It’s coming up to the new year, a time when some people start making resolutions, but what about the resolutions you made last year? Are they the same?
Top of the resolutions list is weight loss but how many of us are still the same weight and size as last year?
What did we do wrong? What did we do right? Is there another reason why we are not achieving our weight loss goals?
Below I have listed just five reasons why you may not be achieving the results that you want to:
1 Your goals are too big...
One of the first things I ask my weight loss clients is how much weight they want to shift. When they say 3 stone, I often see their demeanour change as they feel defeated before they start - it seems such a big goal. I then ask how long they think it will take them to lose that weight, before calculating the time it could take based on a weight loss of 2lbs a week. They are often surprised (and pleased) as my time estimate is often far lower than they thought.
The secret then is to ‘chunk’ this big goal down into smaller goals eg just focusing on 2 lbs weight reduction a week, or an initial goal of a half stone reduction in weight, before moving to the next half stone. This makes the long-term goal much more manageable, and creates motivation as each stage is reached.
2 Your goals aren’t yours...
Today we are under so much pressure from unrealistic, photo-shopped images and posts on social media, TV and magazine articles. We may even come under pressure from our partners and family to get fit or healthy, to lose weight, or to look perfect. If this isn’t what we want, then we will not be motivated to achieve that goal. It is important that we own our goals; that they are truly ours, and not what someone else wants. So ignore what everyone else wants…it’s what you want that matters!
4 You’re not getting enough sleep...
Poor sleep leads to lower energy levels so we might feel that we don’t have enough energy to go to the gym or cook a healthy meal, and may choose to stay at home on the sofa eating a ready meal instead.
Research has shown that people with low sleep levels tended to choose high carb snacks and late-night snacking increased. Other research has shown that sleep deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least 8 hours; whilst a further study found that sleeping too little prompts people to eat bigger portions of all foods, increasing weight gain.
Insufficient sleep also affects your hunger and fullness hormones, including two called ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin lets your brain know that it is time to eat, and when you’re sleep-deprived your body makes more ghrelin. Leptin prompts your brain to put the fork down. When you’re not getting enough sleep, your leptin levels fall, sending signals to your brain to eat more food. Both of these can therefore contribute to weight gain.
When we are stressed, our body goes into survival mode, triggering the flight or fight response. Fighting wild animals like our ancestors did, took up a lot of energy which needed fuel, however, the types of stress we have these days don’t often involve expending lots of energy.
Levels of the 'stress hormone' Cortisol, rise during stresful periods and cause an increase in appetite to provide this now unnecessary fuel. Increased levels of Cortisol also help cause higher insulin levels, so as your blood sugar drops, you crave sugary, fatty foods.
Unfortunately, excess cortisol also slows down your metabolism, because your body wants to maintain an adequate supply of glucose for all that hard mental and physical work dealing with the threat.
These are just 5 reasons why you may not be achieving the results you want so before you start your weight loss programme, consider the above and whether they are affecting your potential for change.