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10 Things That Could Be Hindering Your Weight Loss Journey

Are you struggling to lose weight and keep it off? Perhaps you’re not addressing the root cause of the problem? It’s worth digging deeper to discover what’s holding you back. Once you know this, you’re immediately in a stronger position to be able to move forward and achieve your weight loss goals.

PrioritiesHow high on your priority list is weight loss?  Have you just started a new job or do you have a new-born in the house?  We all so often embark on a weight loss journey at the same time as other life-changing events.  If you try and take on everything all at once, you’re likely to fail.  Perhaps make one or two small dietary changes but don’t try and become superwomen or superman overnight.  Once you’ve settled into your new job/family life, introduce some additional dietary changes and build on it from there.
PhysiologyWe know that genes play a role when it comes to body shape and metabolism but if you’re struggling to shift excess weight, there might be more at play.  Unbalanced hormone levels or uncontrolled blood sugar levels can seriously hinder your weight loss efforts and sorting out these imbalances and/or conditions first will pave the way to more effective and long-lasting weight loss.
PatienceRome wasn’t built in a day!  Don’t try and lose too much weight too quickly.  Invariably you’ll end up losing muscle mass rather than the desired fat mass and you’ll end up slowing down your metabolism which will make it difficult to lose weight in the future.  A well- balanced diet is far more sustainable and will help you reach your weight loss and body composition goals over time.
ProcrastinationThis applies to most things in life that require a bit of hard work and focus.  By setting realistic goals and drawing up an action plan, the task at hand won’t feel as daunting and you’re more likely to get started and stick to it.
Friends and FamilyFriends can ‘make or break’ a weight loss journey.  Make sure you surround yourself with friends who support your new lifestyle.  Ideally find a ‘buddy’ with similar goals and commit to helping each other along the way.  Rope in family members too so that your meals are aligned, rather than having to prepare multiple dishes come supper time.
Poor quality dietsDon’t be fooled by quick fix diets that seem too good to be true.  Follow an eating plan that is enjoyable, not too restrictive and one that fits with your lifestyle. Remember that the secret to any weight loss journey is sustainability.  If you don’t think you can follow that way of eating forever, it’s not worth embarking on it.
Lack of sleepResearch suggests that sufficient good-quality sleep may be an important factor when it comes to an effective weight loss strategy.  Work on improving your sleeping habits if this applies to you.
MedicationChat to your doctor if you suspect that a medication that you’re on is resulting in unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight.  There might be a more suitable alternative that gives the desired results without the unwanted side-effects.
MicrobiomeMore and more research is showing that your gut microbes (bacteria, viruses and fungi) play a very significant role when it comes to weight management and overall health.  Keeping them happy by feeding them a diet rich in fibre and phyto-nutrients is of paramount importance.  Too many processed and refined foods can interfere with the microbiome balance and promote growth of the ‘not-so-healthy’ microbes.
StressChronic levels of stress have been associated with weight gain and difficulties losing weight.  Some possible reasons may be due to chronically increased cortisol and insulin levels which in turn can increase your appetite and promote storage of fat in the abdominal area.  Comfort eating is as the name implies – a quick, albeit temporary, ‘fix’ to a stressful situation.  As such, it’s used as a coping mechanism by many.   Try and work out what your stressors are and then come up with strategies to keep them at bay – whether it’s going for a walk, meeting up with a friend, listening to your favourite song or meditating in a quiet place.

We’re all different and faced with our own unique set of challenges every day.  By investing in ourselves and finding out what makes us tick and what holds us back, we’re in a much stronger position to fight whatever comes our way and achieve our health and wellness goals.