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Why many of us don't shed kilos after exercise

Why don't Weight Loss after exercise?

Why many of us don't shed kilos after exercise

Most of us eat more when we exercise, and though it may be just a few extra bites a day, the result is weight gain.

People hoping to lose weight with exercise often wind up being their own worst enemies, according to the latest, large-scale study of workouts, weight loss, and their frustrating interaction. The study, which carefully tracked how much people ate and moved after starting to exercise, found that many of them failed to lose or even gained weight while exercising because they also reflexively changed their lives in other, subtle ways. But a few people in the study did drop pounds, and their success could have lessons for the rest of us.

In a just and cogent universe, of course, the exercise would make us thin. Physical activity consumes calories, and if we burn calories without replacing them or reducing our overall energy expenditure, we enter a negative energy balance. In that condition, we utilize our internal energy stores, which most of us would call our flab, and shed weight.

But human metabolisms are not always just and cogent, and multiple past studies have shown that most men and women who begin new exercise routines drop only about 30 percent or 40 percent as much weight as would be expected, given how many additional calories they are expending with exercise.

Why exercise underwhelms weight reduction remains an open question, though. Scientists studying the issue agree that most of us compensate for the calories lost to exercise by eating more, moving less, or both. Our resting metabolic rates may also decline if we start to lose pounds. All of this shifts us back toward positive energy balance, otherwise known as weight gain.

It has not been clear, however, whether we tend primarily to overeat or under-move as compensation, and the issue matters. To avoid compensating, we need to know how we are doing it.

9 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight

1. Losing Sleep.

Lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain. A 2006 study found women who slept five hours a night were more likely to gain weight than women who got seven hours of sleep. Researchers speculate that:

  • Losing sleep may make you feel hungry, even when you're not.
  • Experiencing sleep deprivation may affect the secretion of cortisol—one of the hormones that regulate your appetite.
  • Being tired may cause you to skip exercise or simply move around less, burning fewer calories.

Getting enough sleep is crucial if you're trying to lose weight, not just because of how it affects you physically, but mentally as well.

Sleep deprivation can make you feel cranky, confused, irritable, and can even contribute to depression, which can affect your activity level and food choices.

2. Feeling Stressed.

Stress and weight gain, or lack of weight loss, go hand in hand. Constant stress can contribute to several health problems. Here are just a few ways stress can impact your weight loss program.
  • Experiencing cravings: When we're stressed or unhappy, many of us reach for "comfort foods" that are high in sugar and fat.
  • Raising cortisol: Like sleep deprivation, too much stress increases the production of cortisol. Not only does this increased appetite, but it can also cause extra abdominal fat storage.
  • Skipping workouts: Feeling down, fatigued, or stressed can make a workout seem too daunting.

Taking short moments throughout the day to consciously check in with yourself and lower your tension levels is a good starting place for dealing with chronic stress. Mindful meditation is a good way to bring more calm to your life.

3. Eating Too Much.

One of the most important factors in weight loss is how many calories you're eating versus how many calories you're burning—or the concept of calories in vs. calories out.

It may seem obvious, but unless you're tracking your calories each day, you may be eating more than you think. In fact, research has found that most of us underestimate how much we're eating, especially when we go out to eat.

For example, when assessing the calorie content of fettuccine Alfredo or chicken fajitas at a restaurant, participants underestimated calories by 463 to 956.5 That's a pretty big discrepancy and one that could easily affect weight loss goals. To more closely track your diet, try these tips.

4. Experiencing Slow Metabolism.

Metabolism can slow for several reasons, one of which is age, particularly if you don't preserve your muscle mass. Some estimates show that muscle mass declines about 4 percent each decade from ages 25 to 50, which is important as lean muscle burns more calories than fat.

If you're still eating the same number of calories as your metabolism drops, your weight may creep up over time. Start exercising and lifting weights now to keep your metabolism in check.

5. Exercising Too Little.

Exercise is, of course, a crucial element to weight loss, but it's hard to know if you're doing the right workouts or burning enough calories. Start by looking at your overall program to get a sense of how much you're exercising and how much you really need.

If you're not close to that, this gives you a place to start. This doesn't mean you have to start working out for almost two hours a day, however. In fact, that's a bad idea if you're not used to that level of exertion, as it could lead to injury, burnout, or overtraining.

6. Taking Weekends Off.

It's not uncommon to find yourself doing well during the week only to get a little too relaxed in your exercise and diet over the weekend. While an occasional break and treat are fine, consistently letting go on the weekend could be hurting your weight loss goals.

7. Having a Medical Condition.

Weight loss is a complex process involving a variety of factors. Some we can control, such as our diet and exercise. We can also work to manage stress and develop good sleep habits.

Some factors influence weight loss that we can't control, such as our genes, sex differences (including the influence of hormones), age-related changes, and our individual body type.

If you aren't losing weight despite changes to your diet and activity level, see your doctor to rule out a medical condition as the cause. Not only is this important if you aren't seeing a difference in the scale or your body despite your efforts, but even more so if you're inexplicably gaining weight.

Conditions Causing Weight Gain

  • Thyroid conditions.
  • Medications to treat diabetes.
  • Corticosteroid (steroid) medications.
  • Some antidepressant medications (SSRIs).
  • Beta-blockers are used to treat high blood pressure.
  • Antipsychotic and anticonvulsant medications.

8. Having Unrealistic Goals.

Many people have an unrealistic idea about what it means to be at a healthy weight.7 If you take away all the reasons you want to lose weight that have anything to do with how you look, are there any other reasons you need to lose weight? Are you at risk for medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease? Is your BMI in an unhealthy range?

A conversation with your doctor can help you make sure your wishes and goals are in line with what's not only healthy for your body but possible. For some people, losing weight may be an important component of getting and staying healthy.

9. Being Impatient.

Just because you're not losing weight doesn't mean you're not getting positive results. Your body may be making changes that a scale simply can't measure, so hinging the evaluation of your success on how much you weigh can sometimes be discouraging. Reflect on these questions when looking at your results. Are my weight loss goals realistic? Experts agree a realistic weight loss goal is losing half a pound to two pounds in a week. If you try to lose more than that, it's not likely to be sustainable.

Am I seeing any results? Forget about the scale. Use other changes as a gauge. Here are some ideas that you can review. Losing inches even if you're not losing pounds, Noticing clothes fit differently, Slimming down somewhere