Starting a weight loss journey takes a lot of determination and inspiration. While you are at it, you also stick to a particular diet plan and workout regime to shed those extra inches and kilos. But after weeks of hard work and motivation, if the number on the weighing scale doesn’t seem to budge, it is demoralising. Weight loss is not just the result of eating less and exercising more. Unfortunately, misleading crash diets, weight loss products, and celebrity weight loss journeys trending on the internet have a deep impact on the minds of those suffering from obesity, according to experts.Also Read - Millets For Weight Loss: Types of Millets And How Beneficial it is in Losing Weight
Possible Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight
M. Saroja Nandam, senior dietician, Apollo TeleHealth says the first thing we need to understand is if the person is taking a professional diet plan from the expert or from some other source. A lot of platforms have been introduced which claim to help in losing weight. Also Read - Real-Life Weight Loss Journey: I Was 104 Kg, A Visit To Daughter's School Changed Everything
If the person is undergoing a professional diet plan, are they going for planned proper reviews? A lot of people don’t go for their reviews to their dietician which is very important. A single diet plan alone doesn’t help an individual in losing weight in the long run. Based on the conditions, experts call people for reviews in 15 days or 1 month to see the growth and accordingly we shift to other things and do corrections. It has a process and everyone should follow it.
Nandam further added, “How far people are following the diet plan also has a great effect on the body. If it’s 50 percent of the diet plan or how often they are doing physical exercise. They often have cheat days. Even if you are having cheat days it doesn’t mean you can designate a day to eat that is not healthy for you. Doing that even if you have eaten healthy during the whole week, it will not stand out. If people don’t respond to the diet plan, your expert may recommend undergoing a blood test, thyroid test, etc. based on your concern. If any complications come we do corrections accordingly.” Also Read - How Women Can Improve Their Bone Health After 30, Relationship Between Menopause and Weakening of Bones | Diet, Supplements, Explained
Why are you not losing weight? Find out.
The cooking and eating patterns also have a key role to play. Experts recommend avoiding screen time watching television when you are cooking food or eating because you might be so indulgent on the screen you may miss the number of ingredients to be added or during eating food, you may not memorise how much you have eaten, Nandam said.
What went wrong?
Echoing the sentiments of Nandam, Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker, Laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon, Saifee Hospital, Apollo Spectra, Namaha, and Currae Hospitals, Mumbai listed reasons why you are not losing weight.
- Following very-low-calorie diets: ‘Eat less lose more’, is the common perception that most people have about weight loss. Such diets will give good results initially but after some time the weight will plateau. When continued for longer periods, these diets also increase cravings for high-calorie foods.
- Abandoning the diet suddenly: Dr Bhasker says that once the weight stops dropping even after eating less, it leads to demotivation. Cravings and demotivation together often result in emotional or binge eating. A sudden increase in calorie intake causes the weight to bounce back. Multiple failed attempts of yo-yo-ing between weight loss and weight gain do a lot of harm to the body. These lead to nutritional deficiencies, excess loss of muscle mass, low energy levels, a constant feeling of tiredness, and lethargy.
- Not consuming enough fiber and protein: Self-supervised diets often lack in adequate amounts of protein and fiber. The quantity is reduced but the quality of diet is not considered. Adding protein and fiber-rich foods increases satiety and increase energy expenditure. As the body burns more calories to metabolise these nutrients there is a decrease in food cravings and improved sustainability.
- Relying on just health products: In order to get quick weight loss, many get lured by various weight loss products which are sold as standalone solutions for weight loss. They feel simply by replacing meals with meal replacement powders, consuming 2-3 cups of green tea/ detox tea, or taking fat burners will do the needful. It doesn’t work that way as treating obesity needs a more holistic approach which cannot be temporary.
On the other hand, a supervised diet and exercise regime not only enables better weight loss but also aims to improve overall health, says Dr Bhasker.
Opt for a sustainable diet
A supervised weight loss program helps to manage obesity better by inducing a slow but steady weight loss of 0.5-1 kg/ week, preventing excess muscle mass, preventing nutritional deficiencies, decreasing food cravings, educating the patient about making healthy food choices, helping to make a healthy lifestyle a way of life which in turn helps in weight maintenance and preventing or resolving obesity-associated diseases.
Lifestyle Changes You Need
Nandam recommends some lifestyle changes, “During COVID, people were working from home, this had added a health liability as well. Sitting the whole day without any physical moment can add to health complications as well. Sleeping patterns also have ill effects on the body. Diet alone can’t do wonders if you don’t pay attention to the lifestyle you are having.
It is also important to note that every person with obesity will not lose weight at the same rate with the same kind of diet. There are individual differences that must be taken into account. Thus, a customised, well-planned diet and exercise regime will result in the best weight loss outcomes.
Let weight loss be a journey towards good health and not a sprint to just look better!