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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Not Losing Weight? Find out why.

      Many people start off on a diet, lose weight and then seem to stop losing.  Why?  SparkPeople had an interesting article on “8 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight” written by a personal trainer.  She said it is one of the most common questions she is asked.  She noted that those on a diet may thing they are doing “everything right” but still plateau.  So why are there no changes on the bathroom scale?  This week we’ll review 4 of the reasons and next week continue with the other 4 reasons.  
      Reasons for Not Losing Weight  based on SparkPeople's 8 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight and good nutrition advice from a registered dietitian.
  1.  You are eating back the calories you burn.
Yes, working out is great but then eating everything in sight when you get home, is not so great for weight loss.  When I first started a spinning class, I would come home and be ever so hungry.   When you work out, you do burn up some extra calories.  That is why it is important when dieting to also exercise.  But the personal trainer says people use working out as an excuse to eat more.  “But a lot of people overestimated how much they burn – and then use the “I exercised today” excuse to later overeat, overdrink (think alcohol) or overindulge.”  Or they didn’t work out at all, overeat, and say they will work out tomorrow and then burn it off.

Recommendation:  “Exercise can help you lose when you’re really using it to burn extra calories, not as a reason to eat more.  

     2. You are relying on exercise alone to do the trick.
To lose a pound of body weight many people focus on just cutting back on calories.  But add in exercise to burn off some of those calories and burn off the fat and you don’t have to cut back so much on food.  But it takes both exercise and cutting back on calories to lose weight.  To lose weight you need to change your diet by cutting out some calories and adding in exercise.  Exercising alone may not lead to weight loss, as the personal trainer says, “you can’t out-train a bad diet”. 

Recommendation:  “The best way to lose weight if to cut back on what you eat and increase your burn through exercise – not one or the other.”

      3Eat healthy – but you may not be eating the healthy diet you think you are.
Many of my students think they are eating a healthy diet.  But when they compare their meals and diet to MyPlate, they are missing fruit, vegetables, dairy, and whole grains in their diet.  If Americans were eating such healthy diets, why the increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes?  An easy way to improve your diet is to make more meals that follow MyPlate – a serving of dairy, 2 fruits/vegetables, a grain – preferably whole grain and lean protein. 

Recommendation:  Go to MyPlate and learn what a healthy meal is.  Plan your meals using MyPlate as a guide to healthier eating.   

      4.  You are doing the wrong kind of exercise.

What is best for weight loss, strength training or aerobics or cardio?  Or is it interval training or Tabata training?  Actually both types of exercise are good for those who want to lose weight and keep It off.  Strength training can build muscle and tone.  You want to lose the fat, not the muscle.  Aerobics or cardio burns the calories.  But as the personal trainer notes, don’t rely just on strength training as you won’t burn the calories needed to drop those pounds.

Recommendation:  The best exercise plan emphasizes cardio for calorie burning but still includes strength training to preserve lean muscle. 

To lose weight you need to exercise and reduce your calorie intake.  Start following a personal trainer’s recommendations to lose weight and keep it off.  
Sources:  8 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight,  MyPlate,  Image Source:  MyPlate

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