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Are you beginning to think your bathroom scale is broken because that needle never seems to budge? If you just can't seem to drop those extra pounds no matter what you do, don't despair. Dietician Susan Burke is here to help you do some trouble-shooting.
As a registered dietician, one of the most common questions Susan gets asked is: "Why aren't I losing weight?" For those of you trying to find the answer to this question, Susan has eight possible reasons for you to consider.
1. Are you eating too much?
When somebody tells Susan that they don't understand why they aren't losing weight, the first thing she does is monitor how much they are actually eating. According to Susan, most people eat more than they think.
When you have your breakfast cereal in the morning, are you pouring one or two portions into that bowl? Susan says just one additional measure of cereal can account for 100 extra calories. And do you wash down your morning cereal with a glass of juice or a gallon of juice? A couple of extra sips of juice, and you are over your calorie limit for the morning.
"Weigh and measure everything you eat for one week", Susan advises. "That is a good exercise to help you learn about portion size."
No matter what type of healthy eating plan you are following, Susan says you should make it a point to keep a food journal.
2. Is your weight goal realistic?
If you can't seem to lose any weight, it is possible that you need to reassess your goal toward health and fitness instead of weight loss.
"If you're within a healthy BMI, your clothes fit well, you have plenty of energy and you don't have any medical conditions associated with being overweight or obese, weight loss may not be the right goal," Susan says. "Contact our nutrition team to properly assess your goals."
3. Are you exercising at all?
While you can lose some weight without exercising, it is much more effective to exercise. Susan says exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. Besides, if you are trying to lose weight, you need to expend more calories in activity than you are taking in.
"The best predictor of permanent weight loss is exercise", Susan says. "Those people who make activity a normal part of their daily life are more likely to stay slim."
4. Are you giving yourself enough activity?
Even if you are exercising, the problem may be that your body has gotten accustomed to your usual activity schedule. If you kick it up a notch and challenge yourself, Susan says that may be enough to jumpstart your weight loss.
"If your body is not challenged by your level of activity, simply increase your activity", Susan advises.
5. Are you building muscle but not doing aerobic exercise?
If you are doing exercise to increase muscle, Susan says it is important to keep in mind that muscle is denser tissue than fat.
"If you're adding muscle, the scale won't show your improvements, but your clothes will fit better and you'll have a lower percentage body fat", Susan says.
6. Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables?
It is important to include as many healthy fruits and vegetables as you can in your healthy eating plan.
"Studies show that people who include at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day are healthier, leaner and more likely to keep their weight under control", Susan says.
7. Are you drinking enough water?
Don't be afraid to let your water bottle runneth over. Susan says staying hydrated will help you keep a healthy metabolism and flush out toxins.
"Often thirst is mistaken for hunger", Susan says. "Drink a glass of water when you first wake up and every two hours throughout the day."
8. Have you had a check-up?
If you are doing all of the above and still aren't losing any weight, Susan says it is time to see your doctor.
Make an appointment for a check-up, and make sure the doctor evaluates you for any possible medical condition.