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Why Is It So Hard to Lose Weight?

Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team

There are many possible explanations for why we gain weight and why it’s hard to lose and keep it off. And we could get lost in the details of why or focus our energy from one direction only (e.g.: demonize the foods we eat)—but in the end, you probably won’t feel any better, barely lose weight and in all likelihood, feel less empowered.

The Silent Force Impacting Your Weight Loss Attempts

The primary force at play for most of us when it comes to trying (and failing) to lose weight may not be what you think. Sure, what you eat impacts your weight. And exercise absolutely will help you work toward a healthier weight for your body. Though, both of these tools for weight management are impacted by something we all experience: stress.

Positive stress can be a great motivator. The issue is the level of negative stress that many of us are experiencing now is too much to handle and too much to ignore. As we age, we are insistently asked to do more for others and less for ourselves. What to do? Focus on feeling better rather than thinner.


Slow Down, Feel Better

In order to feel better, most of us need to slow the pace of our days. By slowing your day down, you gain the fortune of being able to do more for yourself. As you pay yourself more attention, weight loss will come. It may not be the rapid loss we discussed in our Dangers of Fad Diets for Weight Loss article, but it will be life changing.


When It Comes To Losing Weight, It’s More Than Food

Let weight loss become just one of the benefits of attending to yourself, to your own needs. Give yourself more to get yourself back to center:

  • Move more. You’ll burn more calories, feel more optimistic and confident.
  • Sleep more. Get proper sleep (7-9 hours every night) so your hormones will be where they need to be to metabolize food proficiently so you’ll reach less frequently higher-sugar, rapid-energy providing foods.
  • Manage stress more often. Spend more time outdoors, take time to slow your breathing down and opt out of media and you may just find you’re less inclined to turn to food to perk up your mood.
  • Participate more in the activities you love. Getting lost in the activities you love helps return attention back to you. When you begin feeling more of your authentic self, the less likely you’ll choose foods and behaviors that are harmful in the long term.
  • Eat more vegetables, fruit and beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. Eating more plant-based foods will provide more fiber to help satiate your appetite, keep your blood sugar in control, move foods through your digestive tract and give your cells the vitamins, minerals and antioxidant-acting compounds they need to work efficiently.
  • Drink more water. Staying hydrated will help you keep a clear head while digesting the foods you eat and keeping your skin moist. The healthier your skin, the less likely it will become dry and break or crack—thereby letting in harmful germs that could make you sick.
  • Cook more meals at home. Cooking at home helps you learn how to build balanced meals, what’s in the recipes you’re eating and retrain the instant-gratification of crave-to-eat model we’ve become so accustomed of following.


To learn more about making successful, long-lasting changes, sign up for a FREE virtual nutrition event with our dietitian team.

Published 1/2/2023