You were overweight, but you did your best to lose some pounds and you did! You’re pretty happy with yourself, but you can’t quite get down to your ‘ideal’ weight, even though you think you’ve tried everything. Sound familiar? Here we look at some reasons why your weight loss has reached a plateau.
- You’re not sleeping well
When we sleep our bodies naturally slow down and use less energy. It’s quite amazing really how our bodies can do that. You might sleep for ten hours and feel fine in the morning. But try not eating or drinking for the same amount of time. You’d be thirsty and hungry, right? If you’re having trouble sleeping, then your body tends to go into stress mode. Stress hormones such as cortisol are naturally low at night, but will go up again if we’re awake. Cortisol makes our bodies lay down fat reserves ‘just in case’. Plus if you’re awake, you’re up and probably in the kitchen. So your tendency to snack is higher. The underlying question is: why aren’t you sleeping? Which leads us on to …
- You’re feeling anxious, stressed or depressed
Stress is a two-fold process. Some people feel so anxious they can’t eat; others tend to binge eat. When you feel stressed, your body releases cortisol in an attempt to free up sugar into your bloodstream. If you then can’t burn off that sugar it gets converted to fatty acids, which makes you put on weight. That kind of weight gain is often around the abdomen rather than the arms or legs. You know that guy in the office with a really big belly but skinny arms and legs? Think stress.Scientists have also found a potential link between carbohydrates and serotonin, the hormone that helps to regulate our moods. There is a theory that, without realising it, by eating carbohydrates we are attempting to boost our serotonin levels when we feel depressed. Hence why we love ‘comfort food’ when we’re feeling down: pizza, mashed potato, toast! But of course, all that carbohydrate can make you put on weight.
Come back tomorrow for more reasons.