You may already know that you must burn excess calories to lose weight. But, because the process of losing weight can be more complicated than it seems, you may be disheartened to discover that you aren't lose weight despite regularly exercising. Exercise is just one small piece of the equation. You will improve your chances of successfully losing weight if you first monitor your health and observe every aspect of your lifestyle.
You’re Not Doing Enough
Regular exercise may not be enough if you’re consistently not burning off more calories than you consume every day. Most people need to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, and people who are trying to lose weight may need to boost their daily exercise to somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes to get results. If you haven’t reached this level yet, gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to see if you notice a difference. For example, walk an extra 15 minutes per day and you can burn off several hundred extra calories per week. Also find ways to incorporate more muscle work; the more groups you work, the more calories your body will burn. Weight-bearing exercises such as hiking and dancing burn more calories than lower-impact exercises such as swimming and stationary cycling.
You’re Eating Too Much
Even if you have been trying to make healthier eating choices, you may unwittingly be sabotaging your efforts by letting yourself “cheat” on weekends. To get a better idea of how healthy your diet is, keep a food journal for two weeks. Include every item you consume, including the butter on your toast and ketchup on your hot dog, and be as specific with measurements as you can. You may discover that you cancel out your calories burned through exercise just by refilling your soda at your lunch break. To reignite your weight loss, cut out an excess 200 calories every day and talk to your doctor about whether an even greater calorie deprivation is a healthy option for you. When cutting your food intake, avoid dipping below fewer than 1,200 calories per day
You Expect Too Much Too Soon
Others’ dramatic weight loss success stories can be motivating, but they can also be detrimental to your own weight-loss efforts. Factors such as your body size, sex, age and genetic profile can influence how fast your metabolism is and dictate how quickly you can lose weight. For example, a young man with plenty of muscle is likely to burn off calories at a faster rate than a post-menopausal woman. Stay committed to your weight-loss regimen, regardless of how fast or slow the measurable results may come. Instead of despairing over numbers on a scale, focus on how fit and healthy you feel, and the weight loss will follow.
You Need Medical Assistance
In some cases, medical conditions such as an underactive thyroid gland and Cushing’s syndrome can lead to excessive weight gain or inability to lose weight. Additionally, a number of drugs, including hormonal medications for menopause and contraception, certain antidepressants, anti-psychotics and diabetes medications, can cause you to have trouble losing weight. Consult your doctor if you believe that a condition or medication is preventing you from meeting your weight-loss goal.
- WomenFitness.net: Top 10 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weightrel="nofollow"
- American Council on Exercise: Weight Loss Plateaus and Pitfallsrel="nofollow"
- Kids Health: Metabolismrel="nofollow"
- “Psychology Today” magazine; Can’t Lose Weight? It’s Probably Your Metabolism!; Jacob Teitelbaum, MD; 2008rel="nofollow"
- MedlinePlus: Weight Controlrel="nofollow"
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.