There are legit reasons why you have a hard time shedding those extra pounds, but if you know the facts about losing weight, you can overcome these obstacles and reach your goals.
You don’t need us to tell you that losing weight — and keeping it off — is hard. But understanding why weight loss is so difficult can help you stop beating yourself up over every little setback, and increase your chances of success. Forget the gimmicks, and face the facts about weight loss.
It’s not your imagination: When you try to lose weight, you’re fighting not only your cravings, but also your own body. Weight loss decreases the hormone leptin, which signals to your brain that you’re full, and increases the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, Australian researchers found. This hormone imbalance continues long after you succeed at weight loss, making it even harder for you to keep the pounds off, according to the study.
Plus, if you cut too many calories too quickly, your metabolism will slow, says Sabrena Jo, director of science and research content for the American Council on Exercise in San Diego. “If you cut calories drastically and as a result you drop a lot of weight fairly quickly, it’s likely that you’re losing some muscle. Muscle is really the engine of metabolism, so that contributes to a lower metabolism,” she explains. Eating too little also makes you more likely to rebound and go in the opposite direction by overeating because you were restricting yourself for so long. “We recommend doing things more moderately: Increasing physical activity and decreasing calories has been to shown to be what works in the long run,” Jo adds.