When You Get Discouraged That Your Efforts Aren’t Resulting in Weight Loss

When You Get Discouraged That Your Efforts Aren't Resulting in Weight Loss

Have you ever felt like picking up your scale and throwing it out your window?

Ya, me too. In fact, just a few weeks ago I had that temptation cross my mind.

You see, my husband bought us a new body composition scale from Withings. I don't normally like to weigh myself on a daily basis but I started to because this scale is actually kinda cool. It measures your body weight, but also tells you what percentage of your weight is water, bone, and muscle. So I've been using it daily to watch for trends and see how those numbers change, if at all.

Well, let me tell you, they do change. The first change I noticed is that this scale lies! Okay, maybe it doesn't lie all that much, but according to the scale I'm almost 10 pounds heavier than I was when I used our previous scale. (Insert "Throw it out the window now!" thinking mode.)

Is our cool new scale giving me all accurate readings? Doubtful.

But, honestly, I'm pretty sure the weight reading is accurate because I can tell when I look in the mirror, and I can tell when I put my clothes on. I've definitely put on weight.

What I've been discouraged and perplexed by, is how or why I've put on weight!

I exercise on average 4 to 5 times per week, at least 30 minutes, sometimes longer. I eat a fairly clean diet for the most part. I try to take good care of myself.

So why am I gaining weight? I could understand maintaining my weight, but not gaining it!

Truth is, I have a few things I have slacked on and need to get back under control, but there are also additional challenges less within my control, such as getting older, being a woman, fluctuating hormones, and genetics that will require a different mindset from me when it comes to weight loss.

What can prevent weight loss from happening?

There are certain factors that can slow down,  interrupt, or send our weight loss efforts completely off track.

  • Age, Sex, Genetics
  • Body Composition / Muscle Mass
  • Food, Nutrition, Portion Sizes
  • Current Weight
  • Consistency in Lifestyle Choices
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Temporary "Workout" Inflammation
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Stress
  • Building Muscle Faster than Shedding Fat

It's totally normal to gain a little extra weight as you get older. Our metabolism naturally starts to slow down as we age. Being female doesn't help, either. Sex hormones start to decline in our perimenopause and menopausal years causing all sorts of imbalance that can, and often does, lead to weight problems. Some people just have genetic disorders that lead to obesity. So, yes, losing weight can be a frustrating and challenging journey for many women.

What can we do to help shed those extra pounds?

1. Focus on making small, consistent changes over time.

Being healthy is a journey, not a destination. It starts by making small, positive, and healthy changes to your habits, and keeping those changes consistent over a long period of time until they become your lifestyle.

Avoid the temptation to treat your life goals like they are temporary. A temporary diet will only result in weight gain in the future. A temporary workout program will only lead to having to start all over again later on down the road. Make one small change at a time and make that change become your new way of life.

2. Set mini goals and reward yourself when you achieve them.

Breaking a big weight loss goal into smaller chunks can help make it less overwhelming. Instead of striving to lose 20 pounds before summer, why not set your goal for a 2 pound weight loss by the end of next week?

When you reach that goal, reward yourself with something healthy that won’t set you back. A new kitchen scale to help your weight loss efforts, might be a fun reward. Or you could allow yourself to get a new resistance band or a different weighted set of dumbbells, or a jump-rope. Keep it simple and relatively inexpensive, but something you can use to stay motivated to work towards a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Ready to lose another 2 pounds? Go for it!

3. Get healthy with a friend.

Don’t do it alone. Getting healthy is so much more fun when you do it with a friend. Your friend can be an accountability partner who helps you stick with your plan and keeps you feeling encouraged. Do the same for her. In fact, invite several friends to join your efforts. This will also make social time, like going out for lunch or drinks as a group, so much easier because you’ll all be striving for the same healthy goals.

4. Stay in the loop.

Keep reading and learning as much as you can about the value of good nutrition, exercise, health and wellness, and how to keep your mind happy and healthy. We tend to live out what we believe, so having knowledge about health and wellness topics and a strong belief or understanding for their powerful impact on our life can be key in driving healthier choices for our body.

5. Keep your muscles guessing.

If you want to see results you have to challenge your body. That means you’ve got to find those muscles you never knew existed. You’ve got to work them hard and keep them guessing. Our body is capable of adapting to the demands we throw at it. Once it adapts, it doesn’t need to work as hard, which means less metabolic burn. If you keep it guessing, it won’t have time to slow down or get complacent.

6. Eat enough, but not too much, and eat high quality calories.

You can’t change what you don’t track. Check into a fitness and calorie counting app to help with this. I use MyFitnessPal and find it to be very helpful. Make sure you’re eating enough calories each day to prevent your body from going into starvation mode. Those calories are best used by your body when they are of high quality, too.

So avoid nutritionally depleted choices like prepackaged, sugar-packed, or processed foods. Eat lots of fresh fruits, raw vegetables, whole grains (assuming you aren’t allergic), and lean proteins. Be sure to add in a few servings of healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, and nuts. Also, keep your total calories consumed in line with your weight loss goals.

7. Build muscle.

Focus on strength training at least twice per week. You want to build those muscles for a fat-burning, efficient, and strong body. Muscle increases the body’s metabolic rate, so you actually continue to burn more calories long after your workout has finished. Plus, it looks great! Don’t worry. You won’t build a big body-builder’s bulky body from lifting weights. Done with proper form and consistency, and you’ll soon develop sleek, sexy curves and definition all over your body.

8. Check in with your doctor.

When all else fails, check in with your doctor or a natural health practitioner about why you can’t seem to lose weight. As mentioned above, there are medical reasons someone might struggle with weight loss.

Your thyroid could be sluggish, or you might have an excessive amount of cortisol resulting in stubborn belly fat. You could be estrogen dominant which is a hormone imbalance and can result in increased weight. You won’t know until you go talk to a professional who can run some tests and set you on a path to health and healing.

Remember, being healthy is a journey...

Most importantly, try not to be discouraged.

Approach your daily life as a journey to better health and happiness. The number on the scale doesn’t define your health. It’s only a small indicator in a much bigger picture.

Living a healthy life is more about having a genuinely joyful and compassionate heart, a strong and well-nourished body, and a quick, clear-thinking mind. It’s also about building quality relationships with those around us, and glorifying God through our actions and words of faith.

That, my friend, is something we should all be striving for.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

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Rosann Cunningham

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Author at Rosann Cunningham
Rosann is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specializing in hormone health. She is also a fitness junkie, with a specific passion for mixed martial arts style kickboxing and is trained in Krav Maga - a military self-defense fighting system. After a Hashimotos diagnosis which turned out to be a very wrong call, Rosann became her own health advocate and fought her way back to optimal health and wellness. She is determined to help her clients dig deep to find the root cause of their hormone health struggles, so they too, can thrive and live the abundant life of health and happiness they deserve. Rosann believes nobody should be a victim in life or in their health, so in her coaching practice she loves to integrate a martial arts style and sense of accountability.

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