Why you’re not losing weight
You're eating right and exercising at least four times a week - but you're still not seeing any results.
If it sounds familiar, that's because it's something many people notice once they've taken the reins on their health and fitness.
So why aren't you losing any weight?
For some, the answer lies in health-related reasons, but for others it could simply be that you're not getting enough sleep, or even overeating on healthy foods.
Australian website and community The Healthy Mummy has outlined the common reasons why you may be gaining or maintaining weight instead of losing it.
OVERINDULGING ON HEALTHY FOODS
Just because it is healthy, doesn't mean you should go overboard. Everything in moderation.
While things like olive oil, nuts, brown rice, wholewheat bread and avocado are all healthy foods, every food has a calorie amount and a proper portion for your body.
"It's easy to think just because it's healthy, you can eat lots of it. Not so. Make sure you check your calorie intake before going overboard," The Healthy Mummy explains.
NOT EATING ENOUGH
Yes, not eating enough. When you are trying to lose weight, believe it or not but eating more helps. How? Because your body needs "fuel" to burn fat.
What you eat rather than how much exercise you do has the biggest impact on weight loss, The Healthy Mummy states.
"That said, it is possible that if you exercise too much, it can prevent you from losing weight as it can stop your body from burning fat. Remember calories in versus calories out."
It also added that each person is different and to check the amount of calories you should consume each day to help with weight loss.
LACK OF SLEEP
This is a big one and accounts for a lot when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Lack of sleep, regardless of the cause, can undo the benefits of dieting, according to a review published in British Journal of Sports Medicine, which examined what happens metabolically when an individual is sleep-deprived.
Results showed that people who regularly slept less than seven hours per night were more likely to have higher body mass indexes (BMI) and develop obesity than those who slept more.
And according to The Healthy Mummy, women who don't get enough sleep (less than five hours per night) are 32 per cent more likely to experience major weight gain compared to women who slept at least seven hours a night.
SNACKING TOO MUCH THROUGHOUT THE DAY
It's so easy to do, especially when you're tied to an office desk for most of the day, but a few "little" bites, can actually have more of an impact than you may think.
Mindless snacking, even on healthy foods like nuts, can rack up more than 1000 extra calories per day that you may not be accounting for.
"If you feel hungry have a big glass of water first before," the mummy site advised.
WEIGHING YOURSELF TOO OFTEN
It's irrelevant, so limit yourself in jumping on the scales.
"Your weight fluctuates on a daily basis and for women, it is also based on your monthly cycle. Continuously stepping on the scale will result in weight fluctuations," The Healthy Mummy explains.
Another way of tracking progress, the site states, is by measuring yourself and taking pictures along the way of your weight loss/ lifestyle journey.
"You may find a huge difference compared to the scales."
YOU'VE GAINED MUSCLE
Some people are shocked to understand that the "weight" they have gained, is in fact muscle.
How so? Muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue, so as you gain more muscle and lose fat, you change your overall body composition, the site explains.
"This can result in a higher weight, but a smaller figure and better health. Don't just rely on the scales - take measurements to track progress," it again advised.
NOT DOING ENOUGH EXERCISE
While doing too much exercise can have an impact, not doing enough can also cause have its affects.
According to the site, incidental exercise is good but in order to lose weight and see more results, you need to work hard to reach the recommended amount of time you exercise.
"Plus it will release some major endorphins and make you feel pumped."
This is so easy to do, especially given it is summer and there's so many events on and all you want to do is sip cocktails, or have a beer under the sun.
But again, all in moderation.
"You work hard on your healthy eating all week, but weekends are often sabotaged by takeout, cocktails and unlimited snacking. All these little treats add up. Don't let the weekend be your weakness.".
REWARDING YOURSELF WITH FOOD
It's another common thing to do. As The Healthy Mummy puts it, just because you exercise hard, it doesn't entitle you to overindulge.
"The classic mistake of saying 'I just exercised for an hour and deserve an ice cream sundae' won't reap you any rewards. That 600-plus calorie treat has many more calories than you've just burned off with exercise."
TOO MUCH STRESS
In the past years, evidence is mounting that stress, and particularly, an increase of the glucocorticoid stress hormone cortisol plays a role in the development of obesity, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Cortisol, a glucocorticoid (GC) hormone, is known to cause a redistribution of white adipose tissue to the abdominal region - in addition it increases appetite with a preference for "comfort food".
New research reveals 4.1 million Aussies feel stressed daily and 8.5 million need to make life changes to deal with stress.
"Try ensuring you are getting enough rest, sleep and down time to relax and unwind."
YOU HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION
Some medical conditions and medications can contribute to weight gain, the site explains, adding that PCOS and thyroid disease can affect weight.
"A thyroid deficiency can cause a decrease in metabolism and may lead to weight gain."
"There are also a number of drugs that may have weight gain as a side effect for some people.
"Some common ones include hormonal medications for birth control or menopause, oral steroids, some antidepressants, diabetes medications, and antipsychotic medications."