Sometimes the scale won’t budge, no matter how hard you try. According to Fitness and Dr. Pamela Smith, your body weight can fluctuate by as much as 5 lbs. in a single day, “so the amount you shed can easily get lost.” Here are 3 more of the most common reasons why we have trouble shedding the weight.
Not eating enough—specifically protein and water. According to Dr. Smith, drinking eight cups of water is good if you weigh 128 lbs; if you weigh more, you need to drink more. In terms of protein, most women need between 40 and 80 g (1.4 – 2.8 oz) a day. The reason? Protein stops you losing muscle as you lose fat, and ultimately burns more calories.
Too much stress—Stress causes us to gain weight, even when we’re doing everything possible to lose it. Here’s why: The stress hormone, cortisol, is an appetite stimulant that increases production of the brain chemical, neuropeptide Y, which in turn results in those carb cravings! Excessive cortisol slows down our metabolism, which doesn’t help the physical fact that extreme stress “causes fat to be stored in the abdominal area, where weight is harder to lose” according to Dr. Smith. Happily, stress can be controlled by exercise and balanced nutrition.
Not reading your body correctly—Just as sitting at your desk all day can reduce your lipase levels (a fat-inhibiting enzyme), working out regularly can increase your weight because of more water retention and muscle gain—which impacts your weight on the scale. But you really do need that extra water. So don’t stop drinking it. And psychologically, many people eat more when they work out, because they believe they’ve earned the right, or because they are simply hungrier. Keep that in check by maintaining a proper BMR (basal metabolic rate) and sticking to your body’s recommended calorie count.