Uncovering the Weight & Lifestyle Connection
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 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 they often sleep late and wake 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 meditation to massage therapy. Some individuals like playing subliminal recordings with ambient sounds to relieve themselves of stress. Explore your options and see which technique will be the most beneficial for you.
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.
Aromatherapy – Starting with the ability to relax your mind and body, aromatherapy can vastly improve your sleep habits. Getting to sleep, staying asleep, the quality of sleep you are getting, and the ability to wake up refreshed are all quality sleep habits that aromatherapy can help you with.
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.