4 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight That Have Nothing To Do With Your Diet Or Exercise

By Gina Florio··  6 min read
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lifestyle tips for weight loss

The first thing that comes to mind when you're trying to lose weight and get healthier is your diet. And that's totally normal, as what you eat is the most important factor if you're trying to shed body fat and change your physique.

You probably know by now that your diet is infinitely more important for weight loss than how often you exercise (although exercising regularly is a crucial piece of the puzzle as well), and that's because the old adage is true: you are what you eat. So if you're prioritizing processed, packaged foods, you're going to feel stale, rundown, and icky. Eating nutrient-dense, whole foods will make you feel vibrant, energetic, and motivated. Plus, ensuring that you eat enough protein will help you build more lean muscle, which burns fat faster and boosts your metabolism so you burn more calories at a resting rate.

Let's say you have your diet dialed in already, but you're still not seeing any difference in your body composition and in the way your clothes fit. This is a common thing I've seen with my clients. There could be some other factors in your lifestyle that are preventing you from losing weight, because sometimes no matter how well you eat, there are other things going on in the body that stunt your progress and make it nearly impossible to reach your goals. Here are four things you can change in your life in order to reach your weight-loss goals faster.

1. You're Not Prioritizing High-Quality Sleep

Sleep is the unsung hero of health, and it affects your weight-loss efforts in more ways than you think. If you're not resting well, your body isn't in any position to shed excess body fat. When you're sleep-deprived, your body overproduces the hunger hormone called ghrelin. Simultaneously, your prefrontal cortex (which is nicknamed the "CEO part of your brain") doesn't function at its full capacity while your amygdala (the emotional center of your brain) is firing on all cylinders. All that creates a perfect storm you're emotional, less rational, and hungry all the time. That easily results in you overeating, and even if you're eating the right foods, eating too much of a good thing still puts you in a calorie surplus, which is the complete opposite of what we want when we're trying to lose weight.

Sleep is the unsung hero of health and it affects your weight-loss efforts.

Additionally, a lack of high-quality sleep results in hormones that are out of whack, which disrupts your body's natural processes. A lack of sleep also makes you feel less motivated, more cloudy-headed, and moody. None of these create a good environment to shed fat.

Make sure you get your 7-8 hours of sleep at night. These are the habits that help you sleep better than ever: go to sleep and wake up at the same time every single day, turn off all your electronics at least 30 minutes before bed, get more sun exposure (more below), keep your room cool and your bed extremely comfortable, and end all meals at least 2-3 hours before bed.

2. You're Not Getting Enough Sun Exposure

Never listen to anyone who tells you that direct sunlight is bad for you. Your body needs the sun in order to regulate its sleep/wake cycle, regulate hormone levels, and give you energy. When you're stuck inside all day long, you miss out on the serotonin (your "happy chemical") that comes from sun exposure, as well as increased levels of testosterone, which you need for building lean muscle. And without the sufficient amount of lean muscle mass in your body, you can't burn fat efficiently.

Aim to be outside at least 60 minutes a day accumulated. If you have fair skin and you can't handle direct sunlight for extended periods of time, wear a hat and cover up accordingly or just go outside into the sun in short bursts of time.

3. You're Not Taking Your Vitamins

Did you know that the produce you eat has much fewer nutrients than food had 100 years ago? You could be eating all the right foods, but you're still not getting the amount of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. It may not sound like it's related to weight loss, but a lack of micronutrients slows down your body's ability to shed fat and build lean muscle, which in turn stunts your weight-loss efforts. That's why it's really important to take your vitamins every day.

Eating a clean diet and exercising regularly without taking your vitamins is like running against the wind.

A coach of mine once said that eating a clean diet and exercising regularly without taking your vitamins is like running against the wind. It just makes everything so much harder, and it takes longer to reach your goals. I encourage all of my clients to take a high-quality multivitamin every single day, because your weight-loss goals will become much easier to achieve once you have that daily habit dialed in. If you don't know where to start, this multivitamin is a fantastic option that most of my clients take.

4. You're Not Reducing Stress in Your Life

Stress is the silent killer, which is something you probably already know. Living in a perpetual state of stress wrecks your hormone balance and gut health, making it incredibly difficult to lose weight, even if you're eating in a calorie deficit and exercising regularly. Failing to manage stress efficiently has very real effects on your body as well as your mental health.

Take time each day to unwind and decompress, even if it's just 10 minutes of deep breathing with your eyes closed. I enjoy breathwork such as Wim Hof breathing, but you can even just lie down and breathe slowly right before you go to sleep. Other easy ways to manage stress are to cut down on electronic use, spend more time outside, and surround yourself with friends and family who can lift your spirits. It's easy to lose sight of what's really important in your life when you're busy, but you won't be able to achieve anything you want if you're not managing your stress hormones.

Closing Thoughts

Your body and mind require a lot of attention and care if you have weight-loss goals in mind, so don't underestimate the power of taking care of yourself holistically. It doesn't matter how many high-protein meals you make every day and how much you exercise if you're not looking after yourself in every other aspect, you're making it much harder for yourself to change your body composition and improve your overall health.

  Nutrition  Fitness
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