- Diet & Weight Loss
7 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
1. Lift Weights: You Don’t Have Enough Muscle
Have you ever wondered why men seemingly lose weight quicker than women? Muscle burns calories more efficiently. While both fat and muscle tissues consume calories continuously, muscle burns more calories than fat. That's one reason why men often burn calories and lose weight faster than women; they have more muscle.
Solution: Lift weights. You don’t have to start entering body building competitions, but adding some weightlifting to your exercise plan can make a big difference in achieving your weight loss goals. Trainers often recommend alternating between cardiovascular and strength exercises each day or even between each session.
2. Genetics: It’s Not Your Fault
If both of your parents are obese, you’re more likely to be obese. It’s not an excuse; it’s genetics. Many researchers believe that genes, the genetic kind, account for over 50% of your fat reserves!
Solution: Don’t give up! While losing weight may be as much as 50% more difficult for people with genes that predispose them to obesity, there’s hope.
First off, reassess your weight-loss goals. Are they realistic? Remember that losing just a few pounds will make you healthier and less likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Start with a reasonable goal, say 10 or 15 pounds. You might notice significant health improvements, and this in itself might help spur additional loss. The road to any weight loss starts with the first step.
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3. Age: Don’t Act Your Age
A sluggish metabolism is a common problem with aging. A sedentary lifestyle plays right into this as we sit in traffic, work in front of a computer, and watch television after a long day at work. This inactivity usually results in a gradual lose of muscle and an increase in body fat; This, in turn, results in a metabolic slump. Don’t fret, this metabolic slump is not unbeatable!
Solution: First, lift weights every other day. Also, don’t forget the power of movement. Faithfully walking the treadmill for an hour each day, going to yoga for one class, or doing one exercise simply isn't enough. You don’t have to train for a marathon in order to improve your metabolism, but you do have to move a bit more. Get up and do laundry. Walk to a co-worker’s desk. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Take that parking space that is an extra hundred feet from the door. Do things that require movement, even it’s minimal. You’ll be surprised at the positive results.
Some studies suggest that thin people fidget and move more than obese people. This kind of fidgety behavior may burn as much as 400 calories, the equivalent of a large doughnut. If fidgeting can burn 400 calories, a little extra movement can certainly accomplish the same.
4. Calories: Your Body Can’t Burn It
Your body has some complex starvation-coping strategies that just don’t understand your Twinkie addiction. Every person on a diet dreads hearing the obvious. Still, no list of of weight-losing secrets would be complete without addressing this issue once again, perhaps for the millionth time. Simply put, you have to eat less junk food and eat more sensibly; vegetables are better for you and have fewer calories than most junk food.
Solution: You can’t fight evolution; your body expects food but isn't equipped to burn thousands of calories worth of potato chips. Being active every day and throughout the day is half of the solution. The other half is eating low-calorie foods, such as broccoli, carrots, green beans and other non-starch vegetables.
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5. Medicine: Your Prescriptions May Stimulate Hunger
Many drugs stimulate appetite. Notably, some drugs that treat diabetes, depression, and high blood pressure may affect weight regulation. Some will make you hungry, and others may encourage your body to store fat. Drugs are often complex and can affect the brain. Consequently, many of these medications affect weight.
Solution: Ask your doctor about the medications you take. If one of your medications does affect weight, ask if an alternate drug or even a lower dose could work. Always consult your doctor before changing your medications.
6. Size Matters: You Underestimate Portion Sizes
It’s easy to underestimate calories! One recent study found that both women and overweight people tend to miscalculate caloric intake more than others. These miscalculations tend to occur most often when the meals are the largest.
7. Diet Hell: You Set Unreasonable Goals
So, you decided to get serious about losing weight, and you made a list of can't-have foods that could reach across America? Then, you actually stuck to your list, but now you just can’t take it any longer! You decide to binge eat items off your forbidden list tonight, and you’ll start your diet all over again tomorrow, right? Unfortunately, food can be like a drug, and it just doesn't work that way.
Solution: Stop setting yourself up for failure by “dieting” in the first place.
Focus on the good you are doing by making small changes. For example, cut your lunch soda this month, or substitute Twinkies for carrots. Next month, add another small change. Don’t try to stick to some unrealistic resolution that you’ll only keep for a short time. Small changes make a big difference and help you feel successful. If you reach the point where you are eating wholesome foods and vegetables most of the time, you can afford to splurge on don’t-eat foods from time to time. When you do, don’t binge eat, and don’t feel guilty. It’s okay to enjoy these foods from time to time; if they comprise the majority of your diet, there’s a problem.
I am not a doctor or a dietitian. The information contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute advice from your doctor. This information is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regiment, change of diet, or supplements.
Big changes begin with small steps! Good luck!