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The General Mistakes That Can Slow Weight Loss (Outside of Nutrition)

If you have tried losing weight previously by following a diet or program and were unsuccessful, it may not be what you are eating that is slowing your weight loss! There are many other factors that may be the culprit of slower weight loss. Let’s take a look into what could be affecting your progress outside of nutrition.

1. Poor Sleep

Man yawning at his deskWho doesn’t like sleeping?! A common recommendation of 7-9 hours of sleep a night is widely known, but how many of us are actually getting enough? Aside from getting rest during sleep, there are many other key functions that your body accomplishes each night. Specific hormones are released during certain times throughout sleeping to help the body recover from the day, regulate appetite, repair, regulate other hormones, and much more. Let’s discuss two hormones that are affected if you are not getting enough sleep: cortisol and insulin. When you do not sleep enough, a spike in cortisol can occur; this is our stress hormone and it alerts the body’s fight or flight state (which we don’t want during sleep!). What this ends up doing is slowing down your metabolism to preserve fat for later use instead of letting the fat go. To put this in simpler terms, more cortisol equals less fat burning and more fat storing! You can also read more about two other important hormones that are affected by lack of sleep, leptin and ghrelin, in our blog The Challenges of Losing Weight as You Age. Do you know what else can increase your cortisol level?


2. Caffeine

If you are finding that you are having more than 2 cups of coffee or caffeinated beverages a day, this could also be causing a slower weight loss. Caffeine inhibits our sleep hormone adenosine. Since caffeine is a stimulant, this prevents restful sleep, which can increase cortisol. It’s a vicious cycle- you aren’t sleeping well, so you have caffeine, which prevents you from sleeping and the cycle goes on and on. A lack of sleep and a higher caffeine ingestion causes increased cortisol production, which causes the body to store fat and slow down metabolically (making weight loss difficult).

These higher levels of cortisol and lack of quality sleep can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity. When the body starts to build a tolerance to insulin, blood glucose levels can rise which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Insulin is a fat storing hormone, so with the changes in cortisol and insulin levels in the body, you can expect your weight loss to become difficult. 

3. High Stress

When you become stressed, your body prioritizes survival over losing weight, therefore, your metabolism slows down and preserves as much energy as it can to survive- which made sense back in the caveman days, but not as helpful nowadays! Most of us are not out hunting for our food and being chased by predators…so survival isn’t something we think about on a day to day basis.  

If you are finding yourself stressing out a lot more lately, take a listen to our audio recordings in our app under “Media” → “Audio” for some additional motivation, relaxation, and permanent behavior changes or on our online portal.

4. Over-Exercising

Overexercising can slow down weight loss. A common misconception with weight loss is by increasing exercise, you will lose more weight…but this may not be the case in certain situations. Some may find that exercising too long or lifting too heavy can slow down your weight loss. Too much stress caused by lifting heavy or too much cardio can lead to an increased cortisol secretion as well as a slower metabolism (as mentioned above, cortisol is a stress hormone that stores fat!). If you are lifting weights that are making your muscles extremely sore, you may be breaking down too much muscle for your body to recover AND your body would much rather burn the broken down muscle for fuel and energy instead of fat (fat is extremely stubborn). 

With Awaken180° Weightloss, your coach can provide support and guidance for you to maximize your weightloss and avoid these, and other common mistakes. 

Learn more about how to get un-stuck by scheduling a consultation with us online. We look forward to helping you on your weight loss journey!