You’re eating more veggies than ever and you’re in a serious relationship with the treadmill, but the scale hasn’t budged.
What’s the deal?
Dr. Michaela Tong, a Marshfield Clinic family medicine physician, explained seven possible reasons you’re not losing weight and how to change them.
1. You haven’t given your plan enough time to work.
Don’t give up if you don’t drop weight right away. Your body needs time to adjust to changes in your habits. Tong recommended giving your new diet and exercise plan three months before making big changes.
Aim for 1 pound of weight loss every week or two. Keep your goal realistic and remember, even small losses have a big impact on your health. Losing just 7 percent of your bodyweight in a year greatly will reduce your risk for diabetes and improve your energy level and blood pressure, Tong said.
2. You’re eating more than you think or not enough.
Your diet may not be working if you’re misjudging portion size or skipping meals.
Fill up on protein in the morning so you don’t feel hungry later in the day, Tong said. Don’t skip meals. You may miss nutrients, make up for it in junk food later or not have enough energy to exercise.
Track your food for a few days to learn about your eating habits. Bring your logs to a dietitian to discuss portion sizes, meal times and balance of different food groups in your meals.
Minimize calories you drink by making plain water your beverage of choice.
3. You’re drinking too much alcohol.
Alcohol has empty calories that can add up to stall weight loss, even if you only drink on weekends. Alcohol also can make you feel excessively hungry and crave food loaded with calories. Try jumpstarting your weight loss by cutting cocktails.
4. Your workouts aren’t intense.
Slow and steady exercise isn’t bad, but you may not lose weight if you don’t increase your heart rate. Give your fitness routine a boost with high intensity interval training, which involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by rest periods. You’ll burn more calories in less time and keep burning calories as you recover from the workout.
5. You have a thyroid condition.
Hypothyroidism is a common condition that can cause weight gain or keep you from losing weight. Other symptoms include fatigue, constipation, cold intolerance and dry skin or hair. Your primary care doctor can check for thyroid problems with a blood test and physical exam.
6. Your medication works against weight loss.
Certain medicines, including insulin, prednisone, and some antidepressants and psychiatric medications can cause weight gain. If your weight loss struggle began when you started a new medication, ask your doctor if you can take another medicine with fewer side effects.
7. You’re sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation slows your metabolism and can make you reach for sugary snacks to make up for the energy you’re lacking. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to function their best.