Food

Why Aren't You Losing Weight?

Even when you feel like you're doing everything right, certain behaviours can still get in the way of weight loss.

Weight loss is not a simple matter. To succeed, you must change the behaviours that are getting in your way. There are small changes you can incorporate into your daily routine that can help you develop healthier habits and achieve your weight loss goals.

If you're finding you've hit a plateau it may be because you're making some of these common mistakes.

1. Skipping breakfast

Running late for work again? Before you bolt out the door on nothing but a cup of coffee, be aware that skipping breakfast can be bad news for weight loss. Chances are, you're going to feel hungry later, and that may be when you have less access to healthy food and are more likely to reach for a doughnut.

Antidote: Keep something on hand that you can eat on the run, such as fruit, yogurt or fat-free cereal bars.

2. Feasting on family favourites

When your kids or spouse have a favourite family meal, it's hard to ban it from your menu list. Family favourites, such as lasagna, are often high in fat and calories.

Antidote: Serve yourself a smaller serving of the main meal and a large serving of vegetables or salad. It's also a good idea to try to find a lower-fat version of the family favourite.

3. Social overeating

Eating whatever you wanted at a restaurant was OK in the days when people ate out only a few times a year. But these days we dine out every week, if not every day.

Antidote: Search the menu for meals cooked using low-fat methods, such as grilling or stir-frying, and ask for sauces and dressings on the side. That way you can control how much you have.

4. Not counting every bite

A few potato chips while you open the mail. Just a few cookies while you help the kids with their homework. When we snack, we tend to be standing up or have our attention focused on another task. This can lead to thinking the food "doesn't count." Unfortunately, it does.

Antidote: Set ground rules, such as "I don't eat in the car or while I'm watching television." Always keep track of everything you eat during the day. Knowing you'll have to write it down will make you think twice about having that one bite.

5. Expecting too much too soon

After several months of dedication you're down in the dumps—you feel the scale has barely moved. Expecting too much weight loss too soon is an extremely common blunder. A healthy rate of weight loss is up to two pounds a week. But many people aim for more than that, then feel like failures and give up when they don't reach that unrealistically high goal.

Antidote: Make "slow and steady" your mantra. If you really don't believe that one to two pounds lost amounts to much, lift two pounds of butter the next time you're at the supermarket. You'll realize how well you're doing.