Top 5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

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Losing weight is a battle. It’s normal to hit a weight-loss plateau during your quest to get healthy, but one that’s prolonged can feel discouraging and may tempt you to give up. If it seems as if you’re doing all the right things, but aren’t making any progress, there are a handful of reasons as to why you aren’t shedding the pounds.

5 You Need to Sleep More

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If you don’t sleep enough, your body goes into survival mode and craves fat and carbs because your leptin levels (the hormone that makes you feel full) decrease, and your ghrelin levels (the hormone that makes you feel hungry) increase, according to “Reader’s Digest.” You also burn calories as you snooze, especially during REM sleep. Therefore, the more time that you give yourself to sleep well, the more calories your body will burn. Aim for seven to eight hours.

4 You Drink Too Many Calories

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Many supermarket beverages have nutrition labels that say the contents contain 2.5 servings. At about 110 calories per serving, you’re downing 275 calories when you quench your thirst. Think about the beverages that you enjoy most often and consider alternatives. For example, if you drink multiple cups of coffee per day for caffeine, particularly the sugar-rich creations, switch to green tea. Ditch the soda for mineral water. Instead of drinking a smoothie, throw some fruit into a juicer and give your body a real treat.

3 You Eat the Wrong Foods

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The foods that you eat may not be a healthy as you think – especially if they’re prepared. Eating isn’t just about consuming a certain number of calories. WebMD shares that it’s about eating the right foods and enough food at the right times of day. Base the number of calories, fat and other nutrients that you consume on the advice of your nutritionist or doctor. WebMD says that you should eat at least three meals a day and never skip breakfast. Take a look at nutrition labels before putting food in your shopping cart or mouth. You might find that your favorite store-bought muffin has two times more calories and fat (and is less filling) than a meal that consists of whole foods like an egg, a bowl of fiber-rich oatmeal and piece of fresh fruit. Don’t forget about the damage that seemingly small extras can add. That extra tablespoon of butter on your potato, for instance, can add up to 102 calories to your meal.

2 You Eat More than You Burn

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To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you eat. Your body naturally burns calories as you rest, watch TV or sit in front of a computer. The trick is to not think of exercising as a free ticket to indulge or eat if you’re not really hungry. Talk to your physician or a nutritionist to learn the number of daily calories that you should eat and the amount of exercise that you need to drop two or three pounds per week.

1 You Don’t Exercise

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Diet alone won’t help you lose weight. Health.gov recommends that you do at least 300 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity per week; just a little over 40 minutes a day. The site also recommends doing strength training exercises at least two days a week. A moderate-intensity workout is like gardening, walking at a pace of three miles per hour or water aerobics. When you exercise, your body melts fat and gains muscle, which will help raise your metabolism. If you already exercise, you may need to push yourself a bit harder.

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.

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