Trying to lose weight is one of the most difficult challenges that many people will ever confront. But for some, weight loss goes beyond just sticking to a diet and starting to exercise. Dieters may also confront significant physical, emotional, or environmental barriers that cause weight gain and make it harder to lose weight. If you can’t lose weight, you may want to look for a physical cause. Physical barriers to weight loss may be as simple as lack of sleep or as complex as a medical diagnosis. There are also some medical conditions and medications that may cause weight gain or make weight loss more difficult. When you are trying to lose weight, you owe it to yourself to investigate any physical, emotional, or environmental barriers that may be standing in the way of weight loss success.
In a study about barriers to exercise, participants cited “tiredness” as a common reason that they did not exercise. Exhaustion and lack of sleep can also be a common reason that dieters fall back into unhealthy eating habits and can’t lose weight. Studies have shown that sleep affects the production of leptin and ghrelin, two hormones that affect appetite, weight loss, and fat metabolism. When researchers examined the relationship between weight gain and sleep, they found that people who got less sleep were more likely to have a higher BMI. Family pressures stress from work, and an overcrowded schedule can all contribute to a lack of sleep. But because fatigue can cause a wide range of health issues, addressing it is important. Ask for help from family and friends if your schedule is overcrowded. If stress keeps you up at night, learn relaxation techniques to use before bedtime.