If healthy weight loss is your goal, you’re probably aware that this is possible with a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, ample hydration and a consistent sleep schedule. If you are eating healthy and making time to exercise daily and wondering why you’re still not losing weight (or even gaining it), we checked in with health experts for two possible reasons. Read on for tips, suggestions and insight from George Yang, RDN, registered dietitian, nutritionist and founder and Chief Designer at Yanre Fitness, and Lisa Richards, registered nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet.
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1. You’re Not Eating Enough Calories
While counting calories and being aware of what you eat in a day is essential for healthy weight loss, not eating enough can lead to numerous health issues and set back your goals. “Your metabolism will slow down if you don’t provide your body enough calories to accomplish its work,” Yang explains, “Your body will therefore try to turn every calorie you take in into fat.”
Extreme calorie restriction, he stresses, “increases your risk of gaining all the weight you’ve lost back” and can also result in “binge eating habits.” Fatigue, constipation, nausea, and diarrhea are just a few of the mild side symptoms that Yang says people who follow an extremely low calorie diet for 4 to 16 weeks describe. The most frequent significant adverse impact of extremely low calorie diets is gallstones, he warns.
2. Your Gut Microbiome is Unbalanced
If you’re eating a balanced diet, exercising, and drinking plenty of water but you can’t seem to stop gaining weight, Richards says the answer “may be located in your gut.” The gut contains the body’s microbiome, which Richards explains is a “balance of beneficial bacteria that are linked to several body processes,” including metabolism and weight loss. When the microbiome is unbalanced, Richards notes that it can cause chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation and gut dysbiosis can lead to issues with weight loss. “When the body is in an inflammatory state or the gut isn’t balanced with good bacteria, this slows down many body processes, including metabolism,” Richards notes. Inflammation can also lead to inaccurate numbers on the scale. She advises to “reduce refined carbohydrates in the diet, even those found in healthy processed foods,” as this can help to mitigate symptoms of chronic inflammation and weight loss issues. Integrating a probiotic into your health regimen can “also aid in boosting your weight loss goals,” she suggests. “When the gut is healthy and functioning properly, it is more able to digest and process the food we eat.”