Does your lifestyle affect your ability to lose weight?
In all my years of working out in different gyms across various cities and states, there was one thing that really stood out to me: people who worked out regularly but didn’t seem to have luck in losing weight.
These people would engage in long stretches of cardio workouts and some of them would even perform tough resistance exercises with dumbbells and weight machines. However, I would often hear them complain that no matter how hard they exercised, they barely lost weight.
Why do some people have a harder time losing weight than others?
Some people have really low metabolisms due to inborn genetic conditions. Others develop hormone-imbalance disorders like hypothyroidism later in life, which can also make losing weight nearly impossible without proper treatment.
However, the most common cause of delay in weight loss is actually bad lifestyle choices.
If you are already dieting and working out and you still aren’t seeing any progress, it’s time to do a lifestyle check to see if you have any “weight loss traps” holding you back.
What are “weight loss traps?”
Weight loss traps are habits, beliefs and general lifestyle factors that can slow down your progress in slimming down. To say that only diet and exercise are needed to slim down is an oversimplification. There are many other factors that affect a person’s weight.
Factor # 1: Daily Routines
How do our daily routines affect weight loss?
Daily routines have a definite impact on the weight loss process. If people evaluated their main routines at home or at work, they would immediately see why the weight isn’t coming off.
If you grab cheeseburgers or tacos for lunch and you skip breakfast on most days, your metabolism is probably very low and your body isn’t burning calories at an optimum level.
Poor eating habits often have precedents. For example, if a person doesn’t have time in the morning to prepare breakfast, it is likely that he often sleeps late and wakes up in the morning with only minutes left to shower and dress for work.
It’s important that you slowly change your daily routines to fit your new lifestyle requirements. Otherwise, your body will not be able to shed fat efficiently.
Factor # 2: Stress Levels
How stressed are you on most days?
If you answered “very stressed” or “extremely stressed”, your level of stress may also be preventing you from losing weight.
In addition to the mental strain that stress creates, physiological stress also affects cardiorespiratory efficiency, nerve health and even your digestive health. In short, when you are mentally stressed, your body (including your vital organs) is stressed too.
In this situation, the only viable option is stress management.
There are many stress management techniques available, from self-hypnosis to massage therapy. Explore your options and see which technique will be the most beneficial for you.
Personally, I prefer weekly deep tissue massages as they calm me down and improve the quality of my sleep at night.
Some individuals like playing hypnosis recordings with ambient sounds to relieve themselves of stress. Hypnosis recordings are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased online from certified hypnotherapists.
Factor # 3: Sleep Quality
Sleep is the only time that the body can start renewing and repairing itself. When you are actively losing extra weight, your body needs even more sleep so that your muscles and organs can repair and reconfigure themselves to function more efficiently.
What happens when you don’t get enough sleep at night?
Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can affect your ability to exercise. Your metabolism is also slower and the digestion and absorption of nutrients also slow down.
Having less than 6 hours of sleep every night can also cause physical stress which further reduces your metabolic efficiency. In short, if you want to melt away those extra inches, you have to give your “fat burning machine” the rest that it needs.
How can you get better sleep at night?
- No Gadgets – If you are going to sleep, leave your tablet computer and smartphone on the bedside table or even farther away. Watching TV is also a bad idea as it makes your mind more active, making sleep harder to come.
- Milk – Studies show that drinking a glass of milk before bedtime increases sleep quality. This benefit is attributed to the natural components of milk that enhance rest and deep sleep.
- Lights Off – Current research shows that having even a small amount of light present during bedtime can affect sleep quality. It appears that we instinctually associate any form of light with sunlight and therefore, wakefulness.