Everyone loses pregnancy weight on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge in a different way and we all have different bodies and metabolism. Here are 10 good reasons why you may not have lost the pounds you had hoped for at your latest weigh-in.
Ebannie has transformed herself on our Healthy Mummy challenge but it hasn’t happened overnight – Ebannie says “I joined the 28 Day Weight Loss Challengeand enjoy doing the exercises. I’m finding the food in the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges super yummy and I love that they’re so family friendly.”
Although Ebannie lost a whopping 7.12st she prefers not to take much notice to the scales anymore. The clothes clothes speak for themselves. She has dropped from a size 24 to a size 8 top.
Although we do all have different bodies and metabolisms – this doesn’t stop us becoming frustrated if ourweight loss is slower than the next person’s or if we go through a period where it doesn’t feel like we are losing weight at all.
So if you are currently feeling frustrated with yourweight loss here are some common reasons as to why the scales may not be moving and some positive action points to take too.
10 Reasons Why You May Not Have Lost Weight
1. The scales don’t always tell the truth
As you begin doing exercise and light weight bearing exercise you will gain lean muscle tissue, a substance which is denser than fat. So you may actually see the number on the scales increase. Even though the scale may not be moving, it doesn’t mean that you’re not getting smaller. Muscle is more dense than fat, so it takes up less space.
You can be in a smaller pants size and not be any lighter on the scale – and this is why we advise to take measurements each week as well as weighing yourself. Above is a photo of what just over 1 pound of fat actually looks like – so next time you think “I have only lost a pound” remember it is a lot!
It is also a good point to note that this extra lean muscle tissue has added benefits too – not only will you appear smaller, but muscle will help raise your metabolism too which helps to burn more fat – win win!
2. Are you eating too many calories?
Successful weight loss on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challengeis based on calories in versus calories out. There isn’t a miracle weight loss secret and long term, healthy and sustainable weight loss is based on this.
However, there isn’t a one size fits all for how many calories you should be consuming – and of course if you do eat too much then weight loss will be hard. How many calories your body needs depends on your age, height and weight – plus there are other factors such as how much exercise you do and if you are breastfeeding which have a significant impact on how many you should be eating and drinking.
If you are struggling with weight loss – one of the first things you should do is to work out your BMR which will give you your own specific calorie needs for your own individual needs. You can use our free BMR calculator here. Then if you discover that you are consuming too many, you can then look to cut back on the volume of food or type of food you are eating. When you start to make small changes to the foods you eat you will start to see a big difference to the amount of calories consumed.
Everyone’s metabolism is different, and there is lots of research which suggests that there are several things that can be done to speed up metabolism and burn calories more quickly. One of these ways is by eating certain foods which are thought to boost the metabolism, but there are other ways too. You can see our 7 ways to boost your metabolism here.
4. Are you snacking enough?
Snacking is essential for keeping you feeling energised, taking in vitamins and minerals during the day, helping to boost your metabolism and helping you to lose weight. But there is a big difference between healthy snacks and unhealthy snacks.
If you eat processed or junk food as snacks it will not help your health, energy or weight loss but if you choose healthy snacks – you will give your health and weight loss a boost and not feel hungry
Some of our favourite snacks on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challengeare things like raw veggies dipped into hummus, fruit with greek yogurt, sardines on wholegrain toast, cottage cheese on wholegrain crackers topped with sliced peppers – all delicious, healthy and easy to prepare.
5. Are you eating enough protein?
Protein is essential for your health and weight loss. It helps to build lean muscle, helps to increase the metabolism and helps you stay fuller for longer. It is also key to recovery and your body needs protein to function properly and stay healthy. Make sure you are having protein at each meal time and when you snack – aim for good quality and lean protein. Find protein rich recipes in the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipe hub.
6. Is it your time of the month?
Bloating, cramps, swelling, mood swings, cravings, binge eating, and weight gain are all side effects of the hormones present in a woman’s body at that time of the month. Plus there is the very common side effect of water retention which can send your weight and measurements off. During the time of the month our bodies hold onto fluids like a drought is coming and the best advice is not to weigh yourself at this time.
7. Do you have PCOS?
PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) causes weight gain because the body has more difficulty using insulin. This difficulty using insulin causes insulin resistance, meaning that glucose and sugar can build up in the blood stream.
This build-up of insulin within the blood causes the body to produce more of a certain hormone, called androgen. A high level of androgen within the body causes hair growth, acne and weight gain – and because the hormone is a male hormone, it tends to cause weight gain around the stomach more than anywhere else. It’s the abundance of this hormone that makes it very difficult for women with PCOS to shift the extra weight.
Because PCOS plays havoc with your blood sugar levels, you need to take this into account rather than just embark on a low calorie, low fat diet. You need to include fruits, vegetables and loads of fibre in your diet, and where possible, steer clear of sugary foods and things like white bread and white pasta, as these contain lots more sugar than you might realise. Instead, eat plenty of whole grains and lean protein such as chicken or tofu.
It’s also best for you to eat four to six small meals throughout the day rather than three larger meals. This will keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day which will also reduce your PCOS symptoms. It’s also important for you to do 30 minutes of cardio exercise at least five times a week, or more if you can manage it, as this will kick-start your metabolism and will help you to burn off more calories.
If a high fibre, high protein, low sugar diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and an exercise plan doesn’t help to boost your weight loss you should talk to your doctor, as there are medications that you can take to reduce levels of certain hormones within your body.
If you are struggling to lose weight and are doing everything that you should be, it also could be worth being tested for a food allergy. As if we have an undiagnosed food allergy or intolerance then this may be causing the problem with not being able to lose weight – and it could be a food such as dairy or gluten that your body is having an issue with.
9. I can’t lose the last stone!
The issue many mums face is how to lose the last bit of weight to reach their goal. It always seems to be the case that the losing the last stone is always the hardest and most frustration part of losing overall weight. See our tips here on how you can lose the last stone.
10. Get back to basics
And here are some really useful links and resources to help you refocus and get back to basics
Work out your BMR so you know how many calories your own individual body needs. As you lose weight your calorie needs decrease so it is important to re-calculate and adjust accordingly. Use our BMR calculator here.