Whether you’re trying to lose a lot of weight or just looking to shed a stubborn 10 pounds, getting the scale to go down feels like an uphill battle. In fact, research proves you’re not just imagining how difficult it can be to lose weight.
According to one study published in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, people are 10 percent heavier today—even when they consume the same number of calories and have similar exercise routines as their counterparts in the 1970s. The researchers hypothesized that environmental factors, such as our food, chemical-filled personal care products, and increased stress may play a role in why we’re heavier when all other factors are the same. “We’re finding that weight management is much more complex than just energy in versus energy out,” wrote study author Jennifer Kuk, professor of health science at York University.
Here, four other science-based reasons why you might be struggling to shed pounds—and tips on how to make the weight-loss journey easier