For thousands of years, humans struggled to get enough to eat. We burned calories as quickly as we consumed them. Virtually everyone on the planet was lean and fit. Few, if any, were overweight.
Then things changed. These days, millions of people find themselves struggling to lose weight. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle coupled with improved access to food means the pounds are easy to gain but difficult to lose.
Combined with how our bodies hold onto fat for as long as possible – a testament to the old days of resource scarcity – it’s no surprise that many folks are overweight. Unfortunately, it also explains why it’s so hard to lose weight.
Are you struggling to lose weight? If so, you’re not alone. Assuming you’re dieting and exercising, the lack of results can be incredibly frustrating, if not downright devastating. But it’s not a sign to give up. There’s more you can do.
The following are six things to try if you’re struggling to lose weight:
Millions of people suffer from a disorder known as hypothyroidism. If left untreated, hypothyroidism makes weight easy to gain but hard to lose. With this in mind, you might want to take a thyroid test as soon as possible. If hypothyroidism is detected, your doctor will be able to prescribe medications that help regulate your hormones. You’ll also have an explanation for why it’s been so hard to lose weight! While the extra weight won’t magically vanish once the hypothyroidism is controlled, losing weight will become easier.
Do you know how many calories you’re consuming on a daily basis? Dieting won’t make a difference if you’re not creating a caloric deficit. This means you’re burning more calories than you consume. Start counting calories and compare the number to the average calorie allowance for your age and sex. Aim for a daily deficit of around 500 calories. For example, if your daily allowance is 2000, limit yourself to 1500 calories per day.
The more physically active you are, the easier it will be to lose weight. With this in mind, consider wearing a fitness tracker and monitoring your daily activity levels. If you already wear an Apple Watch, then simply start using the Activity app included with the device. Enter your height, weight, age, and other information to get a daily activity goal to reach. Make a point to reach that goal every day. Combined with calorie counting, increased physical activity will help you lose weight and keep it off.
Stepping on the scale is scary when you know you’re overweight. That means many people skip it altogether. Rather than never weigh yourself or weigh yourself once per day, aim for a weekly weigh-in. That way, you aren’t obsessed with maintaining a continuous downward trajectory every day, which is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Try to do so on the same day each week. From there, calculate weight loss on a monthly basis; do you weigh less than you did a month ago? That’s a win! Even if it’s only a few pounds less, that’s progress in the right direction.
Many people are surprised by their own eating habits. That’s because they have a tendency to eat when they’re bored, eat while watching TV, and eat when they’re not hungry. By taking the time to document your eating habits down to the time of day, you’ll start to notice the triggers that drive you to overeat.
You’re probably wondering what sleep has to do with weight loss. For one thing, quality sleep means more energy throughout the day. That energy can be used for daily exercise. A lack of quality sleep also alters our appetite, making us want to eat more. With this in mind, it’s essential to take steps to get better sleep every night.
Thanks to millions of years of evolution, the human body is hardwired to hold onto fat as long as possible. That worked great for our ancestors but makes it difficult for us to lose weight. If you’re having a hard time shedding the extra pounds, consider the advice provided above.