As much as it stinks, sometimes we run into the issue of believing we are doing everything right, and we are still on a plateau or are having no progress. What we forget is that losing weight is similar to a recipe or a math equation. For example, you can’t make bread without flour, and you can’t solve for “Y” if you don’t know the value of “X”. This is how we need to look at weight loss. What variables go into losing weight?
Immediately we go to the obvious answer: proper nutrition and exercise. These two variables are of the utmost importance. We know that proper nutrition and exercise contribute to our wellness and promote a healthier lifestyle. This does not mean we can’t go out to eat or celebrate life’s milestones. It does mean that we need to try to eat better the majority of the time. Whether you are in the gym training with weights or going on afternoon walks with your family, exercising is always going to be beneficial. Exercise increases both serotonin production and release, so staying active will not only help you physically and with weight loss, but it will also help you to feel better mentally.
The next variable is sleep. We don’t always realize the importance of letting our bodies rest until it’s too late, and we are completely worn down. Seven to nine hours of sleep each night is the general recommendation for adequate rest. With our busy lifestyle today it’s easy to put sleep on the back burner. We say to ourselves, “I’ll catch up on my sleep later”. Studies show that a lack of sleep causes a discharge of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol regulates various metabolic processes throughout the body. Added stress can cause our bodies to go into a fight or flight response. Getting the recommended amount of sleep and keeping stress levels as low as possible are both equally important variables that contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
To ensure proper and healthy weight loss, we need to keep in mind all variables. Proper nutrition, exercise, rest, and low stress are all ingredients in the recipe for healthy weight loss. If you are doing all of these properly and still not seeing results, it is a good time to consult with your doctor to explore other possible issues.