Even though losing weight feels impossible at times, it is possible.
If there is one regret that older adults live with it is this – not taking care of their bodies. Losing weight and getting fit is one of the best things you can ever do to yourself.
Struggling with diseases that stem from your lifestyle isn’t the best way to live, and that is why you have to work out more. But, what happens when you are caught in a rut?
What happens when you have tried everything, but the journey isn’t getting any easier? What happens when you are desperate to lose weight but you just can’t?
First off, you are not alone in this. Losing weight is a tough battle for others more than other people.
Before we take a look at how to beat the hurdle, an understanding of the weight loss process and why you aren’t shedding any fat.
Why is It So Hard to Lose Weight? 5 Reasons
Sometimes, your body refuses to cooperate with your mind. Some of the reasons why include:
1. Yo-Yo Diets
If you lost and regained weight severally in the past, you will have a problem losing weight now. This happens because the yo-yo diet causes structural and physiological changes in fat storage after many attempts of calorie deprivation.
Basically, the body stores more fat when you start eating more after a period of calorie deprivation. Your body is smart, and it does this to reserve fats for use during the next deprivation.
Also, the yo-yo diets affect the immune response system in the fat tissues, and this makes the loss of fat a difficult affair.
Lastly, a yo-yo diet makes it harder to lose weight because it affects the gut bacteria. A repetitive cycle of weight loss and gain promotes changes in the gut bacteria causing an increase in weight.
2. Gestational Habits
In some cases, you may have no control over weight loss because of your mother’s diet during pregnancy and the weight she (and you) gained during pregnancy. You could be obese or overweight if you were a big baby at birth.
Losing weight is harder as you age. This is particularly true for women. In fact, most women add more weight as they age.
This happens because of the reduction in physical activity and muscle mass; both of which result in the slowed metabolism. Weight gain and difficulties losing weight also result from hormonal changes during menopause.
4. Health Conditions
There are disorders and disease that make weight loss tougher. They include:
Hypothyroidism – this is where you have low levels of the thyroid hormone. The effect of this is slow metabolism that impedes all your weight loss efforts.
Lipedema – this is a rare condition that affects women. It causes excessive accumulation of fats around the hips and legs.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – it is characterized by insulin resistance, and it causes hormone-driven fat accumulation around the abdomen.
5. Lifestyle Habits
Your habits also play a role in your weight loss or the lack thereof. If you skip breakfast or eat too close to bedtime, then you will have trouble losing weight. You can also blame too much stress, a naturally slow metabolism, gender, or sleep deprivation.
13 Proven Tips to Lose Weight Naturally
Now that we know why you may not be shedding off weight as fast as you’d like, here are some of the most effective tips that will work for you:
1. Drink More Water
You’ve probably heard and read about this in all articles written for weight loss, haven’t you? Well, we wish to reiterate that your weight loss journey inches close to the reality when you drink more water.
For it to work, you should drink water before every meal. In most cases, the body tricks you to think that you are hungry when you are only thirsty. So, drinking water will save you from an unnecessary snack.
A common recommendation is to drink six or eight 8-ounce glasses of water or other fluid every day.
Also, drinking water fills you up, and it lowers your appetite. The other reason why you should drink more water is that it kicks starts your metabolism. For fast weight loss, you need an active metabolism.
Water gives you that. Therefore, you should drink at least one glass of water 30 minutes before a meal. Even though you won’t lose weight within a day, the long-term effect will pay off.
2. Practice Mindful Eating
How often do you eat at your desk, in front of the screen, or looking at your phone? Multitasking is one of the reasons why you aren’t losing weight or feeling full despite chowing down a whole plate. If you eat when distracted, you get the still-hungry feeling.
Moreover, mindful eating has these benefits according to HuffingtonPost:
- Mindful eating plugs you back into your body’s cues so you know when to stop and start eating.
- Being mindful can bring about better management of your emotions.
- Mindfulness changes the way you think.
So, to lose weight, focus on what is on your plate. You will feel fuller fast and eat less. Eating small portions is the key to weight loss. This leads us to the next tip.
3. Cut Down Your Caloric Intake
Losing weight and cutting down your caloric intake doesn’t mean removing the high caloric foods from your diet. Just reduce the portion. You can also swap calories.
For instance, eat an apple instead of a granola bar or try steamed rice with grilled chicken over fried rice and chicken. Making small swaps spares you several calories. Note that your caloric deficit is the key to weight loss.
According to health site HealthLine, you can reduce calories without counting:
- Replace your grain-based breakfast with eggs
- Using smaller plates can trick your brain into thinking that you’re actually eating more
- Eating more protein can reduce appetite, increase fat burning and help you gain muscle
- Eating foods with a low energy density & lots of fiber make you feel more full
- Cutting carbs can make you lose weight fast while eating until fullness
- Making time for quality sleep & avoiding stress can optimize key hormones
- Replacing your cooking fats with coconut oil can boost metabolism & reduce appetite
4. Have a Smart Diet Plan
Dieting determines how much weight you lose or gain. But, we aren’t talking about the yo-yo diets. By dieting, we mean eating all that your body needs.
You cannot lose weight if you eat a low-protein meal. Protein is essential for your weight loss journey because the body burns calories when you digest and metabolize the proteins you eat. Also, a high-protein diet fills you up faster for a long time reducing your cravings and lowering your appetite. Start with a high-protein breakfast.
Eggs are the best weight loss food as they are high in proteins. They are also cheap and low in calories. After eating your eggs for breakfast, you will feel full for a long time, and your appetite will reduce.
Now, this is the hard part for most of us because most whole and single-ingredient foods are less tasty. But, they are healthy. So, you should avoid food with high sugar, processed foods, and fatty foods.
Whole foods are filling, and you will eat less leaving nothing to the adipose tissues.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
The right diet for weight loss must have increased servings of fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables are filled with water and fiber so, they are filling, and you will most likely eat fewer carbs.
Also, fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals which leave you healthy. Vitamins determine how you digest and assimilate nutrients.
5. Drink More Unsweetened Coffee
Thanks to scientific studies, more people realize that coffee has more benefits than they thought before. Unsweetened coffee is helpful on the weight loss journey because it is full of antioxidants plus other compounds.
According to LiveStrong, drinking black coffee will help you lose weight:
“A report from the International Journal of Obesity, published in 2010, noted that thermogenic compounds like caffeine might work better in some people than in others, or they might only work effectively under some circumstances.
So while there’s some potential for the caffeine in coffee to help you lose weight, you shouldn’t count on coffee alone as a weight-loss strategy, at least until more research has been done.”
Coffee increases your energy levels helping you burn more calories. Also, caffeinated coffee reduces your risk of getting type II diabetes, and it boosts your metabolism. It leaves you full too!
6. Get Enough Sleep
Even with an intense fitness routine and the best diet, you will still add weight if you don’t get enough sleep.
Sleep holds the control button to your diet. Poor sleeping habits change the structure of fat cells, and that is why you wake up confused, grumpy and tired when sleep deprived. What really happens is that sleep deprivation causes metabolic grogginess. When you are sleep-deprived, your body is unable to produce and use insulin properly.
Insulin sensitivity drops. This is bad because the improper functioning of insulin and insulin resistance mean that there are more fats in circulation and more insulin is produced. Consequently, the excess insulin stores the excess fats in the wrong places. When insulin is working properly, the fat cells remove the fatty acids and the lipids from the bloodstream.
Also, insufficient sleep increases your craving for food and impairs your judgment. This happens because sleep deprivation stimulates the release of ghrelin and reduces the release of leptin. Ghrelin makes you feel hungry, and leptin keeps you feeling fuller.
Finally, sleep deprivation results in a surge in cortisol levels. Cortisol, the stress hormone activates the reward centers in your brain and make you crave for sugary and unhealthy foods.
It is also important to mention that sleep enhances protein synthesis. You need muscle to lose weight. Simply put, muscle mass is the enemy of fats.
So, if you desperately want to lose weight, catch enough sleep.
7. Eat More – Stop Starving Yourself
As mentioned above, starving leads to stubborn fat. So, if you have been forgoing breakfast and lunch in the name of managing weight, you are in for the shock of your life. You also feel tired and sluggish when you skip meals.
So, why is eating more the key to weight loss? When you eat less, your body turns to the proteins that make your muscles to meet its amino acid requirements.
Less protein results in a slow metabolism, and that is the last thing you need to lose weight. You need muscle mass to burn fat so, you should eat enough food. Look for high-quality calories.
But, that isn’t all. You also need to fuel up frequently. Eating every three hours prevents your body from going into starvation mode. It also makes it easy for you to eat less during every meal.
8. Be Active
While diet plays a big role in weight loss, you need to move your body. Being active helps burn extra fat, and it will prevent further weight gain because you will sweat out the calories you would have stored.
To start off, take the stairs instead of the lifts, walk more and join a gym. You should also stretch and crunch those muscles.
You should focus on cardio exercises to improve your lung capacity and for fast weight loss. Weight training is also important as is strength training. You need to build and buff those muscles too.
Some of the most effective fat-burning exercises include push ups, squats, crunches, lunges, and planks.
But, hitting the gym isn’t all you can do. There are effective sports too. You should try swimming, running, tennis, hiking, rowing, taekwondo, jumping rope, kickboxing, and Tabata training. You should also try cycling, ice skating, water skiing, surfing, rolling, and rollerblading.
For workout motivation, turn up the sound of the beat. Music boosts your mood and makes your workouts more effective.
9. Drink More Tea
To supplement the effects of coffee, drink more tea. Tea is effective in burning fats hence weight loss. You should have a cup of green tea, puerh tea, oolong tea, rooibos tea, black tea, white tea, and herbal tea.
There are three main reasons why rooibos tea, in particular, is so good at helping you keep the slim figure:
- Low in calories – Without adding extra sugar, this hot beverage has just two calories. Drinking tea versus 100+ calorie sodas will automatically reduce your daily caloric intake!
- Naturally sweet – Worried about not having sugar? This type of drink is naturally sweet, so it’s a good choice for losing excessive pounds!
- Rooibos contains Aspalathin – This unique flavonoid helps to reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage, typically associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.
Green tea has long been touted as an excellent fat loss aid and metabolism booster. The chemical makeup of the tea leaves is what helps produce these effects, especially these two:
- Caffeine – While this drink contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee, it still has enough to assist with belly fat reduction. This substance, as you know, is a natural stimulant that boosts your metabolism, so you burn more body fat and have more energy.
- Catechins – While the effect of caffeine is impressive, it’s really the catechins (antioxidants) that give this drink its superpowers. The most important of these is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – a substance that really helps raise your metabolism.
You’ll need to either drink real green tea or take its high-quality extracts. Products that include just the flavor but do not actually contain any real stuff will not have the same effect.
10. Yoga to Lose Weight
In the yoga world, doing yoga is a lifestyle. The good thing is that this is the best lifestyle you can adopt. Even without breaking a sweat, you can lose weight through Yoga because it reduces stress. With low cortisol levels in circulating, your ability to lose weight increases.
With reduced stress comes mindfulness. As mentioned above, mindful eating is key to fast weight loss. Mindfulness also means you are more careful with what goes on your plate and why.
With these benefits, don’t you think it’s time to yoga? Well, you should start learning poses like the Warrior pose, the upward plank, triangle pose, bridge pose, downward facing dog, the four-limbed staff pose, crescent pose, tree, chair and the dolphin poses.
11. Have a Home Makeover
Now, this doesn’t have to be drastic. But, you should change your environment such that it encourages a healthy lifestyle. Reorganize your kitchen and place healthier foods and fruits within your food radius.
There are some great tips from HuffingtonPost on this:
“Clean out your kitchen; your fridge, pantry, cupboards, everything. Move to the bedroom and clean out ALL hiding spots for food. Same with the workplace. Throw all junk foods away. If they are in your immediate environment, they will sabotage your success.
…What motivates you? Having the body of your dreams? Getting in shape to play with your kids? Whatever it is, place pictures of your motivation all around you.”
A cluttered kitchen makes you a little more indulgent, and you will eat more. The simplest way for you to eat healthily is to stow away unhealthy foods.
12. Change Your Wardrobe
It may seem a little far-fetched to shop for clothes that are a size smaller or tight fitting but doing that will only motivate you further.
This is a really strong motivational technique according to SheKnows:
“Have you ever imagined yourself wearing a dress you’ve been eyeing? Having a pair of skinny jeans or a sexy skirt you can’t wait to wear gives you something concrete to imagine yourself in. This image of you in smaller-size clothing also usually means you’re a few pounds lighter.”
If you really want to lose weight, you should ditch clothes with ample space or elastic waistbands. Fitting clothes will always remind you of that which you should do – eating healthy and getting fit.
13. Eat More Dark Chocolate
In weight loss, dark chocolate is your best friend. Dark chocolate has antioxidants which help your body fight free radicals. Dark chocolate also makes you feel more satiated and this will prevent weight gain.
As we talk about the little treats, you should know this; alcohol is your greatest enemy in the weight loss journey. So, you should drink a little less or stop completely to lose weight.
If you are desperate to lose weight, you have to consider these tips and start practicing them. Though cliché, note that this won’t be the easiest thing to do. You will have to work really hard to lose those extra pounds. The best that you can do is to start now, and don’t stop!