There are plenty of reasons you’re overweight and most likely you’ve heard them all. But if you think it’s because you eat too much and exercise too little, chances are you’re wrong. Sure, these are basic guidelines that can work for a lot of people. But if you’re struggling to lose or even maintain your weight, consider these reasons you’re overweight and what you can do to get back on the health and wellness bandwagon.
Believe it or not, one of the reasons you’re overweight could be because you’re exercising too much! When performed in moderation, exercise is definitely a great way to help you burn calories and create what’s called a caloric deficit to encourage weight loss. The problem occurs when you’re daily sweat session turns into an obsession. Suddenly, you find yourself exercising longer than you normally would, which can actually increase your appetite instead of suppressing it. After eating much more than you should have, you try to exercise off your binge and the process begins all over again. Unless advised by your doctor or medical professional, there’s no need to exercise for more than 30-60 minutes a day.
Did you wake up late and not have time to eat breakfast? Then make it up at lunch by eating a cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake the size of your head? Sometimes poor meal timing can be keeping you from losing weight. Skipping meals, ‘saving’ calories, and following are sorts of weird time rules about food could actually be keeping you from losing weight. Whether you choose to graze all day or eat three square meals a day, there’s no scientific argument that says one is better than the other. Experiment and figure out what works for your body!
If you like to a keep a food log to better hold you accountable when you’re dieting, that’s actually a great tool and can help keep you motivated. But if you’re not measuring out full portions and simply guesstimating about the amount of food you eat, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Overestimate your caloric intake and you could be missing out on nutrients or slowing your metabolism. Underestimate your caloric intake and you be eating way more than you should. Try finding an app for your phone to track your nutritional information for you. This is much more accurate than any food log or journal you’d write by hand.
If you started out measuring your portions to get a better feel for true portion size, that’s awesome! Sometimes, we tend to become lax about our portions, stop measuring, and over time take larger and larger portions. Make a habit of measuring things out every once in a while to get into a habit of true portion sizes.
Are you a cardio bunny? By that I mean, do you simply hop on the treadmill or elliptical, hoping to burn off that double-fudge brownie sundae? If you’re spending time at the gym, try lifting some heavy weights! It could be just the shock you need to boost your metabolism.
A two-week low-calorie diet will certainly work in the short-term, but definitely not in the long-term. If you want true results, you’re going to have to make consistent behavior modifications that you can follow for life. Using crash diets for true weight loss is only going to leave you overweight with no reason why.
As much as we might get caught up in the number we see on the scale, remember there are other ways to measure your weight loss success like how your clothes fit or new fitness goals you’ve reached!
Trying to lose weight definitely has its struggles and challenges. What small changes did you make to help you notice real results?