Millions of people around the world try to lose weight every day. The reasons vary, as in some cases it is due to medical reasons, while in others it is simply to feel comfortable with their physique. The problem is that losing weight is not easy and many people who embark on all kinds of weight loss plans end up abandoning them because they do not achieve their goal.
The question is why they fail to lose weight and experts have several possible answers. Dr. Sameer Sanghvi has explained to Metro what are the most common reasons why people fail to lose weight. Five situations that can help you rethink the methods you use to lose weight, as they may not always be the best.
The first cause is the most obvious: more calories are ingested than necessary. Dr. Sanghvi acknowledges that “weight loss comes down to calories. Essentially, losing weight depends on eating and drinking fewer calories than we use. The recommended daily calorie intake for a person is 2000 calories for women and 2500 calories for men.”
Why don't I lose weight?
The doctor goes on to explain that “if you are trying to lose weight, you should try to reduce your calorie intake by about 600 calories a day. That means ingesting 1400 calories for women and 1900 for men, although it depends on factors such as age, size and activity level“. And he points out that it is important to review the portions we eat, since that can make us eat more calories daily than we really think we are ingesting.
We must achieve a calorie deficit, i.e., burn more calories than we take in.
The second reason the expert points to is skipping meals and is directly related to what are known as yo-yo diets. These are “crash diets” that are very popular and encourage skipping meals to reduce food intake and, therefore, calories. However, these types of weight loss plans often end up with the opposite of what they are intended to achieve, i.e., long-term weight gain.
Dr. Sanghvi points out that, by skipping meals, we put the body in “self-defense mode and that slows down the metabolism“. The problem is that when you finish the diet and go back to eating normally, the body still has a slower metabolism, so it takes longer to burn the food. And an interesting side note: “Even if a strict diet works temporarily, it is extremely unhealthy.”
Another reason we may not lose weight is that we may be converting fat into muscle. This happens, above all, if we do sport regularly and accompany it with a balanced diet rich in protein. In this case, it is normal for the scales not to lose weight, but we will be gaining muscle and, therefore, it will be a good sign.
The importance of sleep and hydration
Of course, experts agree that in order to lose weight in a healthy way and in the long term, it is extremely important to drink water. And if we don't, it can be a sufficient cause for not losing weight: “Being hydrated accelerates our metabolic function, increases energy and reduces hunger, so there is a strong correlation between drinking enough water and losing weight,” according to Dr. Sanhvi.
He further adds that “if we are dehydrated, there is a signal malfunction in our brain that can send hunger signals instead of thirst. This means we tend to eat more when we are dehydrated to compensate for the feeling of thirst.” That often translates into a feeling of tiredness and lack of energy that often results in ending up consuming snacks and appetizers when, in fact, we don't need to.”
Finally, Sameer Sanghvi points to another reason why we may not lose weight: lack of sleep: “Getting enough good quality sleep is essential for maintaining physical, emotional and mental health. Between seven and nine hours of sleep per night is considered sufficient to maintain good health in adults“.
Getting enough sleep and proper hydration is as important as what we eat.
He adds that “sleep deprivation has a multitude of consequences. One of them is weight gain. When we can't sleep, our bodies release cortisol, the ‘stress hormone' that can cause our bodies to store fat reserves ‘just in case'.”
Dr. Sanghvi concludes that “when we are stressed or sleep deprived, we require energy from food as substitutes; therefore, we may find ourselves snacking and eating more. Also, if you are awake and in the kitchen, you are very likely to end up snacking.“
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