5 Common Roadblocks to Weight Loss

June 2, 2011

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In my practice I???ve helped hundreds of people lose weight and live healthier lives. I???ve also noticed that there seem to be certain things that trip people up time and time again on the way to their goals. Here are 5 of those common roadblocks you can avoid:

Calorie Amnesia: Studies show people tend to underestimate their calorie intake by 40 percent or more if they try to keep a running tally in their heads. An easy way to counteract this is to get in the habit of writing down everything you eat in a journal or log as you eat it. Doing so not only helps you keep accurate track of your calorie intake, it also makes you more conscious of your actions and may help you walk past the candy dish at the office rather than stop.

Cutting Back: Another mistake I see time and again is people trying to eat in the same old way, but less of it. By this I mean they will order the kids meal at the drive thru instead of the adult version, or get a small soda pop instead of the 64-ounce one. And while those are good moves, they???d be far better off to learn to eat in a whole new way than to try to subsist on skimpy portions of unhealthy foods. Make it your goal to reach for foods that are high in bulk but low in calories so you can cut calories without hunger.

Skimping on Sleep: If you struggle with your weight, how you sleep may be as much to blame as how you eat. Studies show that many Americans are sleep deprived, and that people who don???t get enough rest gain weight easier. So make it a goal to get at least 7 hours of shuteye a night. If you are having trouble sleeping, bring it up with your doctor and take steps to get better quality sleep such as sticking to a regular schedule or investing in a more comfortable mattress.

Overlooking Medical Concerns: Did you know there are many medical conditions and medications that can contribute to weight gain? It???s true! That???s why taking your total health into consideration when embarking on a weight loss plan is so important. Otherwise you may find yourself making all the right moves, but not addressing the core issue. We often find that a medical condition is playing a role in our patient???s weight issues and that addressing the health concern or switching problem medications is often the key to breaking their battle with their weight.

Being a Couch Potato: While cutting calories and changing the way you eat is critical to losing weight, it???s only part of the story. When people continue to live a sedentary lifestyle, their overall progress will be slowed or stalled dramatically even if they change their diet. If you???re in the habit of unwinding after a day of work in front of the computer or television, try going for a walk or even spending the evening out and about instead. The more you can move, the easier and faster losing the weight is going to be.

We???d love to hear about your own roadblocks ??? and how you???re working to overcome them ??? on our Message Boards.

Dr. Michael Kaplan

Founder and Chief Medical Officer

The Center for Medical Weight Loss

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