If you’ve been trying to lose weight and the scale isn’t budging, there could be some easy explanations. Losing weight sounds simple — just exercise more and eat less. But remember one kilo of fat is 7000 calories, so to lose one kilo, you have to cut 500 calories through diet and exercise every day for two weeks. Other than possible health issues or medications you are taking chances are these are the top reasons your efforts aren’t working and you are not losing weight:
1. Underestimating calories consumed. Simply — you are eating too much. We just don’t know that vada-pav is 300 calories or that one thali meal with 2 rotis, sabji, rice, dal and dahi is about 600-700 calories. We are not in the habit of counting calories and we have no idea how many calories are in our food. It’s a good idea to write down everything you eat, including drinks and even small bites of food, to increase awareness around how much you’re really eating. Be wary of the portion sizes as well. Apps such as myfitnesspal and healthifyme give calorie counts of Indian foods and help you track your intake.
2. Overestimating activity and calories burned. People think that a walking around the park for an hour is enough exercise. It is certainly good, but it really doesn’t burn a lot of calories. Cardio machines at your gym are not very accurate — several studies have found that treadmill and elliptical machine calorie counts overestimate your burn by as much as 10 percent. And if you are sitting the rest of the day, a one hour workout isn’t enough to help you lose weight. Instead, eat healthy foods that fill you up and be active through the day.
3. Not eating often enough. Waiting hours between meals or snacks could slow your metabolism. It’s best to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up, and to eat a small meal or snack every three to four hours throughout the day. These small snacks will ensure you are not famished and overeat at meal time.
4. Poor sleeping habits. Numerous studies have linked proper sleeping habits to weight management. The hormone ghrelin which stimulates appetite, particularly for high- carbohydrate and high-calorie foods, has been shown to be higher in those who get less than six hours of sleep at night. Less sleep also raises levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, which can lead to weight gain. Have a regular sleep routine and do not use the bedroom for work or watching television.
Aside from possible medical issues, these are the main reasons weight loss doesn’t materialize.