Feeling frustrated with your weight loss? Is your scales just not moving? You’re not alone. Many women struggle to lose weight – especially pregnancy weight.
If you’re not losing enough weight, or if you think that you could be losing more weight, take a look at our hints below. There are a number of reasons behind why you might not be losing weight, and the Lose Baby Weight team have got our top tips to help you get those scales moving.
Common reasons for not losing weight
It’s that time of the month
If you haven’t lost any weight this week, it could well be because it’s your time of the month. If you’re feeling bloated, moody, angry and stroppy – and you’re craving chocolate, you might not be losing weight because it’s your time of the month. Your period can cause water retention – so don’t weigh yourself at this time of the month.
You have polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a medical condition that can cause problems with insulin use within the body. Women with PCOS can’t use insulin properly and this means that they cannot process sugar properly, causing a build-up of it in the blood. When there is a build-up of sugar in the body, androgen is released to try to deal with the problem. Androgen causes a number of side effects, but one of the worst side effects is that it can cause weight gain. Weight gain when you have PCOS is very difficult, as the androgen hormone makes it much more difficult to get that weight back off again.
PCOS sufferers also need to remember that they need to look after their bodies when losing weight – they need to keep their blood sugar levels stable to prevent the release of androgen. Firstly, PCOS sufferers need to make sure they have a variety of fruits and veggies for health and nutrition, but they also need to eat lots of complex whole grain carbohydrates as these are known to keep blood sugar stable. White pasta and white bread are a no go, as they cause spikes in blood sugar levels. You should also include lots of lean protein, as it helps you to lose weight. If you embark on a healthy eating regime and get plenty of exercise, but still don’t see a reduction in your weight, see your doctor. Medication might be needed to control your hormone levels.
You have allergies
If you’re being absolutely honest with yourself, you’re eating really well and getting plenty of exercise, you might not be losing weight because you have allergies. Allergies to wheat and gluten can cause bloating, so if you suspect you have an allergy, see your doctor. Don’t cut any foods out of your diet – instead, see your doctor and they can test you for any allergies.
You are gaining lean muscle mass
When you start pretty much any exercise regime, you’ll build lean muscle. The more intensive exercise you do – and the more weight training you do – the more lean muscle you’ll build. This is an excellent thing, as muscle mass means that you’ll burn more calories even when you’re just sitting on your sofa. Lean muscle mass weighs more than fat, and so if you’re doing lots of exercise, it could be that you’ve added lots of lean muscle mass – meaning that the number on the scales goes up, but your clothes size goes down. Lean muscle mass is pretty much essential for health, and so in this case, it’s best to not pay too much attention to the scales.
You are eating too much
Perhaps the most common reason for weight gain, or for weight staying the same, is simply because you’re eating too much. The secret to long term and sustainable weight loss is calories in versus calories out. Taking fewer calories in than you need, or burning off fewer calories than you need, will result in weight loss. However, taking in more calories than you need will result in weight gain. The key to working out how many calories you need to be consuming to lose weight is to work out your BMR – that’s your basal metabolic rate. Your BMR is the amount of calories you need to eat to maintain your weight. Work your BMR out online, and then you can see how many calories you need to either cut out of your diet, or burn off, in order to lose weight. Everyone’s BMR is different, and it depends on your height, weight, how much activity you do, your sex and whether you’re a nursing mum. If you’re eating too much, you simply need to reduce your food intake or exercise more to lose weight.
Your metabolism is slow
Some people struggle to lose weight because they have a slow or sluggish metabolism. But you can improve this – your metabolism will get a boost when you exercise, and when you snack. A boosted metabolism means that you’ll burn calories more quickly.
You need to snack more
People sometimes forget to eat when they’re trying to lose weight – but it’s very important that you snack, and you snack frequently, when trying to lose weight. Snacking has a number of weight loss benefits – it will boost your metabolism and it will also curb cravings. Eating healthy snacks will also deliver plenty of vitamins and nutrients, which will boost health. Make sure that you choose healthy snacks though – fruits, veggies, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates. We like veggie sticks, yoghurt, lean ham or oily fish, whole grain crackers, hummus and low fat cottage cheese.
You need to eat more protein
Protein is essential for health as it supports your muscles, helps you to build muscle mass and aids in recovery following intensive exercise. It also keeps you fuller for longer and gives you high quality energy, which is super useful for if you’re a big fitness fan. Protein generally helps you to function properly and without it, weight loss can be a little difficult. Get your protein from healthy sources such as lean grilled chicken, game, lean beef and oily fish. If you’re not a meat eater, try eating beans, legumes, plenty of vegetables and tofu. Where possible, always get your protein through your diet, rather than a supplement.
You have hit a plateau
Many of us get stuck on those last 5kg, you might need to overhaul what you eat in order to get the results you want. That might mean changing your diet a little or changing the types of food you eat, or increasing your exercise and following a specific plan.