4 Barriers to Losing Weight

Strength training allows you to increase the volume of muscle mass, which affects the basal metabolic rate and allows you to overcome one of the barriers to losing weight.
4 Barriers to Losing Weight
Saúl Sánchez

Written and verified by el nutricionista Saúl Sánchez.

Last update: 16 March, 2021

Many of us have encountered barriers to losing weight as we’ve attempted to find that perfect bodyweight or shape. It’s important to prepare a number of strategies to deal with them, and thus achieve the goal in a reasonable period of time. We’re going to show you the most common ones so that you can be aware of them.

Before starting, it’s necessary to emphasize that the body recomposition process depends on 3 fundamental pillars: diet, exercise, and rest.

If any of these fail, then it’s likely that you won’t achieve your expected results, as we’re talking here about a multifactorial process in which several different concepts must be analyzed. It’s always best to put yourself in the hands of a professional in order to minimize errors.

Barriers to losing weight

We’re going to discuss the main barriers to losing weight, the position of science on the matter, and the solutions that can be proposed to overcome them.

1. Poor composition of the intestinal microbiota

The set of bacteria that inhabit the intestine is known as the microbiota. They perform multiple functions, including participating in metabolism and the absorption of nutrients.

If the normal profile of the microbiota is altered, then nutritional inefficiencies may arise, which condition fat weight gain or the inability to oxidize lipids in large quantities to produce energy.

This situation usually creates a stagnation in weight loss for which there’s no apparent explanation. It can be determined by several factors. In the first place, if the subject was obese, then the harmful diet that they followed for years has taken its toll on this organ.

Another possibility is that they have a low intake of dietary fiber, which can reduce the creation of beneficial bacteria in the body. The prolonged use of antibiotics or food poisoning can also have negative impacts on the microbiota.

What could be the solution?

Be that as it may, when we encounter a situation of this type, the most urgent thing is to act to improve the health of the microbiota. Only in this way will it be possible to increase the efficiency of our metabolism and absorption of nutrients, thus generating a reduction in fat weight.

According to a study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, the use of prebiotics and probiotics has been shown to be effective in promoting weight loss by increasing the health of the intestinal flora.

However, sometimes a strong dysbiosis process can be experienced, through which pathogenic microorganisms proliferate in the intestine. In this case, it may also be necessary to prescribe a complementary pharmacological treatment, although this is the doctor’s responsibility to prescribe.

One of the barriers to losing weight is the abundant activity of intestinal bacteria.
The presence of an abundant intestinal microbiota is vital, and its alterations can interfere with weight loss.

2. Little physical activity

There is solid evidence that exercise is one of the fundamental pillars that can stimulate the loss of fat tissue. When the person hardly does any exercise, then this can become one of the barriers to losing weight.

Many people focus mainly on endurance exercise, but this isn’t the most effective if the aim is to carry out a body recomposition. Very long aerobic work can cause catabolism at a muscular level, which has a negative effect on the basal metabolic rate and, therefore, on the energy balance.

The best thing here is to start a strength training workout plan that aims to increase muscle tone and cross-section. In this way, hypertrophy is generated, which increases daily energy needs and increases the oxidation of fats for energy production.

There are also other alternatives that have shown benefits, such as high-intensity interval exercise. This is also characterized by stimulation at a metabolic level, as well as by the search for strength and power work, which produces adaptations at a muscular and cellular level.

In the case of resistance or cardiovascular exercises, they improve the efficiency of the myocardium, which has a positive effect on the irrigation of the tissues.

3. Little sleep

Sleeping too little or too many hours affects the metabolic rate, body composition, appetite, and weight loss. This is evidenced by a study published in The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, which reflects the effect that breaks in rest have on circadian rhythms and, with it, on the body’s adiposity levels.

Keep in mind that during the night the body carries out many physiological reactions to carry out homeostasis and the repair of tissues damaged during daily activities.

If this repair is not carried out correctly, then the body will be conditioned during the next day. If this situation occurs regularly, then you can experience serious health problems beyond the accumulation of fat at a subcutaneous level.

You must take into account that the quality of sleep and rest is closely linked to habits. Reducing stress levels through relaxation and meditation techniques, avoiding exposure to electronic device screens before going to bed, and taking the right supplements are habits that can make a difference.

In relation to the latter, we must highlight the role of melatonin. This hormone is capable of improving the quality of rest when consumed exogenously.

Experts have demonstrated its capacity to combat sleep disruptions, better manage jet lag and reduce the risk of depression. We recommend that you take a dose of at least 1 mg half an hour before going to bed.

4. Little variety in the diet

Proposing a hypocaloric menu is often not enough. Beyond the energy balance, there are other factors that determine the reduction of subcutaneous fat and that can pose barriers to losing weight. In this sense, guaranteeing variety in the food consumed is crucial.

Many vegetables, for example, contain phytonutrients capable of increasing fat oxidation, which has a positive effect on body composition. An example of them would be ginger, whose effects have been demonstrated in research published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

In the same way, accompanying meals with a spicy element such as cayenne pepper or jalapeno peppers contributes to increasing the metabolic rate, which would be an important support to lose weight.

Another nutrient whose presence in the diet has to be guaranteed is protein. This is responsible for repairing lean tissue and promoting muscle growth.

If it’s provided in the appropriate doses, then muscle catabolism can be experienced, which has a positive impact on the energy balance, reducing daily caloric consumption.

One of the barriers to losing weight is boredom in eating.
The lack of variety in the diet can become an obstacle to losing weight.

There are still many barriers to losing weight that haven’t been identified

Beyond what we’ve mentioned so far, it’s necessary to emphasize that there are barriers to losing weight that haven’t yet been identified. These are genetic variations that can modulate the body’s response to a certain food or nutrient. This generates differences between individual people, requiring a high degree of personalization of the dietary pattern.

Unfortunately, we still don’t have the knowledge or technology to identify all the variations in the genome that may be related to nutrition or body composition.

However, experts expect that in about 10 years an answer will be found to many of the questions that currently arise.

Nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics, two complex sciences which we still know little about, are responsible for studying these phenomena. Many specialists work in both branches to elucidate the interactions between genes and foods, in order to establish algorithms that will allow the design of appropriate diets for each person.

When this is done, the field of nutrition will undergo a real revolution. Questions about why certain diets work for some individuals and not for others will be resolved. It will also be possible to guide people in the correct way, minimizing the margins of error.

Many barriers can prevent you from losing weight

It’s important to get to know the most important barriers and know how to address them. In this way, you’ll avoid falling into frustration and abandonment.

The most frequent are the four that we have told you about, which are, in turn, closely related to lifestyle habits. By polishing these concepts, the person will experience an efficient improvement in body composition.

Keep in mind that the best way to start a weight loss protocol is to have the help of a professional.

These are the ones who can make a complete assessment of each case, letting you know which are the most appropriate according to the individual characteristics of the subject in question. This reduces the possibility of error and safeguards health.

Finally, don’t forget that it’s always advisable to avoid very restrictive diets and so-called miracle products. These don’t only fail to help achieve the results they promise, but they also put the proper functioning of the body at risk.

They often create nutritional deficits that can affect the efficiency of the human body in generating the physiological processes that keep it active.

In this sense, we must always prioritize habits that can be maintained over time. Very often, opting for the faster route doesn’t end up being the best option.

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