is produced by the Liver. When your liver fails to function properly, this conversion is hindered.
These were the major reasons why you can’t lose weight. Most of the things you might be doing wrong to jeopardise your weight loss plan.