When you notice that your pants start to feel a bit snug or the pounds start to creep on the scale, a lot of us will begin a new diet or exercise regime.
It's supposed to be simple in theory, right? You have to expend more energy than you're eating, while making sure the food you're eating is nutritionally beneficial to you.
But for some reason, even when we try to eat well and exercise, those extra pounds will refuse to go away. It feels like no matter how fast you run, or how flawless your diet is, there are plateaus that linger and make people feel like they aren't doing anything right.
So why is your weight remaining stagnant? Why does that extra fat layer refuse to go away? Well, as it turns out, there are a few reasons that are likely causing your frustrating issue.
1. You need to drink more water.
There is a bit of a misconception when it comes to weight loss, and it's surrounding the ever-concerning "water weight."
You hear a lot about wrestlers dehydrating themselves before a big match because they can drop weight, but in the real world, you need your water to lose weight.
Your body cannot burn fat if it is dehydrated. Chief of bariatric surgery Michael Jay Nusbaum revealed that your body needs a lot of water to be able to dispose of the food in your body.
"The process of burning fat is very expensive water-wise. You need to be drinking more than 48 ounces of fluid per day," he said.
Without an adequate amount of water in your system, your body loses the ability to properly digest food and it will end up causing you to become constipated.
2. You need to get more sleep.
I know that each and every one of us is basically always exhausted. We all have way too much on our plates and no matter how hard we try to get to sleep at a reasonable time, sometime always catches our attention as we drift off.
But here's the thing, every time you get less than seven hours of sleep. That's right, every time you stay up until 1 a.m. to binge that season of whatever new show Netflix released, you're causing your body to slow down a little bit more.
Studies have found that in some people a lack of sleep can cause 400 fewer calories to be burned when they slept.
That's a lot of calories you could be burning without even trying just by sleeping more!
3. You aren't getting enough protein.
While there are a lot of different diet plans you can use to lose weight, one thing that is always important to consider is how much protein you are getting.
Eating more protein can actually help boost your metabolism, and the effects last throughout the day so it's good to start your day with some high protein choices.
Making sure your protein intake is high also helps ensure that your appetite is regulated and over time, it'll help prevent regaining the weight you have lost.
4. You are avoiding weights at the gym.
I know a lot of people focus on cardio when they want to burn fat fast, but you have to add weights to your routine if you want to maintain muscle mass.
As your cardio burns off the fat, you need something to guarantee that the weight you are losing is not going to your muscle, and the best way to do that is to lift weights.
Toning and building muscle actually helps you burn more fat too! The more muscles you have, the faster your metabolism has to run to keep it at its peak efficiency, so lifting weights will actually help you burn more calories at rest.
5. You are too stressed out.
Cortisol is this hormone that is triggered in your brain when you are stressed, and when it comes to weight loss, it's kind of evil. It causes people to stop losing weight, and in some cases actually makes the weight pile back on.
Chronic stress causes you to feel hungrier. According to Justin Blum, CEO of Raw Fitness Franchise, stress "makes your body believe it's using calories to deal with stress and makes you "˜hungry' because your body thinks you need to replenish them when you don't."