There were two factors that affected my weight gain, and also the reasons I was struggling to lose weight. In the previous article where I quickly outlined how I lose weight, I mentioned one of the factors but didn’t explain further.
However, these are not the only factor, but as far as I know, these two affected me significantly. But, it does not mean I won’t be mentioning other less regarded factors, I will… in the end include a video that explains more hidden factors for weight gain.
The period between early 2000 and 2012, yes for 12 years I’ve been depriving myself of sleep and although I was not doing it overnight more than half of that period I sleep late as 1 AM and wake up at 5 due to work.
At that time, I thought it was cool because I was doing well with the job, and of course, all the hard work paid off.
Later, I think starting in the year 2003 I started gaining the weight, but I didn’t notice much because I don’t weigh myself very often.
The only thing I’ve noticed was my jeans are now very tight and I have to change to a different fit.
Well, just like most people do, I go on what I’m doing never thinking what I would end up with constituting the habit of sleep deprivation.
In the middle of 2012, I think I feel something different. I get tired easily, and it’s difficult to walk farther.
My back pain also worsen and it’s difficult to move and I can’t get up off the bed myself. I need to take medication, and I’m always dependent on medications even with light headaches.
The worst part, my diet is based on highly processed foods as I fall in the idea of no time to cook fresh foods due to lots of work to be done.
These combined with sleep deprivation creates another problem for my weight gain, which I’m going to talk next.
Why Sleep Deprivation Triggers Weight Gain?
I’ve first read about this on Dr. Hyman’s article, and he said was all true for me. I was a heavy consumer of sugar like energy drinks, soda, bottled juices, and processed foods containing added sugars
Here below I include a video by Dr. Hyman explaining more about why sleep deprivation can cause weight gain especially those cravings for sugary foods.
The first thing I did along with the support of my wife, we eliminate the majority of the processed and sugary foods at home.
It was impossible to eliminate all, but we did our best to eliminate the majority of those foods and slowly but surely we’re shifting towards healthy eating.
Note that, prior to this processed foods elimination at home, we were already doing exercise for approximately an hour each day through treadmill and doing cardio.
Sadly, even after a year of doing it, our weight loss was not good and to be honest, it was frustrating. The frustration, I think added more stress to me and it makes me gain what I’ve lost.
It was frustrating because I can’t keep up. I lose 10 pounds this month and gain it back the following month.
It was different results, however, when we shifted to healthy eating. The weight loss is fast while at the same time we have more energy. We agree to sleep as early as 9 PM, so I have to prepare and stop working by 5 PM.
I do work at home, by the way, so it’s easy to get hooked on work even during at late night. It was a difficult move because my mind is pretty much active and can’t slow down…anxious of finishing work after work.
Unusual Means But Effective
We were also looking into a diet that is high in healthy fats known as ketogenic diet, which did very good for us.
I also get into intermittent fasting, which dramatically helped me gained back my ideal weight. My wife didn’t get into fasting because she was losing weight at a desirable rate, which probably due to less stress.
Yes, my wife has an amazing ability to manage stress.
What if you have a problem getting sleep? There are many factors that affect the quality of sleep including diet and exercise.
Fortunately, for me, I didn’t have much issue adjusting my sleeping hours, but I know if didn’t adjust my sleeping routine, I would be one of those who suffering from insomnia or other sleep problems.
If you have a problem getting quality sleep, get help. You can also check these sleep secrets and tips which you may find helpful.
Stress impacted me a lot especially that I didn’t recognize I was stressed out. For those who are reading this article and also struggling to lose weight, this is one of the important factors to look at.
This seems very subtle and when going through it long enough…it may seem become a norm.
In the video below, Dr. Russell Greenfield, an integrative healthcare doctor explains why stress affects weight gain.
He recommends meditation to manage stress, which I totally agree as it does help me overcome any stressful situation and manage stress, as well. If you want to learn more about stress management, check these stress-relieving tips.
Meditation is a practice for over 5000 years. It allows for mental concentration which in turn help you create new thoughts and feelings that ultimately create your results.
Meditation brings your life into balance and helps you calm and centered throughout the day. In turn, this helps improve digestion, adrenal function, and ability to deal with stress.
When meditating it is important to choose a quiet location and assume a comfortable posture.
Then, slowly take calming deep breaths. Start on focusing or just listen to your breath and continue to breathe deeply. This produces a calm relax state in order to begin.
There really is no right or wrong when you meditate. You may also opt to purchase guided meditation that you can listen to while learning how to meditate. Incorporating meditation to daily life can be very helpful in achieving ideal weight.
Meditation, once practiced regularly can be a great booster to willpower and resilience not just for weight loss, but during any stressful situation.
This is really worth doing in my opinion. There are now numerous studies including a study published at Hindawi Journal of Obesity that proved meditation can be very helpful in our health and wellness.
The majority of people who get into meditation for the firs time have a hard time doing it. This is because our minds jump from one place to another, thoughts after thoughts resulting to having difficulty in focus.
There are various guided meditations available online for those who have a hard time getting started with meditation, or you can simply go to YouTube and search for guided meditation tutorials that are free.
Creative visualization is similar to meditation, but instead of inhibiting incoming thoughts, one has to focus on desirable results as it’s happening already.
John Assaraf explains in the video below on how to do it. Most people are using it for financial matters, but it can be used on anything including weight loss.
More Hidden Factors Why You’re Not Losing Weight?
As promised, here are more hidden factors that contribute to weight gain as explained by Ann Louise Gittleman, author of the Fat Flush series books.
She mentioned 5 including stress, which I’ve already explained earlier.
If you’re trying to lose weight but struggling to achieve any results chances you’re affected by any of the factors mentioned. Take action first on factors that you can have control like stress, and sleep deprivation.
Once you tried it and still struggling, it’s a smart idea to seek professional help as there may be other factors affecting that need to be tested through a medical procedure.
If you’re not losing weight, it does not mean it’s the end. Do some research and hang out with people who were already successful in their weight loss journey. But, if you try to address first the two factors that affected me, for sure you would achieve similar results as mine.
Of course, it is not a magical solution as it takes months for the body to adjusts. The good news, though… once you shift to healthy eating particularly eating whole foods, the body can easily adapt and repair itself.
Don’t quit if you don’t achieve anything on the first, second, or even third try. In fact, keep on going and trying and each time you do it, do a different approach. The reason most people quit and give up on their weight loss journey is they didn’t get great results.
However, it may just be the body is responding slowly, and take note how many years it took to gained that weight?
If the weight gain is a result due to 10 years of unhealthy eating and lifestyle, don’t expect the weight to come off in 10 days.
Give it time, and in order to persist and keep motivation high as possible, meditation and visualization are both very helpful.
Weight Loss Benefits
There are many benefits of losing weight and gaining back the ideal weight. So, don’t give up. If you fall, get back up and try again.
Always remember, the first step to losing weight is shifting the perspective. For instance, don’t focus much on losing weight, instead, pay more attention to achieving better health. And, the second step is to eat healthily. Start swapping highly unprocessed foods with whole foods.
There’s a good reason to switch to whole foods because natural organic foods like fresh fruits and vegetables help restore the balance of bacteria in your gut known as the gut microbiome or microbiota.
Recent studies have looked at this gut bacteria to play an important role in health and wellness including weight loss and brain health.
If you’re addicted to sugary foods, check these tips on how to minimize sugar consumption as it’s vital to cut down on sugar consumption especially refined sugars.