What is a physical barrier?

According to the dictionary the meaning of the words:

Physical - Of or relating to the body as distinguished from the mind or spirit.

Barrier - Anything that restrains or obstructs progress.

Thus a physical barrier pertains to something going on in your body that is hindering your weight loss efforts.

The most common physical barriers to weight loss are metabolism, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep and illness and/or medications.


Metabolism is a complex biochemical process. In simple terms your metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself.

Many people say they can't lose weight because they have a slow metabolism. It's very rare for a person to have a slow metabolism that prevents them from losing weight. If you think you have a slow metabolism have your physician check you a thorough check up and discuss it with him/her.

It's interesting to note that morbidly obese people usually have a higher BMR than a skinny person does - It takes more energy to keep their organs active. Your BMR - Basal Metabolic Rate - is the amount of calories your burn at rest.

Sadly, it's true that your metabolism does get a bit slower with age. But it's not a dramatic decrease. You may just need to exercise a bit more or eat just a little less to maintain your weight.

Good News! You can increase your metabolism with regular exercise and by eating. Yep, you heard me right, you can increase your metabolism by eating - studies show that people who eat 3 healthy meals a day plus snacks have a higher metabolism. The reason for this is ... Food is fuel for your body - it's where you get the energy that your body burns to survive. Give your body good fuel and it will thrive for you.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Todays society is more sedentary than ever! We use our cars for everything - even if we are just going around the corner to the market. We have more sit down/mentally challenging jobs than performing physical labor. Machines have replaced many of the factory labor jobs of the years gone by. After a day of work we sit down in front of the TV or computer until its bedtime.

The excuses we give for not exercising are we are too tired, it's boring, it's not convenient or we don't have the time.

Believe it or not, when you begin exercising you will be amazed by the energy it gives you. Exercising revs you up and improves your mood. It's the best "stress buster" there is. When you get that afternoon slump, try taking a small walk, it will reenergize much more than that chocolate bar.

Different activities attract different individuals. If you hate the gym - don't go. If walking is boring to you - don't walk. Maybe you'd enjoy aerobic classes more, or bike riding, or playing tennis etc. Join a sports team. Try exercising to your favorite music or while watching your favorite show. Some people exercise while playing their favorite video games. Saying "it's boring" is just an excuse. Find something you enjoy and start doing it.

Time seems to be a factor for everything these days. I find it amazing how many time saver gadgets we have - yet we are always looking for more time ....

Simply put you need to find the time. Be it getting up a few minutes earlier to exercise in the morning (but then you'd have to go to bed earlier) ... Stopping at the gym on your way home from work ... Or integrate three 10 minute periods of exercise into your day. Many people find it much easier to find 10 minutes here and there than a 30 minute block. Studies have shown that multiple small bouts of exercise are just as effective.

Exercise is a vital element for good health and weight control. It is also one of the most common habits amongst people whom have successfully lost weight and kept it off.

Lack of Sleep

Over two dozen studies imply that people who sleep less weigh more. It's estimated that 63% of Americans do not get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night. Could this be one of the reasons for the rising obesity in our Nation?

You may be wondering how exactly sleep affects your weight. We have two hunger hormones, Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrelin stimulates our appetite. Leptin lets us know when we've had enough. And wouldn't you know it .... When you are tired Ghrelin increases and Leptin decreases.

And to make matters worse our brain interprets a decrease in leptin as a sign of starvation ... and that means our bodies start to store fat.

When we are tired we tend to grab high sugar foods for calories, become easily stressed, and too exhausted to exercise. On the other hand when we are well rested life is easier to handle and we are more likely to make wiser choices.

Establish good sleep habits. Try going to bed around the same time each night - even on weekends. Don't read, watch TV, play on the computer etc if it keeps you from having a good nights sleep.

If you have insomnia, or are tired all of the time be sure to check with your physician. You'll want to rule out any health conditions you may have such as sleep apnea.

If you're having a difficult time dropping those unwanted pounds, maybe it's time you took a long hard look at your sleeping habits. Make sleep a priority, not only for your weight but for your overall physical and mental health.


First off you should always check with your physician before beginning any weight loss or exercise program.

If you've been staying on a weight loss program and are not losing any weight, it could be for medical reasons such as hypothyroidism, anemia or Cushing's syndrome. It could also be because of the medication your taking. Hormones, contraceptives, some blood pressure drugs, diabetes medications and antidepressants can cause weight gain.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor to go over your personal history and medications.

Your weight loss journey is your personal experience. It's about you, every challenge you have overcome and every little goal that you have achieved.

Author's Bio: 

Cindy Holbrook has always been interested in diet and nutrition due to her own weight struggles. Get the latest greatest tips and tricks to succeed in your weight loss journey at http://www.bestweightlossprogram4me.com
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