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Top 5 Problems Encountered In Weight Loss

Updated on January 30, 2010

Losing weight is easy, right? Eat light, exercise hard and the pounds just melt away. Well, yeah, that may work for a few days or a few weeks... and then you find you can no longer eat just one potato chip, or you start coming up with excuses for skipping your workout or you simply get to that point where the pounds just stop dropping off.

Most of us have some block that we run into on the path to losing weight. Here are five of the most common barriers to weight loss and provided strategies that will help you get past them and move on to a slimmer, fitter body.

Problem #1: You're Eating Less but Craving More

Cutting way back on calories, skipping meals or vowing never again to eat ice cream may help you drop pounds fast but will ultimately undo your success. Quick-fix, short-term thinking can trip you up since the more you deprive yourself, the stronger your cravings become.

If you're bored with your food, then you're eating the wrong food. You won't stick with any diet if you don't like the food. Here's how to eat well and stop those cravings.

Don't abandon favorites. With careful planning, you can have chocolate, ice cream or any other high-calorie, high-fat treat, and still lose weight. The key is to eat what you want, but mind the portions. Giving up something completely won't last, so find a way to fit it into your long-term plan.

Take a cue from Martha. Learning how to prepare food will help you appreciate it more, and make it easier for you to stick with a healthy eating plan. Make it fun. Take a low-fat-cooking class, or ask a friend who's lost weight to share their recipes and ideas... over dinner.

Be adventurous. Buy at least one new food, such as an exotic grain like quinoa, or an interesting produce item, such as star fruit, every time you go shopping. If you like it, incorporate it into your usual meal plans. If not, try something else next time.

Go for low-fat gadgets. Nonstick pots and pans, a rice cooker, a vegetable steamer or a garlic press can make preparing healthy meals easier and more fun.

Problem #2: You've Hit a Weight-Loss Wall

You're doing everything right. So why has your progress stalled? A plateau is your body's way of acclimating to a new weight in a healthy way. If you've been in a holding pattern for more than 2 weeks, here's how to take yourself to the next level.

Mix things up. Learn to play tennis, take up yoga or try any other sport you've never done before. Doing the same type of exercise week after week can decrease your calorie burn because your muscles become more efficient at the activity. Variety, on the other hand, will keep your muscles at their calorie-burning peak.

Track your progress. Once the pounds start coming off, it's easy to slip back into old habits. Keep a food and activity log to help you stay on track.

Throw away the scale. Instead, focus on the increased energy you have, the way your favorite pair of pants no longer digs into your stomach or the decrease in your blood pressure. The scale, you see, is not your best measure of success. If you're strength training, in fact, which is highly recommended, the scale might actually go up a bit because you're building muscle. But don't panic: Muscle might weigh a bit more than fat, but it looks a lot better and also burns lots more calories.

Get a new weight-loss plan. What helped you to lose the first 10 pounds may not be the right way to lose the last 10 pounds. You may need to make some adjustments such as exercising a bit more or eating a little differently. For example, eat more vegetable-based soups to fill up on fewer calories.

Continued In Top 5 Problems Encountered In Weight Loss, Part II


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    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto

      Personally I love brown rice and could legitimately go on a macrobiotic diet except for the fact that if I don't get red meat every day I become a homicidal maniac. :)

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago

      I agree that cooking your own food can promote weight loss. You can choose healthier ingredients such as brown rice instead of white rice, or lean meat instead of fatty meat, etc. Plus, cooking makes you move around more(stretching to grab stuff from high shelves, walking back and forth between the fridge and the sink), so it is a kind of light workout :)