I’m Eating Less and Exercising More, Why Can’t I Lose Weight?
Many factors — including metabolism, genetics, stress, and lack of sleep — can keep you from losing weight even with diet and exercise.
Many people believe that losing weight is just a matter of following a simple equation — dieting plus exercise equals weight loss. In theory that makes sense, but obesity is a complex condition that can affect the body in surprising ways.
In fact, many people aren’t able to lose weight long-term through diet and exercise alone. Why? Several factors — such as metabolism, genetics, stress, and lack of sleep — can keep you from losing weight even if you’re eating less and exercising more. Here’s what you need to know about achieving weight loss success. </p
Why Can’t I Lose Weight?
Some people struggle with obesity not because they don’t have the willpower to lose weight or aren’t exercising enough, but because of their genetics. Recent studies have linked over 50 different genes to obesity and over 43 percent of people with obesity actually have it “in their genes.” People with obesity-associated genes feel hungrier more often, feel full less often, and find it very hard to lose weight through diet and exercise alone.
Metabolism can also affect your ability to lose weight. Your metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body uses to get through the day, and everybody’s metabolism is different. If your metabolism is high, you naturally burn a lot of calories during your workouts and at rest so it’s easier for you to lose weight. If your metabolism is slower, you tend to hang on to extra pounds.
Another factor that can have a major impact on your weight is stress. When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol that makes you crave foods that are high in sugar, carbs, and fat. For example, if you’re having a tough week, you might give in to these cravings more often than you should in an effort to make yourself feel better.
Studies have shown that stress also affects your metabolism. In 2015, researchers at Ohio University asked a group of women about the stressors they had faced the previous day, and then fed them a high-fat meal. On average, the women who were more stressed burned 100 fewer calories than the women who weren’t as stressed. To make matters worse, high stress levels cause you to retain weight in your midsection, and those pounds are some of the hardest to lose.
Finally, poor sleep habits can lead to weight gain. Lack of sleep can throw off your body’s hormones that control hunger — ghrelin and leptin — and cause you to crave more junk food. Also, you’re less likely to stick to your weight loss goals when you’re tired, hungry, and more interested in taking a nap than taking a brisk walk. Unfortunately, the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Health Index reports that 45 percent of people aren’t getting their recommended seven hours of sleep each night — a factor that may be contributing to the rise of obesity.
What Can I Do?
Even though the aforementioned factors make it more challenging to lose weight, all is not lost! Bariatric surgery can help you shed those stubborn pounds for good. During the gastric bypass procedure, for instance, your bariatric surgeon will make your stomach smaller as well as re-route your digestive system. This makes it easier for you to eat less and for your body to process nutrients more efficiently.
On average, gastric bypass patients lose up to one third of their excess weight within a year because surgery makes their diet and exercise plans more effective. For instance, losing weight can ease the painful pressure on your joints, making it easier to work out regularly. Weight loss surgery also revs up your metabolism so you burn more calories, fights the hormones that lead to weight gain, and relieves any breathing problems that might keep you from a good night’s sleep.
If you’re eating well, working out often, and still can’t lose weight, bariatric surgery may be the solution you’ve been waiting for. To learn more, contact the weight loss professionals at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors today! Our team will walk you through your treatment options, offer tips on how to keep the weight off, and get you started on your journey to a happier, healthier you.