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6 reasons you’re not losing weight

Feel like you’ve tried everything to lose weight and nothing is working? Check out these barriers to weight loss and find out if one of them is getting in your way

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You’re not getting enough sleep

Not only do we crave unhealthy comfort foods when we’re tired, but our sleep levels are linked to our hormone levels, says Joey Shulman, the Thornhill, Ont.-based author of The Last 15-A Weight Loss Breakthrough. “People who are sleep-deprived tend to have more secretions of the hormone cortisol, so they’re more stressed out. And that’s going to trigger fat storage as well,” she says. Lack of sleep also causes fluctuations in the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin, which indicate whether you’re full or hungry.

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diet temptation

You’re following a fad diet

“Diets that don’t target an individual’s eating habits and behaviour and give them the tools to change, that by definition is an unfair approach and an unfair diet,” says Dr. David Macklin, a family physician as well as the founder and president of Weightcare, a company that tailors weight-loss programs for clients using a multi-disciplinary approach.


One commonality many of these fad diets share is that they don’t focus on long-term change. “People want a quick fix and easy strategies for weight loss, and worry about changing their habits later,” says Toronto-based registered dietitian Stefanie Senior.

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night snacking

You’re eating at night

“One of the problems with eating at night is that people are not eating enough during the day,” says Dr. Arya Sharma, chair for Cardiovascular Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta. “If you’re tired and famished by the time evening comes around, you’re more likely to eat whatever is convenient (such as junk food) and consume most of your day’s calories at a time when your metabolism is slowing down due to lack of food during the daytime.”

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woman eating chips

You’re snacking on the wrong foods

“For some people, snacking is better and for other it’s a catastrophe,” Sharma says. That’s because some snackers are better at planning ahead while others are more impulsive and head straight to the vending machine when hunger strikes. The key to healthy snacking is to nosh in a controlled way and not to graze just because you’re feeling peckish.

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low carb diet

You’re eating too much of one thing

In his new book, Why We Get Fat, Gary Taubes, a best-selling book author and contributing correspondent for Science magazine, argues that foods rich in carbohydrates are the main cause of the obesity epidemic. While some medical experts claim that cutting carbs can be unhealthy, Taubes says that, according to his research, everyone’s diet should essentially be low in breads, grains and even fruits.

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fitness gym boredom

You’re bored of your workout routine

No matter how good the fitness plan, sticking with the exact same routine day after day is hard-and discouraging. In his first book, 5-Factor Fitness, Hollywood trainer Harley Pastnernak recommends a different workout for every day of the week, each focusing on a different body part. Whether you vary the number of reps you do or make a switch from cardio to resistance training, it’s important to vary your routine enough so you don’t get bored. “At least one thing should be different daily,” Pasternak suggests.

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