TrimDownClub, January 30, 2013

The Diet is Stuck: 8 reasons that might interfere with your weight loss

You’re being strict with your diet, exercising regularly and still the dial won’t budge. What are the reasons behind this, what can we do to change this and when can you see your true weight? Some information on how our body works.

We decided to lose weight – following all of the rules, but the pounds won’t shed. There are all sorts of reasons that prevent the body’s weight to go down and disguise the slow weight loss that is actually occurring. This requires understanding and patience. What 8 situations can slow down your diet’s success?

1.       Fluid retention

What happens to the body?

The body has mechanisms that balance the amounts of fluids and salts. When eating a rather large amount of salt (or sodium), the body tends to retain liquids during the 24 to 48 hours following.

This can cause retention of up to 2 kg of liquids that could be reflected in weight gain. So if, for example, you ate a can of pickles or just added a lot of soy to your food – don’t be surprised if you won’t be able to see the real weight loss in fat tissue.
Some people are more prone to have fluid retention and will feel bloated in their fingers (having difficulties in bending them and having rings stuck), their ankles (barely getting your shoes on your shoes) and sometimes in their face.

What can be done? Don’t weigh yourself after consuming a large amount of salt or sodium or just lower the amount of sodium you consume. Sodium can be found in your home salt shaker, and also in all the salted cheeses and fish, pickled vegetables, ready-to-use dressings and fast foods.

To alleviate the feeling you can make parsley infusion by using a handful of parsley leaves in a cup of boiling water to drink. The excess fluids will come out easily.

When can you see your true weight? Following a day or two, while trying to avoid foods rich in salt and sodium.

2.       Menstrual cycle

What happens to the body? Pre-menstrual swelling is a common phenomenon. Almost all women have weight fluctuations caused by hormonal changes and fluid retention.

Some women will notice weight gain a few days before their period starts, and others would only notice it during the actual period. At any case it can make a difference of between 1-1.5kg.

What can be done? Since this is a situation that can be anticipated, just avoid weighing yourself.

When can you see your true weight? It depends on a few factors. Those who gain weight before their period, their weight will return to “itself” by the first day of the period. Amongst other women the desired change might only arrive at the end of their period.

3.       Taking birth control pills

Hormonal change will almost always affect the body’s weight. In some cases it will cause a temporary fluctuation of fluids (and then a relatively fast weight change) and in some other cases a weight gain of between 1-2 real kg, however, then the weight gain would be slower.

In rarer cases the hormonal change will cause weight loss.

What can be done? Since this is a common phenomenon, you can prepare in advance by increasing physical activity – which will prevent fat-tissue growing.

When can you see your true weight? If this is caused due to fluid fluctuation it will disappear after the next menstrual cycle. However, sometimes the weight gain “moves” the body’s balance by 2kg upwards.

In addition, you can make an effort to lose weight with  diet and exercise or you can accept the 2kg, wait until you’re done taking the pills (sometimes even after several years) and then the weight will come off easily with no extra effort.

Most women will experience weight gain when they start taking the pills and experience weight loss as soon as they stop taking them. Only amongst a minority the reaction is reversed.

4.       Constipation

What happens to the body? Abnormal activity of the digestive system, leading to constipation can cause weight gain of up to 1 kg. Of course, this is due to the fact that the digestive system hasn’t emptied itself.

What can be done? It is suggested to contact a dietitian even if this is a common phenomenon, and in the meantime increase your intake of water, to add nutritional fiber to your diet and also combine in your daily diet a bio yogurt with 2 Tbsp. of flaxseed.

At the same time it is suggested to leave out of your plate the following: white flour, white sugar, white rice, bananas, persimmons, pomegranate, sabra-cactus, cocoa and chocolate. Gradually, the digestive system’s activity will improve and you’ll start feeling much better.

When can you see your true weight? When the digestive system starts working properly. The best situation is when you have a daily bowel movement.

5.       Menopause changes

What happens to the body? The changes of menopause can spread out into months all the way to years. The hormonal change takes the body out of balance and sudden weight fluctuations might occur.

What can be done? If you’re experiencing moderate weight loss, then sudden weight gain during the day or a certain week it is due to the hormonal changes. It is also important to know that the real weight loss will become slower.

When can you see your true weight? After one to several days later, when the hormonal change stabilizes.

6.       Swelling of the digestive system

What happens to the body? Some foods adversely affect the weight, causing the stomach to swell and  cause  temporary weight gain.

What can be done? It is recommended to have a consultation with a gastroenterologist and also with a dietitian. You can try and remove the following foods from your menu and see if the situation improves: sodas, legumes (white beans, lentils, peas, soy including meat substitutes, humus), gum, cabbages, radish, kohlrabi, turnip, yeast, artificial sweeteners, uncooked garlic and onions. .

When the stomach is really bloated you can drink infusions made out of chamomile, fennel or caraway. It is recommended to add a tsp. of infusion to a glass of boiling water and after 10 minutes to filter and drink them.

When can you see your true weight? Once the stomach is calm, the bloating will go away and a comfortable feeling will return to your body.

7.       Building muscles

What happens to the body? When you start to increase the rate of physical activity (aerobic activities like walking, running, swimming, bicycling or anaerobic activities such as Pilates or using training devices at the gym), the muscle’s mass grows to meet the body’s needs for the extensive effort it is doing.

The additional muscle mass makes a welcome contribution to the body’s weight. The muscle tissue is an active tissue that continues burning calories even when we’re asleep. But the added weight can be between 1 to 5kg, depending on the activities intensity and duration. If at the same time you maintain a diet there may be an increase or a stop in weight loss.

What can be done? Keep exercising and understand that the added weight is designed. Muscle weight looks great and adds to the body’s figure, which no diet alone can do.
However, it is important to understand that a halt or an increase of weight while measuring your circumference (using a measuring tape once a week in the morning) or fat percentage (in the gym or at a dietitian once every two weeks) you’ll be able to see a significant decline in the circumference and fat percentages.

When can you see your true weight? The truth can be seen in the waist and the body’s figure. After two months of building muscle the muscle’s mass stabilizes and then you can see the weight continuing to go down.

8.       Evening metabolism

What happens to the body?
During the day we eat and drink and towards the evening the body accumulates the foods and drinks we consumed throughout the day.
Most of us will show an extra 1kg compared to the weight that was measured in the morning. By the way, those who also check their body’s fat percentage will notice that it is during the evening that the percentage will drop by 3%-4% compared to a measurement made in the morning.

What can be done?  You can decide to only weigh yourself in the morning, because that’s when the scale will smile at us, or weigh yourself in the evening and then subtract one kilo. In any case, it is recommended to always weigh yourself using the same scale and at the same hour of the day.

When can you see your true weight?  Starting a new every morning!


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5 responses to The Diet is Stuck: 8 Reasons that might Interfere with Your Weight Loss

  1. Hi, JesusLives. If you buy organic soy products, they will not be of the genetically-modified variety. Beyond that the bet soy products are those that are fermented and/or sprouted, with minimal processing – so no “meat substitutes”.

  2. This explains only a little bit about why my weight is increasing and decreasing

  3. I was doing really well and yes! I’m stuck and it is discouraging. Soy??? got me here. I thought soy was really; healthy and I have switched out milk etc for soy or soy products. I have recently read articles about how soy is being genetically modified and I find this scary. Is soy milk as marketed bad for us. example: So Good and other similar products. I am looking for ways to cut cholesterol levels. Suggestions please. Also I have and have had a poor sleep problem for many, many years. I have sleep apnea. My breathing shuts down every 6 mins. Yes, I use a CPAP machine. Thanks Carol

  4. Thanks, now I know why my weight is still up regardless of diet and exercise.This is great information for me.

  5. Enjoyed reading this article.