While it might seem that we have become more serious about fitness than ever, the truth of the matter is that only 11% actually use the gym after signing up for a membership.
The average ones, as a matter of fact, only manages to get a mere 19 minutes of exercise in a day, as opposed to a minimum recommendation of 30 minutes of physical activity.
The first step in your journey to sustainable weight loss, therefore, is to stay clear of fad diets and also maintain a healthy balance between the calories you consume and shed.
Still struggling to lose weight despite exercising? Here are some reasons why your exercise efforts may not be reaping their intended results.
1. You’re not getting enough sleep
The lack of sleep can leave you physically hungry due to two hormones: Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrelin signals hunger and Leptin is responsible for stopping it. Low secretions of leptin (due to sleep deprivation) can slow down your metabolism and leave you with constant feelings of hunger. Sleep deprivation can also affect the secretion of cortisol, one of the hormones that regulate your appetite.
2. You’re not making the right diet choices
Consistently binging on unhealthy or junk food on the weekend could be hurting your weight loss goals. Research suggests that exercise alone may not contribute to substantial weight loss, without sufficient changes to the diet. This doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself at all. The most effective diets have significant variety and are balanced with the right amounts of Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates.
3. You’re not controlling your calorie intake
Most people who have difficulty losing weight are simply eating too many calories. An important factor in weight loss is how many calories you’re eating versus how many calories you’re burning. It may seem easy, but if you’re not tracking your calories each day, you may be consuming more than you think.
4. You’re not drinking enough water
Drinking a glass of water before your meals can benefit weight loss. In one 12-week weight loss study, people who drank half a litre of water 30 minutes before meals lost 44% more weight than those who did not. So make it a point to drink plenty of water during the day.
5. You’re over-exercising
One of the main reasons why burning calories through exercise may still not result in weight loss is due to overexertion, or inflammation of your body. If you exercise too hard on a daily basis, there is an excess of inflammation in your body. All the added up inflammation makes you gain more weight than lose.
6. Know your metabolic rate
Your Resting Metabolic Rate defines the number of calories you burn by all the activities you carry out in 24-hours. Knowledge of your Resting Metabolic Rate will allow you to calculate the actual amount of calories you need in a given day. You can then create a calorie or energy deficit by adjusting your dietary intake with the amount of exercise you undertake on any given day.
7. You have other health conditions
There are some medical conditions that can drive weight gain and make it much harder to lose weight. These include hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and sleep apnea. Certain medications can also make weight loss harder, or even cause weight gain. If you think any of these apply to you, speak to your doctor about your options.