Yesterday I went for my regular checkup at the hospital which was long due. Every time I check my weight for the records, I get stressed and demotivated because the weighing machine either shows the same number or an increased number every time. I really wonder where am I going wrong? So I discussed this with my endocrinologist and he made me understand the reasons for weight loss failure despite walking and eating healthy.
For the uninitiated, I have two major health issues Rheumatoid arthritis and Thyrotoxicosis. Interestingly both of these are autoimmune diseases. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism thirty-eight years back when I was seventeen years old and RA twenty years back at the age of 35. In my life journey of fifty-five years, I have tried losing weight many times but had been successful only once in 2011. That was the time when I read a book by Kalli Puri, Confessions of a serial dieter, and decided to try the Atkins diet. Yes, it did work and I was so overwhelmed to see a seven kg weight loss in one week. I literally cried seeing the scale that day. I was highly motivated to see the scale victory on a daily basis that I thought I would be able to keep following this Keto diet all through my lifetime and stay slim always. Oh boy! how naive I was to think so as in 2016 I realized that over the years, I was back at my beginning weight. I was in dumps. Since that time I had never been able to lose weight because I lost all motivation.
As I narrated my weight loss journey to the doctor, he explained to me the most common reasons for weight loss failure which made sense to me. Today I thought of sharing my experiences with you thinking that like me there might be many ladies who are struggling and failing to see the scale moving.
Common reasons for weight loss failure ignored deliberately
Incorrect food choices
Inaccurate calorie calculation
Eating too often or less
Focussing on scale victory
All those who are suffering like me need to do some self-analysis keeping in mind the above-mentioned five reasons. Believe me, I did the same and understood my reasons for weight loss failure. If you are not getting what the doctor was pointing at, go on reading as it would make understanding things easier for you.
You might be suffering from one of the many medical reasons that were making weight loss difficult for you.
- Inflammation, which can be caused by dietary or environmental factors like medications, smoking, air pollution, and foods like dairy, sugar, and wheat. Inflammation if not taken care of can cause cellular damage, which impairs normal body functioning. Inflammation and cellular damage have been observed as one of the reasons for weight loss.
- Hypothyroidism causes weight gain due to the slow function of the thyroid gland causing failure of all efforts to control weight.
- Stress makes one binge eat without thinking sanely about health. If you are undergoing lots of stress, you will do a lot of comfort eating which will soon show up on the weighing scale.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS/PCOD) is a very common modern-day health issue that can lead to unexplained weight gain making things difficult for young women.
- Hormonal changes like during puberty or menopause can make women gain weight especially around the mid part of the body.
As far as I am concerned, my doctor ruled out thyroid as the reason for my weight gain as the reports were showing mild Tsh issue but yes, I know that my belly fat was never there and I gained all the layers on my lower belly after I started having early menopause at the age of forty.
2. Incorrect food choices
After doing a lot of introspection, I realized that I was not making the right food choices. Since I am very fond of sweets so inadvertently I was going for Muesli as my favorite breakfast choice. Nowadays being mango season, I go for mangoes. So I knew that I had to make deliberate efforts to cut down on sugars in all forms.
3. Inaccurate calorie calculations
This is one of the most difficult tasks to do. Howsoever carefully one calculates the calories, it is impossible to do the correct calculations. The calories of one medium apple will depend on the right kind of medium apple. I belong to Himachal Pradesh and I know that the normal medium apple of Himachal is large of the other parts of the country. How many of us are ready to weigh each morsel and eat the right amount of calories?
4. Eating too often or less
I generally start eating around 12.30 pm and stop at 8 pm max. Most of the days I am eating one meal a day, which makes a major difference in my calorie count. If I eat my regular three meals and two snacks, I feel that I am eating too many calories. I don’t know about you but I need to work on this and decide to go for really small portions.
5. Focussing on scale victory
Now, this is one reason that I can understand and identify with. Most of the people who are on a weight loss or health journey focus on the scale. We have a number target in mind and we strive to achieve it but at what cost? We eat less, workout more, feel weak, do cheat meals, overeat, get stressed and spoil our health. Do you also go through this cycle?
I have realized that I need to pay attention to-
- eating small portions,
- more fibrous food that means cucumbers and greens,
- eat a small sugarfree breakfast, which means no bread, muesli, cornflakes,
- stop focusing on the number on the scale to stay away from stress,
- eat to be healthy instead of losing weight,
- and take my doctor’s advice seriously to get regular checkups with medications.
Do let me know if you have any other reasons for weight loss failure in mind?