4 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

Scale stuck? You might not be eating often enough. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Are the pounds not dropping off like you expected? Have you hit a weight-loss plateau? One of these may be the culprit (via Everyday Health):

  1. Underestimating calories consumed. According to 2011 survey from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, a not-for-profit health education organization, only 9 percent of Americans can accurately estimate how many calories they consume every day, even though two-thirds of Americans are on some type of diet. For a more accurate estimate, write down everything you eat (including drinks and small bites of food), measure portion sizes at home, and plan ahead to order healthy meal options at restaurants. Many restaurants will list nutrition facts for each dish on their websites.
  2. Overestimating activity and calories burned. You can’t always trust the cardio machines at the gym. Research from multiples studies shows they can overestimate how many calories you’ve burned by as much as 10 percent. And remember: exercising more doesn’t mean eating more if you need to lose weight. Instead, choose healthy protein and fiber-rich foods.
  3. Not eating often enough. Waiting too long in between meals could be slowing your metabolism, making it harder to burn calories. To keep your metabolic rate steady, eat within one hour of waking up, and enjoy a small meal or healthy snack every three to four hours.
  4. Poor sleeping habits. Getting quality zzzs is key to weight management. Insufficient sleep can raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can induce weight gain. If you’re having trouble nodding off, try an A.M. workout to minimize exercise’s effects on your sleep cycle.
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