You eat right. You exercise. Yet, you don’t lose weight. It’s a frustrating scenario, and one that can cause a vicious cycle of depression and overeating, which leads to unwanted weight gain. If you’re trying to do all the right things to lose weight and the scale still isn’t budging, research shows there may be a few surprising reasons why:
#1. Working out too hard. If you’re giving your all and working out for long periods of time you could be preventing fat burn. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that breaking up your fitness routine into smaller workout sessions can encourage your body to burn more calories that if you worked out for an hour straight.
Quick Fix: Try breaking up your workout into 3-10 minute or 2-15 minute workouts with a rest/break in-inbetween. You can also perform a total body workout such as the California Living Beach Body Workout video located on this page which utilizes circuit training.
#2. Your Mood. Research shows that when woman get depressed they tend to gain weight because both their cravings increase and so does fatigue. This translates into a vicious cycle of eating more and being too tired to exercise. It’s interesting to note that men on the other hand experience a decrease in appetite and increase in sleeplessness.
Quick Fix: Take a walk outside. A brisk 10-minute walk outside can help you burn calories, and exposure to sunlight no matter what the season can increase the production of endorphins, those “feel good hormones” which have been linked to better moods and boosted metabolisms. Plus, it’s been proven that regular exercise has been shown to help depressed individuals as well or better than certain antidepressants by releasing brain chemicals linked to happiness. As a matter of health protocol, always check with your doctor before stoping any medication, as well as before starting a new exercise or diet regimen.
#3. Lack of Sleep. The following information on the “effects a lack of sleep has weight” has been summarized by an article on Aprilanne.com:
There is documented research to support that sleep deprivation can wreak havoc with a person’s hormones – specifically leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is released into the bloodstream by Adipocytes (our fat cells) to signal to the brain we have sufficient fat stores – in this scenario, leptin acts as a natural appetite suppressor.
The stomach releases the hormone ghrelin when it is empty to signal hunger. So – when a person gets less sleep than their body needs – this sleep deprivation lowers the levels of leptin and raises levels of ghrelin. This spiraling down process creates a one-two hormone punch that makes you want to eat more because the brain is getting signals that the body is starving, so you crave food.
The growing body of research on the relationship between the “lack of sleep on diet and weight gain” suggests that if you are one of the millions of people looking to shed a few pounds, understanding how the amount of sleep you get and how the lack of it effects your diet and hunger control hormones is a good place to start when looking for easy and natural ways to work with your body and honor its needs…so your body will work with you ~ not against you.
Quick Fix: Below are a few easy ways to have a better night’s sleep starting tonight:
- Aim for 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep every night.
- Set a bedtime routine to help you fall asleep.
- Avoid bright lights a few hours before going to bed to signal to your body it is time to sleep.
- Wear a light blocking eye mask to bed. Even the smallest amount of light (say from your alarm clock or hall light) can stop your body’s production of melatonin, another hormone critical to maintaining optimal health and wellness.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages after 2 p.m.
Is your weight gain issue or inability to lose weight due to a more serious condition? The above information is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness. Please check with your doctor or health care provider if you have concerns about your weight loss progress and/or health.
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