Are you working out regularly and eating healthy but still not losing weight? This can be frustrating.
As we get older, our metabolism slows down and we may find that our usual practices are just not as effective as they once were.
There are many factors that can slow down weight loss, from working with many women over the years, I have found that these are a few of the common ones with simple practices you can introduce which can help.
Not drinking enough water
Drinking water is important for so many reasons. For one, it helps to remove toxins from the body.
When the liver is overloaded with toxins that are not being flushed out, it will become sluggish causing your metabolism to slow down. A healthy liver equals a faster metabolism, so aim to drink at least 2 litres a day.
Not drinking enough water can also cause water retention on your stomach and legs and dehydration can lead to feeling tired, which then makes it harder to find the motivation to exercise.
Try to start your morning with a large glass of water before your coffee or tea. Always carry a bottle of water with you and sip it slowly throughout the day.
Hypothyroidism (under active thyroid)
If you find you are healthy and putting on weight, then this could mean you have an underactive thyroid.
Hypothyroidism means your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone which helps your body regulate and use energy. It affects women more than men.
Symptoms will include constantly feeling tired, depressed and weight gain. A simple blood test can determine if you suffer from hypothyroidism. If you suspect this could be the case, make an appointment to see your GP.
The truth is, as we get older, hormonal changes due to menopause can cause weight gain.
Having too much oestrogen, the main female hormone, in our bodies can cause fat gain, bloating, water retention and in the worst-case scenario can lead to hormonal cancers.
Unbalanced hormones can happen as we move into perimenopause and menopause. Usually, perimenopause will start 4 years before menopause. Regular check-ups and blood tests can help you keep a check on your hormones, which means you can be proactive and find ways to balance them.
Drinking too much coffee
Many of us enjoy a cup or two of coffee a day, personally, I drink tea as I don’t like the taste of coffee.
Too much coffee, however, can increase the fat stored in your abdomen.
Drinking excess amounts of coffee increases cortisol levels in the body, where the body struggles to regulate the hormones and will cause weight gain. This does not mean that you shouldn’t drink coffee. It means that you should not drink more than 1-2 cups a day. if you cannot give up your daily fix, then drink good quality coffee and always drink a large glass of water per every cup of coffee you consume.
Ageing and exercise
As we age our metabolism will slow down. We lose muscle mass and what we find is that if we are less active, we cannot eat and drink the same amount as we always have. I speak to many women who have been slim all their lives and then suddenly start gaining weight in their 40s.
To avoid both muscle loss and weight gain, we need to get moving.
This also helps our circulation and stimulates the lymph glands, removing toxins from our bodies and preventing blood clots.
Ideally, you need to be moving at different intervals throughout the day.
I start my morning with 10,000 steps and exercise in the afternoon. If this feels like a lot to add in, think about where you can get in those steps – are there short journeys you can replace with walking? For instance, can you walk your children to school instead of driving? You can even pace around your kitchen whilst you wait for the kettle to boil – get creative!
Medications and certain health conditions
There are certain medications like steroids and medicines for diabetes such as insulin that will make you gain weight.
Certain hormone-related health conditions, such as Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that can cause weight gain. People who suffer from PCOS will most likely put on weight around their abdomen.
Again, check those hormone levels, listen to your body. By taking steps to hydrate, be conscious of what we eat and by getting regular exercise, we can begin to balance those hormones which will lead to improved health and reduce the likely hood of disease.
Sitting at your desk all day
Do you workout every day, but then spend endless hours sitting at your desk? Sitting for long hours will increase your chances of weight gain.
If you have an office job or work from home, it is important that you get up often and move around. You can also raise your desk/ computer so you are standing for periods of time. Mix it up for maximum benefits.
If you make these simple changes, you will notice a difference, but it’s so important to always listen to your body. If you have suddenly noticed unexpected weight gain, don’t be afraid to contact your GP.
I hope you have found the above helpful. I am passionate about helping every woman feel healthy, confident, beautiful and full of energy, no matter their age.
When we take back control of our health and wellbeing, we gain so much more.
If you are struggling to lose weight and want improved energy, then please get in touch – I am always happy to talk and find out how I can help you.