5 Factors That Make It Harder to Lose Weight That Aren’t Directly Related to Diet

5 Factors That Make It Harder to Lose Weight That Aren’t Directly Related to Diet

(Last Updated On: April 2, 2019)

5 Factors That Make It Harder to Lose Weight That Aren't Directly Related to DietMost people get impatient when trying to lose weight. They want to see change now rather than later. As a result, they fall victim to bad weight loss practices. There are healthy ways to lose weight and ones that will only slim you down temporarily before you gain it back. Even worse, some weight loss advice could negatively impact your health when you put it into practice. Here are five bad weight loss practices not to buy into.

Slashing Your Calories Too Much

Crash dieting doesn’t work, at least in the long term, and it certainly does nothing positive for your mental or physical health. Drastically lower your calorie intake and you’ll lose weight – but you’ll send your body into “survival mode.” That’s where your metabolism slows and it becomes harder and harder to shed fat because your body fights to hold onto its dwindling energy supplies. To keep losing you have to cut back more. It becomes a vicious cycle of stalled weight loss and further calorie restriction that’s hard to break.

Part of the rapid weight loss you experience with a crash diet is fluid loss due to depletion of glycogen stores. Depleting glycogen stores with excessive calorie restriction can lead to a loss of 3 to 5 pounds due to water weight alone. Keep restricting calories and you’ll break down protein stores too – and that means lost muscle tissue. Not to mention, with extreme calorie restriction you may experience electrolyte imbalances, hormonal changes, and a grumpy mood. How well do you feel when you’re not eating?

A Better Approach To Lose Weight:

Take the smarter approach. Cut your calories by no more than 500 a day. Increase the amount of protein in your diet and add exercise to the equation. Don’t forget about resistance training. Resistance training builds lean body mass. More muscle means a higher metabolic rate.

Being a Carbophobe

The Atkins diet turned some people into carbophobes. Rather than restricting the unhealthy ones, they turned against carbs in any form. Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients, along with fat and protein, your body needs. Plus, your body prefers to use carbohydrates as its energy source. Not everyone feels good on a low-carb diet and it’s even more challenging if you’re physically active. Carbs are a good source of fiber that fills you up and keeps your bowels functioning normally. Some people experience fatigue, brain fog, and constipation when they go too low carb. Plus, it’s not a dietary approach most people can stick with long term.

A Better Approach To Lose Weight:

Eliminate processed carbs and sugar from your diet, but don’t turn your nose up at all carb sources. You need the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from fruits and vegetables. A number of studies show that adding more fruits and vegetables to a diet helps with weight loss. Plus, when you eat a vegetable-rich diet, you can enjoy a larger volume of food without taking in a lot of calories. That helps with satiety. Be carb-smart, not carb-phobic.

Turning to the Latest, Greatest Weight Loss Supplement

There are very few weight loss supplements supported by research. Even for the ones you hear the most about like raspberry ketones and garcinia cambogia have only been tested in animals and in small human studies. Even then the results have been inconsistent. Some research suggests that green coffee bean extract MAY have some benefits but it’s far from proven. Besides, do you want to take a pill forever? If you don’t practice good exercise and nutrition habits, you’ll gain it back even if supplements did work.

A Better Approach To Lose Weight:

Learn HOW to eat instead of depending on a supplement. The key to losing weight and keeping it off still boils down to the basics – clean eating and physical activity. Shortcuts don’t work.

Becoming a Cardio Queen or King

Exercise is an important part of a weight loss program and it’s absolutely essential for weight loss maintenance. Some people who are trying to lose weight think they can walk or run the weight off by spending an hour or more on a treadmill. After all, running and walking burns calories. Yes, but like a low-calorie diet, your body adapts to steady-state exercise after a few weeks and you reach a plateau. If you increase the amount of time you spend on the treadmill or elliptical or bike to try to break through the plateau, you’ll find yourself exercising more and more with less and less return. There will come a point where you’re exhausted from overtraining and still not where you want to be from a weight standpoint. It happens all too often.

A Better Approach To Lose Weight:

Focus at least half of your exercise training on resistance exercises to build lean body mass. Not only will you have a better body composition once you lose the weight, but you’ll also have more metabolically-active muscle tissue. That’ll help you KEEP it off.

Thinking Too Short-Term

When some people try to lose weight, they’re only worried about dropping their calories enough to get to their target weight. They don’t make the nutrition and lifestyle changes they need to make to KEEP it off and stay healthy. It’s lifestyle changes that help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight – clean eating, commitment to working out, moving more when you’re not working out and getting enough sleep. It’s not a short-term thing.

A Better Approach To Lose Weight:

Start by taking small steps to change the lifestyle habits that are holding you back. Eliminate soft drinks, replace starchy carbs with vegetables, do a 10-minute workout daily, etc. Once you’ve changed one habit, add another. Your body responds best to gradual changes and you’re less likely to burn out.

The Bottom Line?

Losing weight and keeping it off is all about lifestyle changes. It’s not about short-term fixes. Be patient, be focused and be consistent – and you’ll get where you want to be.



Nutraingredients.com. “Fruits and Vegetables May Help Weight Loss”

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012;52(7):585-94.

Medscape Family Medicine. “Is Raspberry Ketone Effective for Weight Loss?”

Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012; 5: 21-27.


Related Articles By Cathe:

5 Reasons to Ditch Restrictive Dieting

5 Myths About Fat Loss Dispelled

5 Common Mistakes You’re Making When Exercising to Lose Weight


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