As women, we’re often bombarded with messages about how we “should” look and what we “should” eat.
It’s easy to get caught up in diet culture and the idea that our worth is tied to our weight. But the truth is, there are a lot of factors that can affect our bodies that have nothing to do with what we eat.
This is one reason 2 people can be the same age, gender, have the same workout routine and even be eating the same things and have different results when it comes to weight balance.
Have you ever felt frustrated with a weight loss journey because you’re eating healthy, working out, and nothing is budging?
While there could be some food factors at play (like not eating enough, actually!) there could be some of the following things that resonate with you too!
Let’s take a look.
5 FACTORS THAT AFFECT WEIGHT (hint: none of them are food-related!)
1 – Sleep
You are a go-getter. You’re a boss-lady and you’ve got a lot on your plate! In fact, you probably feel like you’re often burning the candle on both ends.
Which means sleep can be one of the things that gets sacrificed. But getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy weight!
When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies produce more of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, and less of the hormone leptin, which suppresses appetite. This can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Do you ever notice carb cravings when you’re sleep deprived? That’s because our brain function goes down with lack of sleep, and the first thing our brain uses as energy and to stay awake is… you guessed it, carbs!
So, if you’re trying to lose weight, or balance your weight I like to say, make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye.
2 – Stress
When you think of stress in your life, you might be someone whose stress shows up in your eating behaviors. So, yes, stress CAN be connected to food.
Trust me, stress and emotional eating used to be my biggest challenge! I know it can be a scary journey that feels out of control and like it will never change. If this is you, I highly recommend trying to practice mindful and slow eating as a starting point. Here’s a quick hack on emotional and stress eating that might help.
Ok, so moving on. Did you know that chronic stress can actually cause weight gain? When we’re stressed, our bodies produce more of the hormone cortisol, which can lead to increased appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods.
Stress can also lead to a general lack of motivation to exercise. So, if you’re feeling stressed like, all the time, try incorporating some stress-reducing activities into your routine, such as yoga, journaling, meditation, a relaxing bath, or seeking professional support.
3 – Medications
Some medications, such as antidepressants and certain diabetes medications, among others, can cause weight gain as a side effect.
If you’re taking any medications that you suspect might be contributing to weight gain, talk to your doctor about alternative options. It’s also important to work on body image when we have an outside factor like medication affecting our weight. It’s often out of our control, and beating ourselves up about it isn’t helpful.
It’s ok to acknowledge that it doesn’t feel good to have your body change. But it’s important to Love and honor your body through the journey. If you need help in this area, grab my FREE body love bundle here.
4 – Hormonal changes
As women, we’re all too familiar with the joys of hormonal fluctuations. But did you know that these fluctuations can also affect our weight?
For example, changes in estrogen levels during menopause can lead to weight gain. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, which affects thyroid hormone levels, can also contribute to weight gain. If you’re experiencing unexplained weight gain and suspect it might be related to hormones, talk to your doctor.
You can also work with a hormone specialist like yourhormonebalance.com.
5 – Physical activity
Yes, exercise is important for maintaining a healthy weight. This one is kind of a no-brainer as far as non-food factors that can affect our weight. But it’s important to mention.
If you sit a lot during the day, it’s super important to try to work on a consistent movement routine. If it works for you, you can try incorporating more movement into your day, such as taking a walk on your lunch break or doing some light stretching at your desk.
I usually suggest taking the angle of planning actual workouts in your week. Especially if you have a workout buddy, or you sign up for a class, you’re more likely to be consistent and show up if it’s a structured 30-60 min workout 3-5x a week, as opposed to just “walking more”. Feel the difference?
And if you’re finding it hard to get motivated to exercise, try finding an activity that you enjoy, such as dancing or hiking, and make that a regular part of your routine by scheduling it in your week.
So, there you have it – five factors that can affect our weight that have nothing to do with what we eat.
Big takeaway? Our bodies are complex, and weight is just one small piece of the puzzle. Instead of getting caught up in the diet culture hype, let’s focus on nourishing our bodies with healthy foods, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and finding activities that we enjoy.
Because at the end of the day, a happy, healthy body (no matter what it looks like) is what really matters.
If you found these tips helpful, and you want access to my 5-step Goal-Setting Method and sample Habit Tracker, go to tessietracy.com/masterclass and start setting food, fitness and mindset goals in a non-diet way that actually works!