Why Can't Lose Weight After Delivery? 24 Shocking Reasons

There are many reasons why you can’t lose weight after delivery – despite proper diet plans , exercise and so on.

Reason #1:  Chronic Stress

When you feel stressed out, your body releases a hormone called cortisol which, in turn, increases the blood sugar level to give the body more energy to respond to stress and also metabolize fat, protein and carbohydrates. However, too much cortisol can lead to suppressed immune system and bone loss. It also triggers a response from other chemicals like ghrelin which increases your appetite and yearning to consume food. As a result, it increases the ability of your body to store fat particularly around the waist which can cause the risk of serious diseases.

 Solution:  Get a massage, do meditation exercises, deep breathing, keep a gratitude journal, take a break and take some much needed time off.

Reason #2: Underlying Diseases

Medical conditions like Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can influence your weight loss journey. For instance, the Cushing’s syndrome occurs when the adrenal glands produce more cortisol than needed, which increases the buildup of fat on the abdomen, upper back and face. Hypothyroidism means having an underactive thyroid gland, which makes the body produce less thyroid hormones used in burning stored fat. As a result, people with hyperthyroidism have slower metabolism. PCOS, on the other hand, is a hormonal imbalance that affects many women. The overproduction of male hormone testosterone is the culprit of PCOS, which also influences women to do excessive or binge eating.

Solution: Visit your physician so that he or she can treat the underlying condition, try naturopathic methods like acupuncture, crystal healing and meditation classes.

Reason #3: Medications

Certain medications can also cause weight gain. In fact, 25% of people who are taking a prescription medication may experience weight gain as a side-effect. Some of the most common classes of medication that cause weight gain include psychiatric drugs, medications for type 2 diabetes, hormone replacement therapy, beta blockers for high blood pressure, birth control pills, anti-epileptics to control seizures and corticosteroids taken for lupus and asthma. These drugs can cause weight gain for various reasons.

For example, some psychiatric drugs can decrease the metabolism while the appetite is increased. Beta blockers, on the other hand, lower the metabolic rate by 80 calories each day, while the hormone replacement therapy increases the level of estrogen in the body, which is a fat-storing hormone. Weight gain is a common side effect when taking certain medications so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist to assess if any of your medications may be to blame.

Solutions:  Approach your doctor so that he or she can give you a similar drug that will not have the same effect or look for a nutritionist who can design a specific diet that can help you lose weight despite your medication.

Reason #4: Your Gender

If you are a woman, it may be more difficult for you to lose weight. The problem is that women do not have as much muscle mass as men do. The more lean muscle mass you have, the better your resting metabolic rate will be. So, even if you are just sitting down doing nothing, you will still be burning calories.  Another reason is the psychology. Research shows that women have more emotional attachment to food than men, thus making it very hard for them to follow a healthy diet plan.  Many women also tend to suffer from hormonal imbalance which also affects their hunger hormones – leptin and ghrelin.

Solutions: These solutions are intended for women. Incorporate strength-training exercises to increase your muscle mass, learn how to deal with stress and negative emotions in controlling your food attachment and visit your doctor to help you deal with hormonal issues.

Reason #5: Your Eating Habits

You believe you are eating clean, but you are still not losing weight. Perhaps it is time to take a closer look into your eating habits. Of course, you may be eating healthy, but are you eating just enough or too much? Permanent weight loss means that you have to eat the right foods in the right amount. Eating the right foods in too big of a portion will contribute to weight gain just as much as junk food can.

Solutions: Keep a food journal to keep track of the amount and types of food that you eat and practice portion control. Learn to read food labels to prevent you from buying food that may contain harmful ingredients that can lead to bloating, inflammation or other harmful effects that can stall weight loss.

Reason #6: Not Getting Enough Sleep Or Oversleeping

Sleep is important especially if you are trying to lose weight. Not getting enough sleep can increase production of the appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin. And a concurrent decrease of leptin, which is the hunger curbing hormone. In a study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, people who get five hours of sleep or less are 32% more likely to become obese. There is also a study that concluded oversleeping cause impairment in metabolism and fat storage. A healthy adult needs an average of seven to eight hours of sleep every night.

Solutions:  Commit to a consistent sleep schedule that allows you to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep per night. Meditate or do deep breathing to relax yourself so you can fall asleep easily.

Reason #7: Wrong Exercise Routines

The kind of exercises that you do can also influence your weight loss journey. The secret to losing weight is to build muscle. So if you are just doing cardio exercises, then your efforts are in vain.  You need to incorporate muscle-building exercises to strengthen your joints and also increase your metabolic rate.

Solutions: Enroll in a gym and lift weights to build muscle or do bodyweight training. You can also set up a home gym with free weights for very little money and the payoff will be a fit, toned and lean body.

Reason #8: Overindulgence On Fake Diet Foods

Diet foods are low calorie foods but what most people don’t know is that they can be laden with a lot of sugar, additives, and sodium to make up for the ingredients that have been removed to create a particular diet food. They are also less filling, thus making you eat more. Overindulgence of diet foods can lead to consumption of more calories which is ultimately converted into fat. Examples of these are yogurt-flavored raisins , energy bars, peanut butter , instant oatmeal and veggie chips.

Solutions: Read the labels and find out the ingredients of your diet foods, cook your own food and keep a food diary.

Reason #9: You Are Still Consuming Sugar

If you are still drinking sugary drinks like soda, then it is probably one of the reasons why you are not losing weight. Sugary drinks are very fattening and it is does not only hold true for sodas like Coke or Pepsi but also your favorite energy drinks, concentrated fruit juices, fancy coffee drinks and flavored water. Remember that a single glass of a sugary drink may contain at least seven to eight tablespoons of sugar. When you drink sugary beverages, your brain does not compensate for the calories found in these drinks thus you still tend to eat more. Don’t drink your calories!

Solutions: Purge your fridge of sugary drinks and opt for water instead. Substitute fruit juices with smoothies as they contain fiber which makes them more filling thus it takes more time for the body to absorb the natural sugar. You can drink your favorite juices without sugar.

Reason #10: You Are Dehydrated

Dehydration happens when the volume of water that leaves your body is more than the volume that you take in. It can affect the ability of your body to burn fat and it also slows down your metabolism which leads to your body storing the extra fat around the belly. When you are dehydrated, it affects the ability of your kidneys to purify your blood. The stress on your kidneys can cause the liver to become stressed which affects the ability of the liver to metabolize fat effectively. It is important to take note that two-thirds of your body is comprised of water. The benefit of drinking water is that it acts as a natural suppressant of appetite and if you drink water, you can boost the ability of your body to burn calories by as much as 30%.

Solutions: Drink at least eight glasses of water every day, eat watery foods if you don’t have access to water.

Reason #11: You Are Starving Yourself

Many people, in order to lose weight fast, resort to crash dieting. Crash diets such as the cabbage soup or banana diet are effective in losing weight in the short-term but you will experience a plateau wherein anything you do will not help you lose weight.  Starving your body of nutrients will only slow your metabolism and once your diet experiment is over, you will end up gaining back what you lost. Starving yourself is a short-term quick fix with long-term consequences.

Plus, it will cause you deprived in many nutrients needed for body to function properly, such as iron essential for blood production. In the long term, you might get Bulimia, an eating disorder – when you binge due to craving and purge everything you eat in unhealthy way.

Solutions: Eat balanced meals, consume whole foods and avoid crash diet programs.

Reason #12: You Have Cheat Days…Too Often

Many people are guilty of this because when you stay really committed during the week, the mindset is that you deserve a reward by having cheat days on the weekend. While it is fine to have a cheat day, you can’t overdo it and you should steer clear of having multiple cheat days in a row. During cheat days, people often eat as much as they like without thinking about the repercussions. They believe that it is only one or two days thus the calories will be easily burned during weekdays. What most people do not know is that having cheat days can slow progress if the indulgences are excessive.

Solutions:  Try cheat “meals” instead of full day binges.  For example, eat clean up until dinner on Saturday and then splurge at your favorite restaurant (dessert included!).

Reason #13: You Need Brush Up On Calories 101

One of the many problems of yoyo dieters is that they don’t know how to read calories. For instance, they don’t know that a tiny chocolate bar contains between 400 and 600 calories. They also think that exercising for 30 minutes is enough to burn the 600 calories from the tiny chocolate bar. Just because you are sweating and panting does not mean that you are burning tons of calories. It is quite possible that your misunderstanding of “calories in, calories out” might be preventing you from losing weight.

Solutions: Educate yourself about the caloric values of the food that you are eating. Most people overestimate how many calories they are burning during an exercise session. You may want to invest in a fitness tracker to help get a better estimate of how much you are actually burning.

Reasons #14: You Binge At Night

Eating heavy meals later in the day or evening is likely a factor in your weight loss battle. When you eat your heaviest meal for breakfast, you will have enough time during the day to burn off the calories from your morning feast. However, if you overeat at nighttime, you will increases your chances of storing those excess calories as fat because you are not engaging in enough activity to burn it off. In addition, eating too much late at night can disrupt your sleep patterns and poor sleep has a direct link to weight gain.

Solutions: Do not eat anything late at night and set a no-food time. For example, if you go to bed at 10pm, finish your last meal/snack no later than 7pm. If you get hungry, drink water or herbal tea and try to resist from snacking.

Reasons #15:  You Are Too Focused On Dieting

Losing weight should be fun and meaningful journey to better health. However, if you are too focused on dieting and you get all your priorities mixed up, then you might end up setting unrealistic goals. Remember that losing weight the healthy way is a long and slow process. It can take you several weeks before you see any slight improvement on the scale.

Solutions: Be patient. Weight loss, if you are diligent, will happen eventually. Instead of obsessing on losing weight, focus your thoughts on how you can become happier and healthier.

Reason #16: You Have No Motivation Or The Right Mindset To Lose Weight

Everyone should have a big WHY in starting something. You should have set your goal of your ideal or dream weight. It doesn’t have to be so ambitious like “I want to lose 25 pounds in 1 week”. You can start slowly like aiming to lose 1 pound in a week. Of course you have your own reason to lose weight, such as gaining confidence in front of your spouse. But not to forget that weight loss also playing important roles in maintaining your blood sugar level, cholesterol and blood pressure.

Solutions: Remove negative mindsets by empowering your subconscious mind via meditating. Read positive affirmations everyday, prior starting your day. Stay away from negative vibes and circle.

Reason #17: The Genes Run In Your Family

It is not your fault if the slow metabolism is in your genes. Some of your family members might have similar problems like you. If you can’t afford one, there are still other ways to do. Your lifestyles still influence how it goes.

Solutions: Change your lifestyle. Eat balanced food. Be persistent in doing workouts.

Reason #18: You Skip Breakfast

If you skip your breakfast, you tend to get quick hungrier later because you have fasted for more than 12 hours. Let’s say your last dinner was at 8 and your lunch is at 12 noon. Thus, it causes you to eat a lot than usual as result of activation of ghrelin hormone. You might be craving for unhealthy and sweet foods when you are too hungry. This will disrupt your diet while taking excessive calories intake. If you do this everyday, definitely it’s not good for your health.

Solutions: Take high fiber diet, examples whole grain toast or egg sandwich , Greek yogurt with chia seeds and fresh berries. This type of meals will prolong your satiety and reduce cravings.

Reason #19: You Drink Alcohol

There are so many ways that alcohol will affect your weight and health. Firstly, it contains high calories with minimal nutrients. Unused calories will be stored as fat, especially in the belly. Alcohol also affects metabolism. It causes damage to your liver, that is responsible for metabolism of fat, carbohydrates and protein. That’s why the term “alcoholic fatty liver” exists. It also impairs digestion due to stress upon stomach and intestines. Drinking alcohol affects your judgement of good food choices and affects your sleep as well.

Solutions: You can opt for low-calorie alcohol like red wine, but just take 1 oz per day. Furthermore, it is proven beneficial for your heart. Alternatively, you can drink non-sugar drinks or plain water.

Reason #20: You Smoke

The effect is more prominent when you stop smoking. This is because when you smoke, the nicotine inside the cigarettes speed up your metabolism. When you stop smoking , your metabolism slows down and causes weight gain. Despite that, you are advised not to continue smoking as it brings more harm than benefits.

Solutions: You can stop smoking gradually so that your body can adapt in changes. You can discuss with your doctor or pharmacist on how to start the process. Try to engage in other social activities to cure your addiction.

Reason #21: You Do Not Cut On Carbs

Carbohydrates contain high calories. Taking excessive carbohydrates especially at night will cause weight gain. Unused carbohydrates will be stored as fat.

Solutions: Take low carb diet especially at night. Alternatively, you can replace it with high fiber diet, which make you feel full a lot longer. Drink a lot of water with high fiber diet can improve digestion too.

Reason #22: Sedentary lifestyle

Nowadays, most of us work in the office and thus, sitting at the table or in the meeting for hours. We drive to work and use elevators at work or in the shopping complex. That means less calories burning, despite the excessive calories intake (if you do).

Solutions: You can use escalators or stairs in the shopping complex. Try to walk around in the office after 2-3 hours working.

Reason #23: Aging

As age increases, your lean muscles decrease too and replaced with fat. Muscles use more calories, compared to fat. Thus, it causes more calories burning. As you age, calories consumption would be lesser than intake. This leads to weight gain. Moreover, aging causes slow metabolism. You also become more sedentary.

Solutions: Build muscle by doing strength training.

Reason #24: Hormonal Changes And Weight Gain

For women, you may achieve menopause at the age of 50 or earlier. It varies individually. But, as soon as you are menopause, the changes in hormone will affect your metabolism and weight. The drop in estrogen causes the extra pounds to settle in your belly. Also , the fluctuations in your mood will make you difficult to stick to healthy diets and exercise plans.

For men, a drop in testosterone and growth hormone as you are aging, causes decrease in body lean muscles. This will reduce your calories burning as less calories needed for fat cells to work, compared to muscles. In return, it will increase your weight, especially if you don’t cut your calories intake.

Solutions: Try to reduce your calories intake and take high fiber diets to prolong satiety. Slow jogging can aid in burning some calories.

By Dr Nurul

Hi. Welcome to my blog 4 Healthy Solutions. I'm Dr Nurul , a General Practitioner. I graduated from Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy, Russia. I have a genuine passion for holistic health and well-being. My mission is to inspire, educate, and support individuals just like you to reach your full potential. My goal is to focus on the interplay between physical, emotional, and mental health to create a balance that fosters overall wellbeing. My approach will be targeted towards lifestyle modification , alternative medicine and nutrition.

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