There’s no doubt about it: weight loss can be challenging. For example, you may struggle to follow a diet or commit to your workout routine. HealthNews shares some more reasons you’re not losing weight, including being too stressed, which increases your sugar cravings and slows your metabolism, and gaining more muscle mass than burning fat during your workout.
Apart from these, there are also biological factors that may be stopping you from losing weight. One example is discussed in our post “The Midlife Metabolic Shift Behind Weight Loss Challenges”. Here, we note that you may gain weight in your 40s and 50s due to metabolic changes. Such factors can be more challenging to address since they’re unique per individual.
Luckily, you can overcome these and reach your goal weight. Before getting into that, take a look at some biological factors that may currently be affecting your progress.
Biological factors that may hinder weight loss
Genes can determine how your body stores and processes fat, ultimately impacting how it responds to weight loss efforts. If your parents have a history of being obese or overweight, there is a high chance that you’ll experience the same thing. This can hinder your weight loss efforts, especially as your genes are part of your DNA and cannot be easily altered.
Underlying medical conditions
Certain health issues can also affect how your body responds to your weight loss efforts. For instance, Verywell Health notes that weight loss will be harder if you have polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. This condition puts your body in fat storage mode because of insulin production. Too much insulin leads to weight gain, especially in the midsection. Certain medications may also prevent weight loss by increasing your appetite or affecting glucose storage.
Insufficient shuteye can lead to weight gain because it makes you hungrier. You’re also more likely to choose unhealthy foods and drinks after a sleepless night, as it increases the production of neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids that make it more enjoyable to eat high-calorie foods.
How to address biological factors for weight loss success
Look into medical weight loss programs
These programs involve taking medicine that reduces hunger or decreases fat storage and absorption. Eligible candidates usually include overweight and obese individuals with a BMI of 25 and above. If you qualify, your doctor will likely prescribe you a GLP-1 medication, including Saxenda. Though initially an injection for diabetes, many professionals now recommend Saxenda for weight loss because it extends the effect of GLP-1 gut hormones that control blood sugar levels to prevent fat storage. The medication also controls your appetite and slows down stomach emptying. Backed by such medications, medical weight loss programs can thus effectively help you overcome biological factors preventing weight loss.
Change your lifestyle habits
As mentioned earlier, sleeping habits can hinder weight loss. For cases like this, a simple solution would be to alter your daily habits. By making a conscious effort to sleep earlier, you prevent your body from craving high-calorie foods. If your family has a history of obesity, eating healthier and exercising harder can also further reduce weight gain. Though this step requires discipline and consistency, cementing better lifestyle habits is a great way to challenge yourself and the biological factors keeping you from losing weight.
Consider behavioral therapy
If you find it hard to alter your habits, you might need further assistance. In such cases, the ADAA recommends therapy for weight control. However, you may find cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) particularly effective. This method focuses on the interaction between your thoughts, behaviors, and physical sensations related to weight loss. If it’s hard to establish a workout routine or follow a nutritious diet, CBT will help you dig deeper and address why these tasks are challenging. Over time, you’ll get better at reorganizing your weight loss goals, setting smaller and more achievable tasks, and spreading all your objectives out within a comfortable timeframe for improved weight loss success.
While biological factors may make weight loss more difficult, there are several ways to overcome them. Try our suggestions above to reach your healthier goal weight!