Diet & Nutrition, Fitness

5 surprising reasons you might not be losing weight


Trying EVERYTHING and just don’t see those kgs shifting?  Trainer and founder of VARLAH, Lexy Meyerson explains what you could be doing wrong. 

We all know that losing stubborn weight and keeping it off can be challenging. Not everyone wants to live off salad and long exercise sessions and there’s emerging research to suggest that exercise and diet may not necessarily be the most effective methods of losing weight.

Here, we are going to unravel some surprising reasons you might not be losing weight by highlighting the unexpected weight loss benefits of eating dessert, breathing, topping up our supplements, getting the right amount of shut-eye and staying hydrated.

You don’t drink enough water

We’ve all been told time and time again about the myriad of health benefits that come from being adequately hydrated but did you know it may also help you lose weight?

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Water is the most cost-effective and natural appetite suppressant on the market. Having just one glass of water before every meal and snack could be the answer to losing those last stubborn kilos.

A 2014 study that delved into the effects of water consumption on body weight and appetite in overweight females showed that adding in just 1.5L of extra water a day resulted in reduced body weight, BMI and appetite in just eight weeks.

You aren’t sleeping enough

According to the recent Australia Talks National Survey 2021, millions of Australians aren’t getting enough sleep, with about a third of Aussies saying they are getting less than the minimum recommended amount of seven hours of sleep a night. The result of this can be detrimental to a healthy body weight.

There is now a lot of research that suggests there’s a positive correlation between poor sleep quality and weight gain, metabolic disorders, and the increased risk of obesity.

You only have to look at yourself as an example. Think back to the last night you slept poorly. You were probably less likely to commit to your morning workout and more likely to reach for a quick calorie-dense fat or sugar fix to pep you up. And yes – studies also show that our food preferences change when we are sleep-deprived.

You need to breathe more

Thanks to dietitians, nutritionists, personal trainers and doctors alike, there is a misconception that has come to be widely believed and reported as true. Many believe that fat is converted to energy or heat, but did you know that most of the weight loss actually occurs via breathing?

According to researchers at the University of New South Wales and their study published in The BMJ, when weight is lost, the majority of it is breathed out as carbon dioxide and not, as once thought, as energy or heat. These super smart dudes have even formulated a calculation to illustrate how we actually “lose weight”.

It also goes without saying that focused deep breathing reduces stress levels which in turn can decrease emotional eating and food cravings, hence encouraging greater weight loss.

Consider eating dessert for breakfast

Could the key to weight loss be giving in to your cravings instead of ignoring them?

It looks like dessert could be the new breakfast of champions! This one seems a little too good to be true but a study published by the Tel Aviv University has found that a 600 calorie breakfast that includes dessert can help people lose weight and keep it off over the long term, suggesting that the addition of our favourite cookies, cakes and pastries could be the key to losing weight. Sign us UP.

Take a good quality vitamin D supplement

And finally, we already know that vitamin D is critical for good bone health, immune health and improves mood, but early research suggests that it may even help reduce the waistline.

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted with two groups of overweight participants being put on an exercise and diet program yet only one group being given a vitamin D supplement daily found the vitamin D topped group lost more weight over time.

Though it may be too early to say just how effective this is for weight loss, with the plethora of associated health benefits with keeping our vitamin D at a healthy level, it’s definitely worth giving it a go.

Lexy Meyerson is a mum of three kids, a qualified trainer and the founder of Australia’s leading on-demand fitness streaming service, VARLAH.