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6 reasons you're not losing weight

11:00 Fri Feb 24 2012
MSN NZ
6 reasons you're not losing weight
Mate, you've got a fair bit of work to do yet

There are several reasons you might not be shedding kilos despite your best efforts to exercise and eat well — and you probably have no idea these habits are affecting your weight...

You don't realise how much you eat
Cutting your favourite processed foods out of your diet is a great first step but it might not be enough. Portion control is a key factor in losing weight. A portion of meat should be the size and thickness of your palm and servings of carbs should also be limited.

Beware of all the empty kilojoules you might be consuming every day without realising it. Your morning coffee, the chocolates that get passed around the office and the healthy (but fatty) nuts you constantly snack on can add up to extra kilos.

You don't work out enough
Many of us overestimate how many kilojoules we burn during a workout. To lose 1kg of body fat in a week, you need to burn an extra 5000kJ a day. To do that, a man weighing 82kg would have to run for 90 minutes at 10km/h. So unless you're training pretty hard almost every day — or contributing to that daily kilojoule deficit by eating less — you won’t see a shift in your weight.

You're stressed out
If you're constantly stressed at work, your body might be producing extra cortisol, a hormone that can increase appetite and fat storage around your belly. Not only is this bad for your look, but belly fat is linked to diabetes and high cholesterol.

You don't sleep enough
Lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, though the guys in lab coats aren't exactly sure why. One theory is that sleep deprivation affects metabolism and makes us feel hungry even when we're not, while another speculates that it affects the secretion of appetite-regulating cortisol. Aim for a solid eight hours a night.

You binge on weekends
Think cheating a little on weekends won't hurt? Wrong. You can allow yourself a tiny treat like a small order of chips or ice cream, but tucking into fatty meals and going on booze binges two days out of seven will undermine all your efforts.

You've hit a plateau
If you've been doing the same workout routine for months and you've stopped seeing results, you've probably hit a plateau. Mix up your training by trying something different — cycling, a spin class or a new weight-training routine — and eat five or six small meals a day to kick-start your metabolism. If all that doesn't work, take a week off training and you'll come back stronger.

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