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10 reasons why you are not losing weight

Last updated on: October 13, 2010 14:29 IST

10 reasons why you are not losing weight

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If you have decided to lose weight, that's good for you. You might be eating healthy now, working out on a regular basis and using all trades of the weight loss book to achieve your goals.

But for some reason, the scale refuses to go down. You are trying very hard to lose weight and might be following instructions to weight loss, but the needle just doesn't budge.

Here are the top reasons why you are losing your battle with weight:

Click on NEXT to read on...

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh


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1. You eat too little

Some people often think that by having a light breakfast and lunch they will be losing weight as their calorie intake is going to be less. There is a misconception that skipping any meal saves calories.

Skipping meals and fasting results in your metabolism slowing down, and your body stops metabolizing fat to lose weight. You should never consume less than 1,200 calories per day.

Strive for atleast three meals a day and always start your day with a healthy breakfast.



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2. Liquid calories

When counting calories, we often ignore calories from alcohol, smoothies, coffee with cream and sugar, sweetened juices, teas, and soft drinks which can easily make or break your weight loss plans.



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3. Too much stress

Being under constant stress can increase the production of the hormone cortisol that can increase your appetite and make you store more fat (especially around the abdominal region).

The simplest way to overcome the overeating is to find a way to manage your stress more effectively. Simple ways to manage stress include taking a few minutes a day to relax or meditate, listening to your favorite music or taking a walk outside.



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4. Hypothyroidism

If thyroid hormone levels decrease, everything in your body slows down including metabolism, a condition called hypothyroidism.

All of the extra calories that you are consuming become stored as fat resulting in weight gain. The right medications will get you back on track towards losing weight.



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5. Cheating in your diet plan

Being too restrictive can result in binge-eating, and you'll be less likely to sustain your diet. You can eat what you like once a week but you should seriously restrict the quantity.



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6. Irregular meal timing

If you're juggling a job and a family, it's hard to eat at regular times. Eating infrequently can also cause weight loss plans to stop working. Your eating habits are directly proportional to your weight loss.

Montage illustration by Dominic Xavier



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7. Lack of sleep

When you don't get enough sleep, it may affect the secretion of the hormone cortisol that regulates appetite. Studies have shown that lack of sleep could increase appetite and compromise insulin sensitivity which can contribute to weight gain.

Furthermore, a new study suggests that even getting too much sleep (nine or more hours a night) may also lead to weight gain. To be an efficient fat-burning machine, your body requires at least eight hours of sleep a night.



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8. Not eating enoughprotein

Lean protein helps you stay satisfied for longer and it boosts metabolism to help you burn more fat. Protein also happens to require the most energy for the digestion process so your total net calories are lower.


Photographs: Peggy Greb/Wiki Commons
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9. Gaining muscle

Weighing scale doesn't tell the whole story always. For example, it doesn't measure the fat mass and muscle mass.

Weight training along with proper diet will lead to fat loss, but it also promotes muscle gain and better bone density. So, if you don't see any improvement although you feel good, it's most likely extra muscle and stronger bone from weight training.

You can measure your body fat percentage to get a more accurate progress from your weight loss efforts.



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10. Insulin resistance

Chronically elevated blood sugar levels result in greater metabolic dysfunction. This is called Syndrome X. If you suspect that you might be insulin resistant, see your doctor for a simple test followed by proper medication.

Obesity is a very complex medical problem in our society and achieving an ideal weight requires a multifaceted approach. Despite what you might hear, fat loss is not just about diet and exercise.

Most people tend to shift from one diet or exercise program to the other when they do not see immediate results. When it comes to weight loss, Patience is a virtue.


Photographs: Bill Branson/Wiki Commons
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