Everyone knows that diet and exercise are key to weight loss. Some of our clients seem to be eating a healthy diet and exercising every day but are still not losing weight like they want. Here are 3 issues that could be thwarting your weight loss efforts.
1) Sleep deprivation: A recent study shows that just one night of sleep loss can lead to a decrease in the hormone leptin which controls hunger/appetite. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain because the decrease in leptin will cause you to feel hungry and therefore eat more. You need to establish a schedule that allows you to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
2) Stress: The hormone cortisol is released when the body is under stress. This release of cortisol causes carbohydrate and fat metabolism for quick energy. Ultimately this causes an increase in hunger/appetite. Chronic stress can lead to weight gain due to the excess cortisol in the body causing an increase in hunger. Managing your stress is an important part of a weight loss program. Find ways to decrease your overall stress level. Physical exercise can be a good stress reliever and has the added benefit of increasing the metabolism and burning calories.
3) Dehydration: Hydration is necessary to maintain an adequate level of metabolic activity. When you are dehydrated, your metabolism slows down and your ability to burn calories is reduced. Not only should you drink pure water, but also choose foods that are unprocessed. Raw fruits and vegetables have a high water content and help hydrate the body. Drink 1 glass (8 oz.) of water every 30-60 minutes during the day to maximize your weight loss potential.
1. Pejovic S et al. J Sleep Res. Letpin and hunger levels in young healthy adults after one night of sleep loss. 2010 Dec;19(4):552-8.
2. Pervanidou P et al. Int J Pediatr Obes. Stress and obesity/metabolic syndrome in childhood and adolescence. 2011 Sep;6 Suppl 1:21-8.
3. Boschmann M et al. J of Clin Endocrin & Metab. Water-Induced Thermogenesis. 2003 88(12):6015–6019.