Do you feel like you're constantly trying to shed pounds, but keep hitting a plateau? Find out if one of these issues is holding you back from weight-loss success:

1. You aren’t getting enough sleep.

Getting enough quality sleep is essential to losing weight. When your sleep rhythm is disrupted, it can lead to fluctuations in your hormones, which can mess with your metabolism and can increase your levels of stress. Studies have found that this can also lead to weight gain by ultimately causing you to eat more on days when you sleep less.

2. You may be too strict with your diet.

Being extremely concerned with every single thing you eat may prevent you from truly enjoying the food, the experience or the nourishment it provides. You don’t need to eat poached chicken and steamed veggies at every single meal to lose weight. You’ll wind up feeling bored and unsatisfied, which may drive you to indulge in unhealthy food cravings – ultimately leading to weight gain. Instead, eat a wide variety of whole, real foods that you actually like!

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3. You’re exercising too much.

By constantly exercising at too high an intensity without enough rest, you can place excessive stress on your body, which may counteract your actual intentions. Make sure to take time out to relax and incorporate a day or two of lower-intensity exercise into your training routine.

4. You’re eating too much.

Be honest with yourself: Are you are eating too many “healthy” treats? Nut butters and trail mix are good for you, but they have calories too! Be sure to watch your serving sizes and limit snacks — as healthy as they might be! If you have a hard time controlling portions with calorie-dense foods, like nuts, you may need to eliminate them from your diet until you can control how much you consume.

Also avoid filling up on “diet” products, like diet soda or zero-calorie snacks. Most of these foods are loaded with chemical sweeteners and ingredients that wreak havoc on your body’s hormones.

Studies have found that using a food diary to track everything you eat can help you lose weight faster. Keeping a log of your meals will help you hold yourself accountable and avoid mindless snacking.

5. You could be drinking too much or too little water.

When trying to lose weight, you’re constantly told to drink more water. This may be good advice for some people to flush out excess waste and toxins, but some of us may actually be drinking too much water, in turn dehydrating ourselves by over hydrating. A “normal” intake usually falls between two and three liters, but find what works for your body and your specific needs like exercise levels, climate, and your body’s composition.

6. You may have digestive distress.

If you feel bloated or constipated, have a look at the quality and quantity of your food, the combinations of foods, and try to add anti-inflammatory foods and healthy probiotics to your diet (like bone broth, fermented vegetables and kombucha).

Your gut is the key to your whole state of health and by looking after it, you will help to minimize a whole load of other health complications.

7. You could have a medical issue.

Some health problems can prevent weight loss or cause weight gain. Consult your physician if you are concerned about any of the following health conditions: Hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, chronic stress, Cushing’s syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), depression, leaky gut or adrenal fatigue.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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