Losing weight is a tough task; "baby weight," "freshman 10," desk weight," or whatever you call it, it just does not come off easily. Here are FOUR reasons why it is so hard that we often overlook.
Put simply: stress produces cortisol, a stress hormone, and that hormone produces fat. All that anxiety about what you can and cannot eat or what you ate that you shouldn't have, adds to your difficulty in losing weight. We already have enough stress in our lives, so try to make stress relief (whatever it may be for you) a priority and if you are stressing about food decisions, try to let it go.
2. Caloric Density vs. Nutritional Density.
Consider 2 meals. First, a Big Mac which has 702 calories (this isn't even including the fries and drink!). Second, a homemade chicken salad with dressing, a side of fruit and a small whole wheat bun with butter which can have as few as 400 calories. Which do you think will fill you up more? The first has high caloric density and the second has high nutritional density. The big mac just gives calories while the salad will fill you up more and give you vital nutrients. The Big Mac and all it's calories would be great if you were running two long distance marathons the next day, but for regular life, not so much.
Often times attitude gets in the way of losing weight. People sometimes approach weight loss as if it is a war on their body. Their inner voice is like a drill sergeant in attack mode telling them to work harder, eat less, and that they are not good enough. What a stressful state to be in! When you feel yourself slipping into the war mentality try to shift your thinking towards gratitude and compassion. Let the little voice in your head appreciate the changes you have made. Think about the gifts these changes have provided. Focus on what you have and WILL accomplish. The more you force yourself to think this way the more the war inside you will disappear.
4. Taste buds.
You know what tastes delicious? salt and fat, sweet and fat, spicy and salty... any combination of those flavours makes your taste buds go crazy. Those flavours by themselves are uninteresting and hard to stomach. Ever tried to drink canola oil? Or eat rock salt? If you haven't I am telling you, it is terrible. By combining multiple flavours, like most processed foods, you create an addiction to the combination of flavours. Not to say that it is bad to combine salt and fat, we just need to be aware that sometimes the desire to eat more has less to do with being hungry and more to do with wanting that mix of flavours to pass through your lips. To raise your awareness next time you are out, excuse yourself when you have eaten half of your meal and and brush your teeth or rinse out your mouth. Your desire to eat more will likely diminish and you will feel fresh.