Trying to lose some extra pounds? I'm sure you know the drill: eat lots of vegetables (like leafy greens and beets) and fruit (like grapefruit and lemons). Use olive oil and avoid alcohol, sugar, caffeine, transfats, and other unhealthy things.
If you’re doing all that, but still not where you want to be, here are some possible reasons why:
1. You're not getting enough recreation and relaxation.
Remember when you were a little kid and it was almost impossible to get you to come inside for lunch or dinner? One year I went to a family dinner for Easter, and there was an enormous amount of food, including a birthday cake for one of my little cousins. While the kids stayed outside to play and only ate tiny portions, the adults stayed inside to eat ... and eat ... Well, get out and move, play and have some fun—you just might find yourself thinking a lot less about food. (By the way, the birthday girl didn't even touch her cake.)
2. Your career is sucking your soul.
For years, we're heard about studies that suggest Mondays show a rise in the number of heart attacks. The thinking is that after two days away from the office, a return to an unhealthy workplace can do us in.
Whether or not you agree, one thing is certain: We spend a lot of time at work, and when you feel unappreciated, unchallenged or otherwise disengaged, you can experience this physically, in the form of migraines, upset stomachs, stiff necks and back and shoulder pain, anger—AND you're more likely to eat a lot of sugary, high fat "comfort" foods. No one is ever suggesting that you leave your job without a back up, but it may be time to think about exploring your options.
3. You're stressed out.
Personal and professional responsibilities, family commitments, financial hardships—even the electric bill—can make our hearts start racing. When you’re in a chronic state of stress, your body will be flooded with cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone. In small-to-moderate amounts it can be a good thing, but too much and you might see some spreading waistlines.
Stress can also blow out your adrenals—and that can be a chicken-or-egg thing. One of the signs of adrenal fatigue is to live in a constant state of awareness, so a siren, construction site—even a ringing telephone—can make you jump out of your skin, adding even more to your stress levels. Then again, another symptom is exhaustion, so you’ll most likely not feel like exercising--plus you'll also have cravings for salt and sugar.
4. You're eating too many processed food.
How much of your food comes out of a jar, can, or are even frozen "convenience" foods? Processed foods often contain chemicals and hormones and other unwanted stuff that can wreak havac with your overall well being and weight.
5. You're skipping meals.
We’re not talking about well-organized and planned fasting or detoxification programs; they can actually support the body with nutrients, even with very few calories.
What can wreck your metabolism is a random omission of calories or nutrients, which leaves you depleted, sluggish and slow. In fact, the American Journal of Epidemiology found a distinct correlation among those who skipped breakfast and soaring obesity rates in the U.S.
Mistakenly thought by many as an effective weight loss tool, skipping a meal can actually cause you to gain, or at least not lose, because it will shut own your metabolism, causing you not to release pounds or even gain them—but the simplest non-scientific reason is that you’ll just reach for any nearby junk food when you’re ravenous.