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Six reasons you have trouble losing weight

Amongst popular health goals, losing weight oftentimes ranks at the very top of the list for so many people. If you are someone who is overweight or obese, research has shown...

PHOTO: HuffPost

Amongst popular health goals, losing weight oftentimes ranks at the very top of the list for so many people. If you are someone who is overweight or obese, research has shown that even losing just 5-10% of your total body weight can be quite beneficial to your overall health. Weight reduction may potentially aid in lowering the risk of diabetes, improving your blood pressure and even your cholesterol levels.

The weight loss journey is never so simple for anyone, as you will surely encounter several obstacles along the way that hinder you from your goals. Even if you feel that you thoroughly understand the formula and steps to take towards sustainable weight loss, sometimes actually executing your plan and shedding those pounds may prove to be an incredibly arduous ordeal. If you are always struggling to lose weight, it is important to recognize some of the common reasons why this may be:

Your cheat days have become cheat weeks
Some people engage in a weekly “cheat day,” during which they allow themselves to indulge in eating one of their favourite meals, deserts, or snacks. Be wary of those cheat days though, as you may overindulge and easily be derailed from the path of healthy eating. It is one thing to enjoy a small taste of chin chin or puff puff every so often at an event or party, but if you make it a habit to constantly stuff yourself with deep fried dough and other small chops, don’t be surprised that you aren’t losing any weight.

It’s not difficult for one cheat day to transition into a cheat week and subsequently cheat months. All this is to say, you must be fully honest with yourself about your ability to adhere to the long term lifestyle changes necessary to lose weight and keep it off. Basically, if you have not yet fully committed to healthy eating habits that promote weight loss, you will find it difficult to keep off those pounds.

Your level of physical activity is at an all time low
Perhaps you have changed your dietary habits and you are now eating healthier than ever. You’ve eliminated processed foods and take out from your diet, you’ve reduced the amount of palm oil and red meat used to cook some of your favorite soups, and you’ve even refrained from overeating and now strictly control your portion size no matter how tasty the dish.

Those changes alone may not be sufficient to get you to your desired weight loss goals. A healthy diet in the absence of physical activity is simply not going to cut it. According to the CDC, in order to maintain your weight, you should engage in around 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity weekly. In order to actually lose weight, you will need to up the ante and increase that amount of vigorous physical activity.

Your metabolism has slowed down with age
Your metabolism encompasses those biochemical reactions that occur in the body to break down food into an adequate source of energy to allow for optimal functioning of your body. It’s what helps you burn those calories and the rate at which this occurs tends to decline with age. The main way to tackle this problem as you get older is to decrease your caloric intake and exercise more.

Your thyroid gland is not functioning properly
The thyroid gland assists in regulating metabolism. A low functioning thyroid gland equates to slower metabolism. Hypothyroidism, (an underactive thyroid) may therefore potentially contribute to weight gain. If your thyroid hormone levels are low, then you may experience symptoms of lethargy, constipation, and even cold sensitivity in conjunction with your weight gain. Having an underactive thyroid gland may make it extremely difficult to lose weight no matter how much you exercise and how well you eat.

You are clinically depressed
Depression is a mental health disorder affecting so many Nigerians. Symptoms such as a change in appetite and lack of motivation are just a few things that a depressed individual may experience which may promote weight gain. Further complicating the issue is that if you are taking antidepressants to treat a major depressive disorder, the medications themselves may also contribute to increased weight gain.

You suffer from insomnia 
Lack of sleep has been correlated to weight gain. The longer that you are awake, the tendency you have to snack on unhealthy foods in the middle of the night. This may totally sabotage your weight loss goals. Nonetheless, if you are chronically sleep deprived and maintain inconsistent sleep patterns, you will likely have trouble losing weight. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is an essential component of the weight loss equation.

Here is the takeaway: There are a number of possibilities as to why you haven’t attained your weight loss goals. If you have truly given it your best effort and still are not yielding any results, you should definitely talk to your doctor to determine if there may be some underlying condition holding you back from losing weight.

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