how to lose weight
When I started my weight loss journey, I spent so much time trying to figure out how to lose weight. I read a ton of articles and tried about a million different things.
But it can get confusing, right? Like, some people tell you that you shouldn’t be eating any fat if you want to shed pounds, but then you turn around and other people will say you NEED fat to lose weight. Same goes for carbs. Long story short, there’s a whole bunch of conflicting information out there about how to lose weight. And if you’re stuck staring at a number on the scale that you don’t like, that can be pretty frustrating.
Well, have I got some good news for you. There’s one MAJOR reason that holds a ton of people back from weight loss, and it’s pretty darn simple. Do you want to hear the #1 reason why so many people aren’t dropping the pounds they want?
They don’t have enough.
What does that mean? It means that in our chase to figure out how to lose weight, we often neglect what our body is trying to tell us. And when we don’t get enough of a certain thing, whether that’s water or protein, your body can start to freak out. If it thinks you’re going to be short on what it needs, it goes into survival mode. That means holding onto resources it has now in case it needs them later — including fat.
So let’s talk about a few areas where your body might not have enough, and what you can do about it.
Not enough protein
A protein deficiency is no joke. Not only do you need protein for muscle health, but you also rely on it for energy, healthy hair and nails, and strong bones. Ultimately, not getting enough protein is going to be bad for your body — but it’s super common, especially for people who are counting calories.
And if you’re wondering how to lose weight, a protein shortage will get in your way because it will probably leave you feeling super fatigued. And that means not having enough energy for your workouts. Plus, when we’re tired, it can be hard to muster up what we need to skip the junk food and make healthy food choices. That leads to even more protein deficiency — and the cycle continues.
If you’ve been feeling sluggish and you’re not losing weight, look at your protein intake. You can use this calculator to figure out how much you need based on your activity level, but it’s usually somewhere between 50 and 60 grams a day for women.
Not enough sleep
Okay, I already started hinting at this. But tiredness and weight loss go together just about as well as oil and water.
In fact, multiple studies have linked not getting enough sleep and weight gain. If you’re not getting enough zzzs, you might not only struggle to lose weight, but you might even see the scale tip in the opposite direction. Ugh!
Research has found that not getting enough sleep can increase your appetite and make you crave carbs. Scientists think the link between sufficient sleep and weight loss probably centers on your hormones. When you get enough sleep, your body has ample time to make leptin and ghrelin, which control your hunger.
So if you’re wondering how to lose weight but you’re also burning the midnight oil on a regular basis, it’s time to turn in early for some good rest! And if sleep is a problem for you, consider trying some natural sleep remedies to get the quality rest you need.
Not enough relaxation
No, really! Your self-care regimen should be an integral part of figuring out how to lose weight. Stress is a major obstacle to weight loss.
Why? When you get stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. This basically gives your body the cue to release a bunch of glucose (read: sugar) into your bloodstream. Your cells then use that glucose for fuel, allowing you to speedily get out of a bad situation.
At least, that was the way it worked back when we were hunters and gatherers. Now, you’re probably not stressed about some animal chasing you — you might be stressed about your upcoming presentation or finals. Cortisol goes to work in your body, but you don’t really need any extra fuel. Instead, you’re just left craving sugar.
Oh, and to make this whole situation even worse, cortisol also slows down your metabolism!
Basically, if you’re wondering how to lose weight and you’ve been eating right and working out and the pounds are just refusing to come off, it could be stress! Check in with yourself. How are you feeling, both physically and mentally? Are your shoulders tense? Is your mind racing?
If you’re feeling stressed, prioritize getting calmer. We have some yoga moves that can help and more in LSF the App, which is a great place to start. I also recommend unplugging and doing some self-care — whatever feels right for you.
Isn’t it crazy how frequently obstacles to weight loss really just come down to our bodies not getting enough? We so often deprive ourselves because we want to get to a certain number on the scale, but that deprivation could actually be the whole problem! Take care of yourself, girl, and listen to what your body is telling you. Figuring out how to lose weight is different for everybody, but it can also be pretty simple. Eat nutritious, balanced meals with all of the stuff your body needs, cut out the junk it doesn’t, and get moving. You’ve got this!