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New Zealand Woman’s Weekly - - THIS WEEK IN... -

The 11 rea­sons you’re not los­ing weight

There are many pos­si­ble rea­sons why you’re strug­gling to shed ki­los. These in­clude:

YOU’RE MISJUDGING POR­TION SIZES

You might think you’re opt­ing for health­ier foods, but if you’re eat­ing large amounts of those foods, it could mean you’re not los­ing weight. Re­search has shown we tend to vastly un­der­es­ti­mate calo­ries in larger por­tions and end up overeat­ing. Us­ing smaller plates and keep­ing a food jour­nal can help you to keep on top of what you’re con­sum­ing.

YOU’RE RE­LY­ING ON EX­ER­CISE TO LOSE WEIGHT

Stud­ies have shown that ex­er­cis­ing alone isn’t go­ing to help you lose much weight. You have to ex­er­cise stren­u­ously to burn off high-calo­rie foods – for ex­am­ple, it’ll take around 48 min­utes of car­dio ex­er­cise to burn off an or­der of large fries from a fast-food out­let.

The other is­sue with ex­er­cise is that it can stim­u­late appetite, so that you end up eat­ing more af­ter a work­out than you would have if you hadn’t been so ac­tive. For best re­sults, ex­er­cise should be used in con­junc­tion with a healthy eat­ing plan.

YOU’RE NOT SLEEP­ING ENOUGH

There’s a link be­tween lack of sleep and weight gain – too lit­tle sleep in­ter­feres with the pro­duc­tion of hor­mones that reg­u­late appetite and send your brain the mes­sage that you’ve had enough. Make get­ting around seven to eight hours’ sleep a night a pri­or­ity.

YOUR DIET IS TOO RESTRICTIVE

Cut­ting out too many calo­ries can lead to crav­ings that are hard to re­sist. Al­low­ing your­self an oc­ca­sional treat can help you to avoid binge eat­ing. For ex­am­ple, eat­ing a few squares of dark choco­late could stop you pig­ging out on a fam­ily­sized bar of choco­late.

YOU’RE KIDDING YOUR­SELF THAT YOU’RE EAT­ING HEALTHY FOODS

Just be­cause some­thing is good for you, doesn’t mean you should overindulge. Yes, nuts have health ben­e­fits, but they are also high in calo­ries. If you’re eat­ing a whole bag in one go in­stead of a hand­ful, you’re not go­ing to lose weight, in fact you could put it on. Eat­ing lots of “diet” foods is also a mis­take. Many so-called low-calo­rie foods are ac­tu­ally full of sugar, so you’re not go­ing to lose weight by eat­ing them. YOU’RE DRINK­ING EXCESS CALO­RIES

You might be pay­ing care­ful at­ten­tion to what you are eat­ing, but ig­nor­ing what you drink is a big mis­take. Sug­ary soft drinks, in par­tic­u­lar, are one of the ma­jor con­trib­u­tors to obe­sity. Al­co­hol, es­pe­cially beer, can also be fat­ten­ing. Fruit juices are also high in sugar and should be di­luted or avoided if you are try­ing to lose weight.

The best drink for weight loss is wa­ter.

YOU’RE NOT EAT­ING ENOUGH PRO­TEIN

Pro­tein can boost your me­tab­o­lism, which may lead to you eat­ing fewer calo­ries in a day. Pro­tein also af­fects the hor­mones that reg­u­late appetite. Stud­ies show that peo­ple who eat a high-pro­tein break­fast are less hun­gry and have fewer crav­ings dur­ing the day. Eggs are a great source of pro­tein for break­fast.

YOUR EX­PEC­TA­TIONS

ARE UNREALISTIC

If you are fret­ting be­cause you’ve been try­ing to lose weight and you’ve hardly shed any, it might be time to re-set your goals, mak­ing them more re­al­is­tic. While some peo­ple can steadily lose a kilo a week, oth­ers may find de­spite their best ef­forts, they only drop a few hun­dred grams.

Don’t give up, just fo­cus on the fact that you are do­ing some­thing right be­cause you are los­ing weight, even if it is not as much as you’d like.

Try work­ing out with weights once a week or giv­ing up al­co­hol dur­ing week­days and see if that makes a dif­fer­ence.

But don’t get dis­cour­aged – over time, the amount you are los­ing will mount up and you’ll soon be able to no­tice a dif­fer­ence.

YOU’RE NOT PAY­ING AT­TEN­TION TO EAT­ING

Many of us eat on the run or while we’re do­ing other things, such as watch­ing

TV or check­ing so­cial me­dia. When your mind is else­where, you tend to eat fast and eat more than you need.

Nu­mer­ous stud­ies have shown that mind­ful eat­ing, in which you pay at­ten­tion to what you are eat­ing, how it tastes and when it makes you feel full, can lead to sig­nif­i­cant weight loss. Get into the habit of eat­ing with­out dis­trac­tions and know­ing when to stop.

YOU’VE GOT A MED­I­CAL CON­DI­TION THAT IS MAK­ING WEIGHT LOSS HARDER

Some med­i­cal con­di­tions lead to weight gain and make it trick­ier to shed the ki­los. These in­clude:

• Poly­cys­tic ovar­ian syn­drome • Cush­ing’s syn­drome • Hy­pothy­roidism

• Syn­drome X (or in­sulin re­sis­tance)

• De­pres­sion

• Chronic stress.

You may need to get treat­ment for these be­fore you start to see any drop in weight.

YOUR MED­I­CA­TION IS MESS­ING WITH YOUR

DI­ET­ING EF­FORTS

It’s not only med­i­cal con­di­tions that can cause weight gain – so can some pre­scrip­tion drugs. Those that can cause is­sues in­clude: • Med­i­ca­tion used to treat type 2 di­a­betes • Schizophre­nia or an­tipsy­chotic drugs • Beta-block­ers, which can be pre­scribed for high blood pres­sure and some heart con­di­tions • An­tide­pres­sants

• Hor­mone re­place­ment ther­apy • Birth con­trol pills • Cor­ti­cos­teroids taken for con­di­tions like asthma • Anti-seizure med­i­ca­tion. If med­i­ca­tion seems to be to blame for weight gain, and in­abil­ity to lose it, your doc­tor may be able to pre­scribe an­other drug that won’t have the same ef­fect.

It may also mean that you have to put more ef­fort into try­ing to shed the ki­los.

You need 48 min­utes of car­dio to burn up one large serve of fries.

Yes, it is pos­si­ble to get past a weight

loss plateau.

A few squares of dark choco­late could help curb that sweet crav­ing.

Mix up your ex­er­cise rou­tine and try weights

once a week.

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