You invest in a gym membership, you buy all the low-fat options at the grocery store, you eschew any part of the menu except the salad portion, and you still are left asking yourself, “why can’t I lose weight?”
But your answer to weight loss might not be the big things like diet and exercise that most people think of when they think of losing weight. Keep reading to see what kind of small changes you could make to lose weight once and for all.
Your Thoughts Might Be Getting in the Way
Although thinking skinny thoughts might help you squeeze into a tight pair of jeans, recent research shows that it probably isn’t helping you cut down on calories.
Yale University found that when people were told they were eating a “healthy” meal, or thought they were making a “light” choice, their brains produce more of the hormone grhelin.
“More ghrelin makes you feel less full and signals your metabolism to slow down,” says the author of the study and PhD candidate Alia Crum.
To trick your brain into satisfaction, tell yourself that you are indulging whenever you eat, focusing on high-calorie components of your food such as nuts, cheese or protein sources.
Ever kept a mental tally of your indulgences throughout the day so that you could try to blast those calories from your midsection with a cardio-session at the gym later?
Or tried to justify a second helping of dessert simply because you were good and woke up early to go to the gym? You aren’t alone. Many people feel so good about exercise that they end up eating more calories than they burn, and then it’s no surprise why can’t I lose weight.
A French study found that simply thinking about exercise that you have done or are going to do can cause you to eat 50% more. Change your mentality to thinking of exercise as a way to stay healthy, rather than a way to excuse unhealthy eating habits.
Shopping Habits Could Be Your Downfall
If you are used to using your debit or credit card every time you rush out to the store, you could be doing your diet a huge disservice.
The Journal of Consumer Research found that people who paid with a card were significantly more likely to buy calorie-dense food than people who pay using cash.
Using hard cash can help you feel more financially accountable, and since most people know that junk food doesn’t contribute anything but calories to their diet, they are much less willing to pay for it if they see the cash leave their wallets.
Too Much Rest and Not Enough Sleep
This means that your laser-focus at work might get you a promotion, but it isn’t helping you answer the question, “why can’t I lose weight?”
To help keep your body producing lipase, stand and stretch every hour, which will boost your metabolism by about 13%, says research that was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
You might think that you are doing your diet such a huge favor by rising at the crack of dawn to get that early-morning workout in, but you might be shooting your diet in the foot by reducing the amount of sleep that you get each night.
When you get too little sleep your body will crave more carbs and fat than it would if you were fully-rested. Michael Breus, PhD and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan says that women who slept fewer than four hours ate 300 calories more calories the next day and as much as 21 grams more fat to compensate.
Don’t just shoot for eight hours either; gauge your sleep needs by giving yourself plenty of time to sleep, 8 or 9 hours, and if you wake up before the alarm then you can probably cut back. However, if you hit the snooze button, then you probably need to add more sleep.
So if you have ever asked yourself, “why can’t I lose weight?” maybe you need to reevaluate your approach to weight loss and change little things.