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Have a Bad Weight Loss Week?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

There is nothing that I hate worse than a bad weight loss week. This Monday I weighed myself, as usual, and found that I had gained back 2 lbs. I was prepared for this because I messed up one day last week. Even though I didn't have any unhealthy foods, I had more carbohydrates than I should have had in one day. The first two weeks of Phase 2, the idea is to add carbohydrates gradually. I knew what I was doing when I did it, and I knew the potential consequences.

What if this happens, though, and you’re not exactly sure of the reason? First and foremost, don’t give up! A lot of times a few changes is all you need to get back on track. Below you will find the most common culprits that hinder weight loss. Perhaps one of them is causing the problem for you.

Possible Culprit #1: Diet
If you are keeping a log of the foods you eat on a daily basis, look back on the week to see if you can find a particular food that is causing the problem. Is there a new food that you added this week that could be behind it? Did you have more than the recommended daily amount of carbs or oils? Did you add too many carbs too quickly? Are you eating both of your snacks during the day? Is there a food that seems to cause you to be hungry or have cravings? Be sure, too, that you are eating a balanced diet. Your body needs a variety of nutrients to be healthy.

If you aren’t keeping a log, you really should think about starting one. They can be very helpful in identifying problem foods for you. Everyone is different, so different foods effect people in different ways. In the meantime, try to remember what you did eat this week. Write down what you can remember, and perhaps you’ll be able to find out whether or not your diet affected your weight loss this week.

Possible Culprit #2: Exercise
Think about your exercise routine lately. Have you noticed that your normal workout has gotten easier? If it has, it may be time to step things up a bit. You should always be moderately challenged by the exercise that you’re doing. Another problem could be that you are not working out long or often enough. You should be doing at least 30 minutes of cardio three to five times a week. Are you doing any resistance training? If not, you should be. I will be featuring an article on the types of exercise at a later date, but until then check out this article on resistance training.

If you are not doing any exercise at all, you really should think about getting started. Exercise is essential to losing weight and becoming healthy. Not many people are able to reach their weight loss goals without regular exercise.

Possible Culprit #3: Stress
Believe it or not, stress can affect your weight loss. Was this a particularly stressful week for you? Perhaps there was a big project or presentation at work, or a family emergency. If you think this could be the reason, try talking to someone you trust, exercising, writing down your thoughts, or taking a moment to relax. These can all help to relieve stress. Also remember to keep an eye on what you eat when you are going through a particularly stressful time. We have a tendency to snack and overeat when we are under a lot of stress.

If none of the above seem to be the problem, it may be something beyond your control. Give yourself a week or two, and see if things don’t work out. Keep logs of your diet, exercise, and stress-levels. Logs can really help you find a mistake that you’re making that you otherwise wouldn’t notice. If things don’t improve in a few weeks, and you are still unable to find what may be causing the problem, consider seeing a doctor or nutrition and exercise expert. They may be able to identify something that you have missed.


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