There’s nothing more frustrating than working hard at losing weight, and stepping on the scale and not seeing it move. Losing weight is not only tough physically, but it can be tough mentally as well. Depending on what type of weight loss program you’re on, there could be a myriad of reasons why you’re not seeing the pounds tick away.
Many people believe dieting is just about eating less. But eating half a Big Mac instead of a whole one isn’t exactly the ideal way to lose weight. Examine the types of foods you are eating. Make sure you are getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (fruit punch and french fries don’t count) and that you’re getting an adequate balance of all food groups. Your body needs a balance of nutrition not only to function properly, but also to be able to burn the fat you’ll need to lose weight. If you’re not sure if the foods you are eating are really healthy, check the nutrition labels to ensure you’re getting enough of the good nutrients, like fiber and protein, and not too much fat or too many calories.
The type of exercise you do has a direct impact on the number of calories you burn. The exercises you’re doing could be burning fewer calories than you think, which could contribute to a lack of weight loss. According to the Mayo Clinic, cardiovascular workouts that increase your heart rate are the most effective way to burn calories. Lifting weights is a great way to tone muscle, but by itself it won’t burn as many calories as cardio and aerobic exercise. To make sure you’re getting a quality cardio workout, exercise around your target heart rate for at least 30 minutes every day.
If you know you’re eating the right kind of food and still not losing weight, you could be eating too many calories, or even not enough. Too much and your body will store the excess calories as fat; too few and your body will think you are starving and store fat away to preserve itself. Eating too few calories will also cause you to be hungrier and thus more prone to overeat at the next meal. Use a calorie calculator to find out how many calories your body needs in order to lose weight. It will factor in your height, age and current weight as well as your average daily activity.
About this Author
James Patterson specializes in health and wellness topics, having written and produced material for the National Institutes of Health, the President’s Cancer Panel, and an Inc. 500 Hall of Fame company. He is also a former sportswriter, with writing experience in basketball, baseball, softball, golf and other popular sports, and writes relevant sports titles.