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Why are you not losing weight in your weight-loss program?

When you go on a weight-loss program, nothing magical happens. To succeed, you’ll need to work at it. And it helps to be aware of the factors that affect weight-loss success:

  • What to do when you've hit a wall while dietingNot exercising enough – It’s easy to overestimate calories burned by exercise. For weight loss, five cardio workouts each week at a medium-high intensity are recommended. Fast walking or running are good choices. Judge the intensity by your ability to carry on a conversation. If it’s easy to visit with someone, go faster. If you can’t chat at all, slow your pace down.Lifting weights is helpful. Check with a reliable trainer or online source for guidance on safe weight training.
  • Not enough sleep – While the connections between sleep and weight loss aren’t fully understood, studies show losing sleep can affect metabolism and make you feel hungry. Staying up late can leave you hungry for a snack. Make sleep a priority. Try for eight hours a night. Go to bed and get up at the same time – even on weekends.
  • Too much stress – Stress can cause weight gain. It affects your sleep patterns and your hormones, which can lead to more hunger.
  • Skipping meals – This can lead to slower metabolism, which means you’re burning fewer calories and storing fat. And food cravings later in the day can drive you to overeat.
  • Too many calories – Eating smaller portions is good, but be aware of the calories in the foods you eat. Choose foods lower in calories. Fruits and vegetables are a good choice. Liquids such as juice, sweet tea, soda, and sports drinks can have lots of calories. Read nutrition labels to compare calorie content in foods.
  • Not knowing calorie intake – One pound equals about 3,500 calories. Track what you eat for day or two. If you normally eat 2,500 calories a day, eat 2,000 calories and exercise 30 minutes daily (the workout burns 250 calories). By week’s end, you could see a 1.5 pound weight loss.
  • Inconsistent workouts – To help control weight, exercise needs to be consistent. Choose fitness activities that you enjoy. And make your exercise plan a personal priority.
  • Getting off track on weekends – Overindulgences such as alcoholic beverages, snacks, appetizers, and desserts can blow days of weight-loss work. Stay on track!
  • Impatience – If you do the calculations using the calorie numbers above, you’ll see it can take about 5 days to lose a pound. Depending on the individual, weight-loss may be slower. Be patient. With consistency in calorie control and exercise, your efforts will pay off.
  • Medical conditions – A condition that reduces your mobility can affect your exercise. And medicines can cause weigh gain. Your doctor or a dietician can offer ways to work around these issues.
  • Hitting a weight-loss plateau – Sometimes you stop losing weight because your body has adapted to doing the same exercise. Change some part of your program every 4 – 6 weeks. Be aware that your body may be replacing fat with muscle. In time you’ll see weight loss as the metabolism increases thanks to the new muscle.