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By Glenn Mueller

Monday, March 1, 2010.

Are you starting to feel like you just can’t lose weight no matter what you do? Nobody ever said dropping those extra pounds was going to be easy but if your frustration is going up faster than the needle on the scale is going down, it may be time to get some help.

Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Our experts are always here to help, and they can give you the support you need to get your diet back on track. Susan Burke and Raphael Calzadilla offer eight common reasons why you may not be losing weight:

You are eating too much food…
“When someone following a healthy meal plan isn’t losing weight, the most common reason is that they are eating more food than they realise,” Susan says. “That’s why it is so important for people to become familiar with proper portion sizes.”

Until you are able to trust your instincts, weigh and measure everything you eat.

You aren’t getting enough activity…
Though it is sometimes possible to lose weight with healthy eating alone, you will achieve greater success by adding regular exercise to your routine. According to Raphael, making the time for activity at least 3 days a week for 30 minutes can make a tremendous difference.

“Adding regular exercise to your life will help you speed up your metabolism and burn more calories,” Raphael says.

You are being inconsistent with your workouts…
“If you are being inconsistent with your workouts from week to week, you probably aren’t burning as many calories as you think,” Raphael says.

Personally, Raphael would rather his clients be less ambitious and stick to their goals. In other words, he would rather they work out three times every week and be consistent about it than to exercise four times one week and only once the next.

“You have to be honest with yourself,” Raphael says. “Pick a goal that is realistic.”

You aren’t increasing the intensity of your exercise sessions…
Even if you are disciplined about exercising, you won’t burn enough calories if you always follow the same workout routine. According to Raphael, our bodies are designed to adapt to everything we do.


“If you keep doing the same workout, you may not be losing weight because your body has adapted to that exercise routine,” Raphael says.

You aren’t drinking enough water…
When you are trying to lose weight, don’t be afraid to let that cup of water runneth over. You should drink at least 1.5 litres of water every day. Keep a bottle of water on your desk at work, and bring one to the gym as well. You may even want to invest in a water purifier or a filter jug that fits in the fridge. You won’t forget to drink your fill when you make sure there is “water, water… everywhere.”


“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.”

You aren’t getting enough calories…
Believe it or not, getting too few calories can be just as detrimental to your weight loss efforts as taking in too many. If you are exercising, it is especially important to balance your activity level with your calorie intake.

“Some people think they can increase their activity and lower their calorie level at the same time,” Raphael says. “When you do this, your body holds on to stored fat as if in an emergency.”

Certain people actually think they will lose weight faster by skipping meals. Not only is this an unhealthy approach to eating, but Susan also says it is one that nearly always backfires. Skipping meals usually leads to a combination of fasting and overeating that will prove unsuccessful.

“If you don’t put enough fuel in your tank, you aren’t going to get anywhere,” Susan says.

Your weight goal isn’t realistic…

Sometimes you may not be dropping the pounds because your body is already at a healthy weight. In these cases, you should reassess your goal towards health and fitness. Instead of trying to reach an unrealistic weight goal, you should put yourself on a lifetime maintenance programme.

“Many times, people compare themselves to a picture of an airbrushed model and set unrealistic expectations,” Susan says. “Do your clothes fit well? Do you have energy? How do you feel? If all other parameters are normal, you may need to rethink your goal.”  

You may have a medical problem…
In rare cases, you may not be able to lose weight because of an undiagnosed medical problem. If you think this might be the case, Susan says, it is time to see your doctor. Make an appointment and talk to your doctor about your weight, being sure your thyroid function is evaluated.


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