Are you finding that you can’t lose weight, no matter how much you diet or exercise? For some people, there are legitimate medical conditions like thyroid problems causing this to happen. Others may simply need to make lifestyle changes to exercise more or eat different foods. Here are a few things to look for if you are having trouble losing weight.
The first thing you should do is consult your doctor for a full physical to rule out any obvious medical issues. Thyroid problems are the most common reason for the inability to lose weight, but there are a number of other less frequent conditions that can also cause the problem. A lack of iodine in the diet may be the source of some thyroid problems. Your physician can perform a urine test to check this if it appears to be a problem for you. Some signs of iodine deficiency include physical and mental sluggishness, skin or hair problems, and increased sensitivity to temperature.
If your doctor gives you a clean bill of health and cannot find any medical problem for why you can’t lose weight, your lifestyle is the next place to look. Many people fall into habits with their consumption and will eat unhealthy foods without realizing it or even intending to do so. Make sure you are eating enough protein and not too many carbohydrates. Excessive sugars and grains are easily converted to fat in the body and should be restricted to a small portion of your overall diet.
Simply writing down the foods you eat and the time you ate them will help you analyze your daily routine and see if there are any obvious problem areas. For example, you may find that you frequently eat an unhealthy fast food lunch at work because you are busy or it is more convenient. This can easily be fixed by spending some time in the morning preparing your own healthy lunch for the day, but may slip by unnoticed if you are eating healthy dinners and exercising after work.
Your body composition may also be the reason you can’t lose weight. Muscle cells burn far more energy while at rest than fat cells. If you do not have much muscle, your body may be able to maintain its current weight even when you do not eat very many calories. This leads to starvation diets, which only make the problem worse as the body compensates for the lack of nourishment. Many people get stuck in this cycle and do not realize that the only way out is to eat more food, not less.
In times of famine, the body is designed to slow its metabolism and conserve the few calories that are available. This means more fat is stored, even though you may be eating as little as half of your previous food intake. The easiest way to boost your resting metabolism is to add some strength training into your exercise routine. Building muscle will make your body burn more calories even while sitting at rest, which may eliminate the reasons you currently can’t lose weight.