Wondering what’s going wrong? Maybe it’s one of these five things:
You’re Eating Too Much, Healthy or Not
My dad, who is a surgeon (but knows very little about nutrition, and I know other Dietitians are knowingly simultaneously nodding their heads and rolling their eyes while they read that), once told me: you can gain weight if you eat too much – even if you eat too many carrots. What he meant was, even if you’re eating healthy foods, if you’re eating too much, you’re going to gain weight.
Don’t be fooled. High protein, low sugar, gluten free, Paleo. If you’re consuming too many calories, you’re not losing any weight.
You’re Slipping Down the Slope
Ah, the slippery slope trap. After a successful run of losing weight, you’re finding that you’re plateauing or even gaining back a few pounds. Have you relaxed enough in the past little while to start taking a swipe through the peanut butter, a bite of your friend’s cookie, the crust of your kid’s sandwich? Those seemingly ‘invisible’ calories are actually adding up. And the unfortunate truth is, when you lose weight, you actually need LESS calories than you did before. So the slippery slope is actually a double whammy. The remedy? Make sure any plan you follow is sustainable.
You’re Not Active – Or, You’re Not Lifting Weights
I always say that weight is lost in the kitchen, and toning happens in the gym. But if you’re not active at all, you’re not reaching your full calorie-burning potential. Try not to slog away at endless hours of cardio, either. Weight training will add muscle that can increase how many calories you burn at rest. Challenge yourself physically, and make fitness a priority. Let’s face it – people who are active tend to be healthier, happier, and less stressed.
You’ve Exchanged Hunger Cues for Numbers
Counting calories may be helpful to some people, but if you’re knee deep in numbers, you may lose your hunger cues. Make sure you eat because you’re hungry, not because it’s time to eat or because you have calories left to take in. Do you even remember what hunger feels like? Check out my other blog about calorie-tracking apps.
You’re Focused on an Unattainable Number
Unfortunately my job sometimes involves the delivery of bad news. As in, ‘you’re never going to be 125 pounds when the last time you weighed that was when you were 12, and now you’re 56’ sort of news. Many of my clients come to me for weight management, but I rarely if ever weigh them – because I don’t really believe in weight goals or ‘ideal weight’. Being a healthy weight for YOU should be a combination of a happy, active lifestyle, plus whole, delicious foods, plus eating behavior that is healthy and smart. All of those things figure into nutrition. Food is only one factor. By getting you off the scale and away from the numbers, you can better focus on establishing good habits. And the healthy weight for you will likely follow.