In last week’s blog, 5 Mental Barriers that May Be Blocking You From Losing Weight, I discussed the most common mental struggles that my coaching clients all have in common.
This week, let’s look at the physical barriers that are keeping you from losing weight.
- Metabolism: It is very rare that someone’s metabolism is actually so slow that it prevents them from losing weight. Metabolism does, however, have a huge impact on the rate of loss. Muscle mass and a regular diet are the keys to combating this one. Keep your body fueled and increase your resting burn rate, also known as your Basal Metabolic Rate, and you can and will lose weight.
- Lack of Sleep: Sleep will mess with your hormones and that will mess with your weight. People who sleep less weigh more. Your hunger hormones, Grehlin, which stimulates your appetite, increases, and Leptin, which tells you when you’re full, decreases. Plus, your brain reads the decrease in Leptin as a signal that you’re starving and starts to store fat. Now combine that with a natural tendency to grab and snack when we are tired, and you can see how not getting eight hours a night might be why you’re struggling to lose weight.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: As jobs have changed, many of us find ourselves firmly tied to our desks. Screens command our attention throughout the day and often into the night, and all that screen time makes for a lot of sitting, snacking, and spreading. To lose weight, you have to get up and get moving! You don’t need to run a marathon, but if you want to get healthier, you have to be an active participant in your weight loss.
- Processed Foods: Not all calories are equal because your body treats calories differently depending on where they come from. Artificial sweeteners, sugar, refined flour, preservatives, GMOs, trans-fats, partially hydrogenated oils, MSG, artificial colors, and artificial flavors aren’t natural ingredients and our bodies get pretty confused figuring out what to do with all that crap. In fact, our bodies become a toxic waste site for garbage masquerading as “food.” If
- Illness and Medications: If you are eating well and exercising regularly and you are not losing weight, and you think there may be a medical cause, rule it out. I say it over and over. “Before beginning a weight loss program, consult your doctor.” That way you’ll know what you really weigh, your BMI, and your fitness level so you don’t overdo it. Hypothyroidism, anemia, and other conditions can cause weight gain. Medications like hormones, contraceptives, some blood pressure drugs, diabetes medications, and antidepressants can all affect your weight too, but your doctor can help you find the right medications and program for you. You are not doomed. Work with professionals to take control of your health so that you are able to take control of your weight.
These are just five physical barriers to losing weight, five of hundreds of reasons that get in our way and keep us from becoming the healthy, happy people we deserve to be.
If you are stuck in a rut and having trouble losing weight, the first thing I recommend is taking an inventory of what is blocking your success. Life is a never-ending exploration of our nooks and crannies. To be successful, we must be willing to check out all of our dark corners and get to know ourselves well enough to be honest. With weight loss, like everything else, it’s true, “The truth will set you free.”
You are strong enough to break through every barrier in your path to good health; you just need to know what they are.