When you set out to lose weight, motivation levels are high. You’re killing it in the gym, you’re hitting your macros…and it’s working! Your jeans are looser, the number on the scale is dropping…life is good. But then it all kinda just slows right down. The realisation smacks you hard in the face…you’ve hit a (dare I say that dirty word) …Plateau!
‘Why????’ You scream, head in hands, ‘Why????’ But when the smoke from your pity party clears, there are probably some really common reasons why you’re failing to lose weight.
Sarah Bensen from Zap Fitness in Glenelg knows all too well the kinds of challenges you can meet head on in your weight loss journey. Having lost 20 kilograms herself, Sarah has indeed walked the walk.
“Between 2011 and 2014. I had no control over what I ate. I would binge eat and would use my emotions as a reason to overeat and indulge. It’s hard when people tell you that you should just have more self-control when you really try. So here I was carrying on, eating whatever I liked. I got to a point finally in 2014 where enough was enough and took the plunge and met with a personal trainer and started my weight loss journey.
Without my trainer I would never be where I am today. This is why I entered the fitness industry. To let others know that there is help out there if you need it. You are not alone in your journey.”
Let’s jump right into it then, according to Sarah there’s a fairly common main culprit, “9 times out of 10 it comes down to what you’re putting in your mouth. When it all boils down to something as simple as calories in vs calories out, addressing your nutrition is the perfect starting place.
Keep in mind that even too much of a “healthy food” can still tip your calorie intake over the edge.”
Sarah recommends tracking your food to really get an understanding of what you are consuming. According to Sarah, “An app like MyFitnessPal is great as it’s free and easy to use. Sometimes you only need to track for a couple of weeks to see where you may be overindulging.”
Other factors Sarah includes are water intake, “Are you drinking enough water? Not only will water help you feel fuller, it also flushes out the toxins in your body.”
Another key component is Stress, as Sarah explains, “Stress and the subsequent high cortisol levels can have a direct impact on weight. Stress may lead to missed meals and poor food choices.”
And have you ever noticed that when you’re stressed, it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep? It can also affect the quality of the sleep you do get, leading you to feel sluggish and fatigued…ughhh talk about a feedback loop from hell!
Speaking of sleep, Sarah agrees that getting adequate rest is paramount for weight loss, “If you’re trying to lose weight, the amount of sleep you get may be just as important as your diet and exercise.”
Studies have shown that poor sleep can decrease your self-control and decision-making abilities and can increase the brain’s reaction to food. And has also been linked to increased intake of foods high in calories, fats and carbs. Bring on the early bedtime!
— Prue Houston