Our weight and overall health is an accumulation of everyday choices that add up over the years. Some of them are good, some maybe not-so-good, and some we don’t even think about at all.

If you're on a constant quest to lose weight and just can't seem to make it happen no matter how good of habits you've developed over the years, one of the following reasons could be to blame.

1. Your blood sugar is out of balance.

Balanced blood sugar is key to weight loss. Insulin is known as "the storage hormone" because excess insulin in your body causes you to store weight, especially around the middle. When your blood sugar is out of balance your body produces extra insulin to try control it, which prevents you from losing weight. Get familiar with the glycemic index and keep your blood sugar in check.

2. You're eating too many processed foods.

Highly processed foods are void of nutrition and full of empty calories. When your body is deprived of nutrients your brain will keep craving food to get your nutrient intake up, no matter how many calories you've already consumed. Eating highly nutritious food satisfies your cravings and will keep you fuller longer.

3. You don't drink enough water every day.

It's so easy to do, yet so difficult for people to remember. Most people don't know that the hunger and thirst signals in your body are the same, so often times when people think they're hungry, they're actually just thirsty. Drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of purified water each day keeps you hydrated and your hunger at bay. The key is to do this every single day, not just every now and again.

4. Your eating habits cancel out your workouts.

If you are an avid exerciser and still overweight, this is probably the culprit. So many people fall into the trap of thinking, "I worked out today, so I can eat that burger and fries." A 45 minute moderate workout will burn between 300-600 calories depending on the person and type of exercise, so adding in a 1,500 calorie meal because you worked out that day will only lead to weight gain. In this example, you're still consuming at least an additional 1000 calories. (FYI: A pound of body fat is roughly equal to 3500 calories. So you'll want to create a 500 calorie deficit each day to lose about 1 pound per week.) Eating healthy, low glycemic index meals along with exercise will help you meet your weight loss goals.

5. You're not getting enough sleep.

This has been proven many times over. People who sleep less than 8 hours each night tend to weigh more, most likely because lack of sleep causes an imbalance in the two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, that regulate your appetite. Sleeping also allows your cells to renew and your body to repair, and gives your mind a much needed rest. Next time you have a sleepless night, notice how hungry you are the next day, as opposed to a day when you had a full night's sleep. Turn off all electronics and dim the lights an hour before you want to fall asleep to calm your brain and signal to your body that it's time to turn in.


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