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Top 4 reasons why you are not losing weight

8/26 14:07:28

The battle of the bulge is something many of us want to win. But there are several reasons which hinder our attempt to reach this goal. Dr Jessica Bartfield of the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care in Chicago points out that only 20 per cent of people who vow to lose weight succeed.

‘Dieting is a skill, much like riding a bicycle, and requires practice and good instruction,’ said Bartfield in a statement. ‘You’re going to fall over and feel frustrated, but eventually you will succeed and it will get easier.’ Here are Bartfield’s top four reasons why diets fail — and how to avoid them. 

Underestimating the number of calories consumed

Most people sabotage their weight loss efforts by underestimating their daily caloric intake, says Bartfield, a theory that builds on a steady stream of research. A study out of Cornell University, for example, found that overweight people underestimate the number of calories consumed by as much as 40 per cent. Bartfield suggests writing down everything you eat in a day, including drinks, snacks and ‘bites’ of food to increase self-awareness. She also advises looking up nutritional information of favourite take-out meals before going out to eat.

Overestimating activity and calories burned

‘Typically you need to cut 500 calories per day to lose one pound (0.5 kg) per week. This is very difficult to achieve through exercise alone, and would require 60 minutes or more of vigorous activity every day. A more attainable goal would be to try to increase activity throughout the day (household chores can also help you lose weight) and get a total of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week. Buy a pedometer and track your steps because walking 10,000 steps a day can help in weight loss. But be careful — exercise is not an excuse to eat more.’

Poor timing of meals

When it comes to weight loss, timing is everything. Try not to go longer than five hours without eating a healthy snack, Bartfield advises. Eat breakfast within one hour of waking up, and eat every three to four hours. That will keep the metabolism steady. Here are 13 ways to boost your metabolism. 

Inadequate sleep

People who get fewer than six hours of sleep have been shown to have higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates the appetite, particularly for high-carb, high-calorie foods, says Bartfield. Fatigue can also raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain. Get enough sleep to let your body recover and be better prepared for exercise. Here are 10 tips to have a good night’s sleep. 

With inputs from AFP

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