Q:

Why am I not losing weight?

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Quick Answer

Weight loss can be stymied by many internal and external factors such as slow metabolism due to medical conditions like hypothyroidism, medications, or eating foods high in sodium, causing water retention. While dieting, It is common to reach a plateau where weight loss stalls for several days or a few weeks, but that does not mean that fat is not being lost. Many foods cause weight fluctuations, and hormones play a part as well, especially in women. When dieters exercise, they gain muscle, which is a boost to losing body fat because muscles use more calories per day, according to Prevention magazine. There are better ways to track weight loss progress than the scale. Dieters can take a waist measurement weekly, track their Body Mass Index (BMI) percentage monthly, or simply try on clothing that was once tight in front of a mirror.

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Full Answer

Focus on Becoming Healthier
Diets seldom work and can cause weight gain over time, according to a study conducted by Frontiers in Psychology in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health. This study emphasizes the importance of concentrating on becoming healthier with sound nutrition as a basis rather than deprivation to achieve weight loss.

Unrealistic Expectations
In today's world, it's difficult to refrain from comparing an individual's body shape or size with those of models and bodybuilders, but genetics dictate, so it's wise to keep this in mind when attempting weight loss. When a healthy diet and exercise program is followed, many are disappointed the results come slower than expected. It's important to remember that although weight loss may be rapid in the beginning due to water loss combined with a reduced calorie intake, a healthy loss is one to two pounds per week. When some weight loss occurs followed by a never-ending plateau, it can mean the body has reached its set point, which simply means it's comfortable at that weight and struggling to go beyond that may be pointless.

Drink More Water
In a 12-week study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), participants who drank 17 ounces of water 30 minutes prior to their meal lost 44 percent more weight than those who did not.

Cut Back on Carbohydrates
When there is a lot of weight to lose or type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes are present, a low-carbohydrate diet may be effective in increasing weight loss, according to a study published in The Journal of Diabetic Medicine. Study subjects following a low-carb diet lost two to three times more weight than those on a low-fat diet. Low-carb eating has other perks including improved triglyceride levels, HDL cholesterol and blood sugar.

Eat More Protein
Protein is essential for losing weight because a diet consisting of 25 percent to 30 percent protein boosts metabolism, burning 80 to 100 calories a day. Thanks to its appetite-regulating properties, protein reduces cravings and snacking.

Eat Mindfully
One of the most powerful weight loss and management techniques is mindful eating, which simply means paying attention to how the body responds to food:

  • Eat without distraction sitting at a table that is set with silverware, a plate and napkin
  • Slow down, savor each color, flavor, smell and texture of each bite on the plate
  • Listen to the natural messages the body sends that indicate satiety
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Stop eating