Full disclosure here – I don’t like diets. But many women try diets when they want to lose weight. In this article I explain 10 reasons why your diet might not be working to help you lose the weight you want.
As you get older you have likely found that it is harder and harder to make diets work. It may be one of these reasons that is keeping your diet from working for you.
You are not exercising
Many popular diet plans don’t encourage or even discourage exercise while trying to lose weight. The problem with this approach is that exercise is an important part of weight loss. If you don’t include exercise you have to lower your calorie intake to make up for that. Without exercise dieting likely means that you are losing muscle as well as fat which will cause your metabolism to slow down.
Your metabolism has slowed down
Metabolism is how fast your body uses food. A slow metabolism means that your body doesn’t burn as many calories as someone with a faster metabolism. As you get older your metabolism slows down. Part of this is related to the natural loss of muscle, but lack of exercise contributes to your slowing metabolism. The hormone changes that occur during menopause also contribute to slowing metabolism.
Most diets don’t address the hormone changes that occur during menopause. Lower levels of progesterone and estrogen can slow your metabolism and cause your body to hold onto fat. These hormone changes also can cause other hormones like cortisol, thyroid, leptin, and insulin to be out of balance. These hormones directly affect fat storage, metabolism, and cravings.
Underlying medical condition
Many women develop hypothyroidism during menopause. Your thyroid controls your metabolism so low thyroid hormones mean that your body uses less energy at rest or doing normal everyday tasks. You can also experience a feeling of low energy with hypothyroidism which may make exercise seem impossible.
There are other medical conditions that can make it much harder to lose weight. If you think you should be losing weight, but are not, then check with your physician to see if there is something else going on.
Food intolerances that are undiagnosed can also make weight loss more difficult. Food intolerances can make you feel lethargic, reduce your nutrient absorption, and cause your gut bacteria to be out of balance.
Sometimes when you go on a diet you eat the foods that are suggested even though you know they don’t agree with you. You may have been told these foods are good for you and should be included in your diet, but if you have sensitivities this can backfire on you. Aside from making you feel bad, unhealthy gut bacteria can actually lead to weight gain.
Your diet is stressing you out
Going on a diet can be stressful for many reasons. Your body is placed under a lot of stress because you are not getting as much food as you need. Then there is the psychological stress of not giving in to cravings or hunger. You can feel stress if you are not seeing the results you want and you can feel stress if you are put in a situation where it is difficult to stay on your diet.
The problem with this is that stress can cause an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. This can lead directly to difficulties with losing weight. It can also lead to stress eating.
You are not getting enough sleep
If you experiencing extra stress from your diet, you may not be getting enough sleep. Some women try to increase energy levels by drinking more coffee, or switch to coffee over other beverages because it is calorie free. The excess caffeine can lead to poor sleep.
Your diet may also affect your sleep patterns and diets which are low in carbohydrates or low in protein have both been associated with weight gain.
Not enough sleep is one reason you might not be losing the weight you want. Lack of sleep slows your metabolism and can cause you to eat less healthy foods.
Your diet may mean you have no energy
Because you are not getting enough nutrients, or because you are stressed out, or not getting enough sleep, your energy levels might be low. Low energy means that you are less likely to want to exercise or even prepare the healthy meals you should be eating.
Low energy can make you feel discouraged and ready to give up. Shouldn’t eating healthier mean you have more energy? Unfortunately diets can leave out nutrients you need. Low carb diets are common for causing low energy when you start with them.
You may be suffering from weekenditis
You may be following your diet exactly, but all this restriction can lead you to give up for the weekend. You may be suffering from weekenditis, a condition where you eat healthy during the week, but forget the healthy eating on the weekend so you lose all the gains you made during the week.
Your might be ignoring beverages
One of the biggest ways that excess calories sneak into your diet is with beverages. You might not include your glass of wine, your specialty coffee or your smoothie when you are figuring out your daily calorie count.
And beverages with lots of sugar can also lead to high cortisol levels (remember the stress hormone), blood sugar spikes and cravings.
Bonus: Your diet is too restrictive
That was 10, but here is your bonus reason: Your diet is too restrictive. A diet that is too restrictive leads to many of the things I mentioned earlier in the article. It also causes many women to rebel and eat the foods they want, usually in quantities that are not healthy.
If you are trying to lose weight with dieting and things are not going the way you would like, don’t feel bad. It is probably the diet that isn’t working. What can you do instead? Check out the free trial of the Healthy Changes Membership Program.