You have been working hard at the gym and following a nutritious diet, but do you feel like you don't really see any difference in the scales or mirror? Generally, it's easy to pinpoint what you are doing wrong when it comes to losing weight. Still, sometimes it's not what you are doing that is affecting your journey.
Unfortunately, many other reasons affect our weight loss, which is out of our control. If you can't determine the cause that is affecting your weight loss, consider these four factors:
Sorry to say, but we are all getting old. With age, many body changes will occur, one of them is body composition, where fat mass increases and muscle mass decreases.
Of course, you can still achieve your goals in whatever age group you are, but you will have to remember that it might just take a little longer and/or extra work to get there.
For women, especially around menopause, where hormones are significantly decreased, these can affect the body and the way it leads to a change in fat distribution. Usually, in females, that distribution causes the build-up of fat in the belly, hips, and thighs.
In short, as we get older, our hormones change, and it's inevitable that our body changes as well. You simply need to be aware of those changes and habits as you age and try to adjust your goals around it.
One of the most important parts of the puzzle when you are trying to lose weight. Most people don’t think about sleep and resting the body, but not sleeping well or enough will affect the way you lose weight and the speed you do as well.
In a study, just one night of sleep deprivation had been shown an increase in the desire to eat high-calorie foods and nutrient-deficient food.
Another study showed the effects of lack of sleep in the body fat, the more sleep, the better the lean body mass, while those on less sleep there was a reduction in weight loss.
So you better get some Zzzz if you want to improve your chances of losing weight. Sleep is also when the body recovers and grow. Giving your body the time to reset everything you have done so far so it can redo it all over again the next day.
This one is probably known to most people that are trying to lose weight. When we create a negative calorie balance, we will lose weight.
For example, if you consume 300 fewer calories per day for a period of time, you will see more significant weight loss, when compared to those eating 100 fewer calories per day. Always remember that you and your body needs a balance to perform.
Ok, this doesn't mean you can just cut a whole heap of calories per day to lose weight. You still need to give your body the nutrients required to function daily. If you decrease your calories too much, you might start to struggle to concentrate or even function normally. Calorie deficit needs to be sustainable, and when you also add exercise to your routine, you should see better results when it comes to weight loss.
I’m sorry to say, but our fat-to-muscle ratio does significantly affect our ability to lose weight. What does that mean? Women typically have a bigger ratio of fat-to-muscle when compared to men, keep in mind that we are all different, and this can differ from case to case.
But what it means is that women will generally burn 5-10% fewer calories than men while at rest.
This indicates that men can tend to lose weight quicker than women when following the same diet (same calories intake). However, as I said, this is not a rule, some women have different metabolism and can lose weight a lot quicker. In contrast, some men have a slow metabolism. We are all different, only you know your body better than anyone else.
The battle to weight loss can be a hard one. Many factors can influence how much and how quickly you lose weight. I have only given you 4 factors that can impact your journey. However, there are many other underlying reasons why you don't see the results you wish for. Some of that includes medications that you might be taken, medical conditions, family history and genes and yo-yo dieting.
You have to remember that one rule does not fit all. Our bodies and our metabolism are different. You have to work out what's best for your journey and how you can achieve this. Age, sleep, gender, and calorie deficit are just a few of the many factors that can influence how much weight you lose.
Nedeltcheva AV, Kilkus JM, Imperial J, Schoeller DA, Penev PD. Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(7):435‐441. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-153-7-201010050-00006
Frisard MI, Broussard A, Davies SS, et al. Aging, resting metabolic rate, and oxidative damage: results from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2007;62(7):752‐759. doi:10.1093/gerona/62.7.752
St-Onge MP, Gallagher D. Body composition changes with aging: the cause or the result of alterations in metabolic rate and macronutrient oxidation?. Nutrition. 2010;26(2):152‐155. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2009.07.004