Weight gain and weight loss rely heavily on what you eat and how active you are, but if your diet and exercise programs are not yielding results, it’s time to address some hidden factors that may hinder weight loss by following these four healthy habits.
Sleep loss tends to make people eat more by impacting the production of a hormone called cortisol, which regulates appetite. In addition, sleep deprivation increases fat storage in your body. Because people who don’t sleep enough are fatigued, they are often less active and burn fewer calories during the day. The amount of sleep a person needs varies, but you should typically try to get seven to nine hours per night
A pint of ice cream is often the perfect remedy at the end of a stress-filled day, and, in some ways, it makes sense. When stress levels rise, levels of the appetiteregulating hormone cortisol are elevated, causing a rise in insulin levels and a drop in blood sugar. That’s why fatty, sugary foods provide comfort. Although stress is a powerful trigger, stick to simple, healthy habits such as eating the right foods and staying active, to help curb cravings.
With each passing decade, your metabolism is slowing down, but that doesn’t mean the number on the scale has to go up. Many adults continue to consume the same amount of calories as they did in their twenties, and suddenly they find themselves 10 pounds heavier. A few minor changes can prevent the pounds from packing on and even help you lose weight. Eating regular meals, paring down portion sizes, and keeping up with regular exercise—including strength training to build muscle—can positively impact your health.
Staying active may also help you offset weight gain while strengthening your bones and muscles and reducing your risk of heart disease. Additionally, regular exercise may help you sleep better, relieve stress, and improve your mood, which may also help you manage your weight. Try to exercise for 30 minutes every day.
If you are concerned about sudden weight gain, take a look at your medications. Many prescriptions, such as birth control pills, steroids, and beta blockers, may increase your appetite or slow down your metabolism. If you suspect your medication is impacting your waistline, speak with your doctor or pharmacists about an alternative medication or treatment.