6 reasons why you're not losing weight – even though you're trying

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 3:26 PM

If you're having a hard time losing weight, here are some questions to ask yourself Do you snack between meals? How active are you? Is your weekend diet too relaxed? Do you drink enough water? How are you sleeping? Are your medications part of the problem?

How many friends or colleagues have said to you they're trying to lose weight in the past week? Or perhaps you're that friend or co-worker.

RELATED: Want to lose more weight? Ditch your diet for a couple of weeks, study suggests

We often tell others – and ourselves – that we're aiming to shed a few pounds, but we don't see the results we'd like. If this describes you, you're certainly not alone.

Content Continues Below

The latest statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that more than 36 percent of U.S. adults are obese. Furthermore, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that approximately half of overweight and obese adults say they are trying to lose weight.

Many of these people try for months or years, often failing to see the results they'd like. If this problem sounds all too close to home, here are some questions to ask yourself.

Little Debbie snacks might be undergoing a chance in product.(Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)

1. Do you snack between meals?

You may think you're careful about counting your calories. You eat a balanced diet, and not too much.

But while your meals may be healthy enough and not too large, what about the snacks you eat between them?

Dr. Melina Jampolis, a board-certified physician nutrition specialist, recently wrote for CNN, saying that many of her patients have calorie "amnesia."

"People frequently forget about the little things during or between meals that add up calorically and can interfere significantly with weight loss," Dr. Jampolis writes.

To remedy this problem, Dr. Jampolis recommends keeping a precise calorie journal. This way you'll know exactly how much you're consuming and where you can cut back.

2. How active are you?

Even if you're eating healthy, you may not be nearly active enough. If you're one who drives to work, sits all day at a desk, drives home, sits on the couch and then crawls into bed, you may want to re-examine how much you're moving.

While 10,000 steps is usually the recommended daily minimum for healthy adults, if you're trying to lose weight, this may not be nearly enough.

According to a 2014 report in U.S. News and World Report, an analysis of some 10,000 people (who on average lost 66 pounds and kept them off for at least five years) revealed that they increased their number of daily steps by about 4,000 on average. They maintained this routine for at least 16 weeks, but even that only brought their weight down by an average of just over 3 pounds.

So, if you're serious about weight loss, you'll want to consider starting a regular cardio or gym routine to burn calories at a faster rate.

3. Is your weekend diet too relaxed?

Most of the time when dieting, it's normal to take a routine break, often on weekends.

If you do this, maybe you should examine how much of a break you're giving yourself, according to rippedbody.com. When you drop your diet Friday evening through Sunday evening – aka all weekend – it might be countering the benefits of your strict weekly discipline.

Remember, a few beers, late night snacks and rich desserts can add up quickly. Try being more disciplined about treating yourself. Maybe just one day a week from now on?

(Jan Willem Geertsma/Freeimages)

4. Do you drink enough water?

Most of us don't realize how important drinking an adequate amount of water is to our health and weight loss.

According to Health Line, a 12-week weight loss study showed that people who drank half a liter (or 17 oz) of water 30 minutes before meals lost 44 percent more weight. Additionally, drinking water has been shown to burn calories at an increased 24 to 30 percent over a period of 1.5 hours.

And remember, drinking other beverages – especially soft drinks, which are loaded with sugar – doesn't provide the same effect.

RELATED: Lose the belly pooch: 7 do’s and don’ts to accomplish a flat stomach

5. How are you sleeping?

It may seem unrelated, but studies have shown that inadequate sleep is correlated with obesity.

A survey of scientific studies from around the world revealed that "short sleep duration may be associated with the development of obesity from childhood to adulthood." According to the research, adults who sleep too little have a 55 percent greater risk of becoming obese, whereas children see a disturbing 89 percent greater risk.

RELATED: Here’s what happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep

6. Are your medications part of the problem?

According to Dr. Jampolis, not all physicians are adequately trained in obesity medicine and nutrition. She cautions that some may inadvertently prescribe medications that lead to weight gain or hinder weight loss.

"Benadryl, Ambien, benzodiazepines, older antidepressant and antipsychotic medications, Paxil, beta-blockers (for high blood pressure), several diabetes medications including insulin, sulfonylureas and thialidazones, and some contraceptive methods, especially Depo-Provera," all have been linked to weight gain.

If you're struggling to lose weight and you're taking one of these medications, you may want to discuss the issue with your doctor.

The questions listed above highlight some of the most commons reasons people don't see the results they desire when trying to shed pounds. 

There are, of course, other possibilities as well. If none of the above seems to fit your situation, you may want to speak with a registered dietitian or your doctor to analyze your specific case.

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

Grandma was right: Why it's good for your health to be outdoors

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:37 PM

It will feel like 100 degrees at times, said Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs

Sure, there are treadmills at climate-controlled gyms and Nintendo's Wii is still going strong with indoor workouts like Zumba Fitness 2.

»RELATED: 5 ways to keep outdoor party guests off the mosquitoes' menu

And yet, old-fashioned advice to "go outside and play" is still the best for your health, according to researchers the world over. In one study published by the NCBI, researchers found a decrease in both heart rate and cortisol levels when participants spent time in the forest instead of the city.

Content Continues Below

"Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy," the researchers concluded.

The encouragement to "get outdoors" for health holds even in the face of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America's assertion that pollen seasons have gotten stronger and longer over the years. The workaround: the AAFA recommended limiting outdoor activities, but only on days when pollen is high for the trees or grasses you are allergic to.

Being outside delivers other health rewards, too, from sharp mental health benefits to improved memory and decreased inflammation. 

Here are four of the most significant health benefits from spending time outdoors, according to Business Insider:

Walking in the woods can improve your short-term memory. "Nature walks have memory-promoting effects that other walks don't," BI noted, citing a study where participants who walked among trees did 20 percent better on a memory test than those who had taken in city sights.

Outdoor experiences can fight depression and anxiety. Time in nature may combat depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, especially when combined with exercise.

One study associated walks in the forest with decreased levels of anxiety and bad moods while another found outdoor walks could be "useful clinically as a supplement to existing treatments" for major depressive disorder, BI reported.

Being outdoors has a demonstrated de-stressing effect. One study published by NCBI found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of the stress marker cortisol than those who spent that time in a city.

Spending time outside reduces inflammation. Inflammation in overdrive is associated with ills that include autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, depression and cancer. "Spending time in nature may be one way to help keep that in check," BI noted, referencing a study where students who spent time in the forest had lower levels of inflammation than those who spent time in the city. 

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

Back-to-school selfies may spread super lice, expert says

Published: Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 4:40 PM

Super Lice

Parents may want to add super lice remedies to the back-to-school shopping list.

2013 study in the Journal of Medical Entomology found that in North America, most head lice has evolved into a new, more powerful strain that is immune to traditional lice treatments, hence the name “super lice.”

Content Continues Below

» RELATED: Back-to-school sales starting early as first day approaches

» Ohio teachers can get school supply discounts at Target

» Secret Service safety guidelines: What are local districts already doing?

» Find more resources at our Dayton Back to School Guide 2018

Canada had been experiencing an alarming rise in cases, and there have been multiple outbreaks across the U.S. in recent years.

Because super lice can be difficult to get rid of, prevention is key, and that’s where those popular selfies come into play.

Any activity that brings kids’ heads within close contact with one another, or involves sharing combs, hats, etc. will raise the risk of contracting lice. Dawn Mucci, founder of Lice Squad, told Global News in 2016 that she is seeing a growing number of lice cases among teens, likely due to the selfie craze.

Despite the scary name, Lice Clinics of America cautions that combing and nitpicking can still be effective treatments. The clinics also provide a lice remover kit for super lice, and AirAllé, an FDA-cleared lice device for professional lice treatments.

Still, the best way to prevent infestation is to keep your head away from other heads.

Parents should consult a medical professional on the most effective, safe treatments for super lice.

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

Baby sleep: 7 tips for surviving the first few months

Published: Thursday, July 12, 2018 @ 9:59 AM

The first few months of motherhood can make you feel like you're the unwitting victim of a sleep-deprivation experiment.

The common advice is to sleep when the baby's sleeping, but that only works if your idea of getting rest is sleeping for two hours at a time and giving up all your other responsibilities.

»RELATED: 9 common infant illnesses (and when to worry)

Content Continues Below

When your baby finally starts sleeping through the night, you'll wonder how you survived so long without your normal amount of sleep. In the meantime, these seven tips will help you survive the first few months:

Keep the lights low

When you're getting up at nighttime to feed your baby, Today's Parent recommends that you refrain from turning on the overhead light or a lamp. Instead, use a battery-powered LED nightlight that you can stick where you need it. Your body associates bright light with waking up and avoiding it can help you - and your baby - drift back to sleep more easily after a feeding.

Cut down on caffeine

Caffeine can certainly give you a boost and you may feel like you can't make it through the day without the help of some coffee or soda, but if you're breastfeeding, you should remember that it doesn't only have a stimulating effect on you. Your baby is also getting a dose of caffeine, and it stays in the baby's system much longer compared to yours – about 96 hours, according to Parents.com.

Share a room

For the first six to 12 months, your baby may sleep better in the same room as you. This allows your baby to feel secure, which helps him or her regulate breathing, temperature and nervous center reactions, according to The Bump. It also makes it more convenient for you to feed your baby and get back to bed quickly. But, as The Bump cautions, while the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends same-room sleeping, you should avoid bed-sharing for safety reasons.

Use soothing sounds

Household noises, car sounds and other distractions can keep your baby from falling asleep and they can unexpectedly wake them up. A white noise machine may be able to help them sleep better by providing a constant, consistent sound that soon becomes associated with sleep, suggests The Bump. After all, your baby was surrounded by the consistent sound of whooshing blood while in the womb. Consider getting a portable machine so you can use it away from home.

Get some help

The first few months of a baby's life are definitely a blessing, but they're also exhausting. Parents today are often more isolated than they used to be, so don't be afraid to ask for help from your co-parent, family or friends so you can get some much-needed rest, Dr. Harvey Karp tells People. Your helper can keep your baby happily occupied while you take a nap, or, if you're bottle-feeding with formula or pumped breast milk, your co-parent can share feeding duties.

Be consistent

Babies' brains store sequences that become patterns, so if you can establish a consistent bedtime routine with elements like bathing, nursing and a lullaby, your baby will expect sleep to follow, according to AskDrSears. If your work schedule makes a late afternoon nap and later bedtime more practical, that's fine, but try to keep the pattern consistent.

»RELATED: More parenting news from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Skip some middle-of-the-night steps

It's OK to skip a diaper change after a nighttime feeding if it isn't soaked through or soiled, or if your child doesn't have a diaper rash or sensitive skin, Dr. Michael Cohen told Parents.com. Instead, use absorbent nighttime diapers and thick diaper cream to protect your baby's skin. He also says you may be able to skip burping at night, especially if you breastfeed, as most babies nurse less avidly at night.

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

9 infant illnesses to watch for (and when to worry)

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 @ 9:41 AM

Researchers are using brain scans to determine if babies are in pain.

The first couple of years of children's lives are full of discoveries for their parents.

You'll learn about their personalities, their favorite foods and what makes their faces light up. However, that time can also be a little unsettling due to some common ailments that infants often encounter within the first few years of their lives.

»RELATED: More parenting news from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Content Continues Below

Here's a list of nine illnesses a new parent might want to monitor and suggestions on when to seek medical help:

WebMD recommends seeing a doctor immediately if your child develops a fever over 100.4 F when he is less than three months old.(ajc.com)

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot and mouth disease starts with symptoms like a sore throat, reduced appetite and fever. Within 24 to 48 hours, small red spots start to develop. Eventually those spots will blister and become painful sores that affect the mouth, palms and the soles of the feet for about seven days.
When to call the doctor: If you notice your child's symptoms getting worse or if they are unable to drink fluids, the Mayo Clinic recommends seeing a doctor.

Fifth DiseaseFifth Disease starts as a low fever accompanied by mild cold-like symptoms, per the health site KidsHealth.org . A few days later, a bright red rash appears on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. The marks are often itchy.
When to call the doctor: If your child has a wide-spread rash with a fever or cold-like symptoms, you should schedule a visit to a doctor.

»RELATED: Is it normal for my child to grind their teeth?

PinkeyeIf you notice watering, redness or swelling of the whites of your child's eyes, he or she probably has conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye, a condition caused by allergens or by bacteria. The bacterial form is highly contagious, so be sure to wash your hands regularly. When to call the doctor: Baby Center recommends bringing your child to the doctor at the first sign of pink eye symptoms.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
WebMD defines RSV as "a common, and very contagious, virus that infects the respiratory tract of most children before their second birthday." Signs of infection include cold-like symptoms such as a cough or runny nose that lasts for one or two weeks. 
When to call the doctor: If your child is refusing to feed, is unusually inactive, is having trouble breathing, is coughing up discolored mucus, or is showing signs of dehydration, it may be a good idea to make an appointment to see a doctor. 

RoseolaA sudden, high fever is the first sign of roseola. The fever might also come with a sore throat, mild diarrhea, runny nose or cough. Once the fever breaks, small pink spots or patches might appear; possibly with a white ring around some of the spots. Roseola rashes are not itchy and only last for a few hours or days.
When to call the doctor: If your child's fever exceeds 103 degrees Fahrenheit  or lasts more than a week, it might be time for a doctor appointment. You should also make a call if a rash doesn't clear up after three days.

Viral GastroenteritisCommonly called a stomach flu, viral gastroenteritis can be identified by fever, watery diarrhea, pain or cramping in the abdomen and vomiting.
When to call the doctor: Healthline recommends seeking emergency medical treatment if your child is dehydrated, has blood in their diarrhea or has diarrhea for three days or more.

(Jayshree Watkins)

Ear Infection
Per parenting.com, your child might have an ear infection if they show symptoms such as crankiness, unwillingness to lie flat and crying during feeding. The presence of allergens, like cigarette smoke or animal dander, can trigger an infection.
When to call the doctor: If you suspect your child has an ear infection, it might be wise to have a doctor check their ears since too many untreated ear infections can lead to future health concerns.

Influenza
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and fatigue. Infection spreads easily, as people are often contagious before showing any signs of illness.
When to call the doctor: Parents Magazine recommends getting your child an annual flu vaccine to avoid this illness. However, if they start showing symptoms, you might want to see a doctor right away.

FeverIf your child's body temperature spikes suddenly, it is likely that he has a fever. A fever is a common symptom of a number of illnesses. If the fever is accompanied by dehydration, a rash or trouble breathing, it could be a sign of a serious illness.
When to call the doctor: If your child develops a fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit when they are less than three months old, WebMD recommends seeing a doctor immediately. 

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories