You've been a very good girl, dieting for weeks, but you step on the scale and that number hasn't budged since your last weigh in. What gives? No worries, lovie. There are lots of reasons you're Not Losing Weight, and some of them are pretty easy fixes. So before you swear off dieting for good and slide back into your frumpy too-big sweatpants, let's review. Here are 10 reasons why you're not losing weight.
1. You're Not Being Realistic
Let's face it: no matter how hard you try, no matter what diet you follow, you are not going to lose 20 pounds in 2 days. You have got to set realistic expectations, so you're not disappointed, thus quitting your diet. And if you quit your diet, of course, you're not losing weight.
2. You're Not Keeping Track of All Your Calories
Dieting to lose weight is really a math problem, isn't it? The calories you consume must be fewer than the calories you burn, and you'll lose weight. If you're not losing weight, then maybe you're not counting your calories, and that's a very good place to start.
3. You're Not Sure about Serving Sizes
Let's try a quick experiment: grab a cereal bowl, and pour what you think is a serving size. Now measure it, and compare that against what the box says is a serving size. Chances are, you poured about two and a half servings. That's fine, as long as you're counting the calories for two and a half servings. The moral? Be aware of serving sizes, and count the calories in them accordingly.
4. You're Not Exercising (or Maybe Not Enough)
You are not going to lose weight by dieting alone. You absolutely must exercise, regularly and strenuously, too. Not only will you not be losing weight, you'll become the skinniest flabby girl on the planet, and that's just not the look you're going for.
5. You're following a Fad
Do some fad diets, like Atkins, work? Yes... with a caveat. The trick is that once you go back to real life — no one can go without carbs forever! — your old eating habits will still be there, and you'll gain all the weight you lost right back. Forget the fads. Follow a healthful, well-rounded diet, pair that with regular, strenuous exercise, and you'll lose your extra weight, and keep it off for good.
6. You're Dealing with a Side Effect
Watch any TV commercial for any prescription drug, and at the end of the commercial, you'll hear a long, frightening list of side effects. Listed among them might be unexpected weight gain... so check the side effects of any prescription drugs you're taking, and see if, perhaps, that's why you're not losing weight.
7. You're at a Plateau
You've been dieting successfully for weeks or months, then suddenly, even though you're still following your diet, the scale stays put. This is so common, there's a word for it: a plateau. Don't worry. Stick to your regimen and diet, and you'll get over the hump, and start losing pounds and inches again.
8. You're Not Sleeping Well
This may sound weird, but did you know that people who sleep as they should actually lose weight more effectively than people who don't? Perhaps this is an improvement over the old “beauty sleep” adage?
9. You're Eating 3 Big Meals
Here's something else that sounds odd, but may explain why you're not losing weight. Eating five small meals a day, rather than three large meals a day, can help keep your metabolism rocking, and help you lose weight.
10. Your Scale is Broken!
And finally, of course, is the explanation that makes the most technical sense. If you've been following your diet and exercise routine, if your clothes are fitting better, and if you're darn sure you've lost weight, but your scale doesn't register it, then perhaps it's time to get a new scale!
See? It's not hopeless! Go down this list, and see if your reason might be lurking here. If not, there could also be something medical going on, so consult your doctor. And don't give up! You'll get there, girl, back in your skinny jeans before spring! Or maybe you've already overcome some of these weight loss obstacles... if so, how? What was holding you back from losing weight? Please share!
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