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Why Can't I Lose Weight if I Work Out an Hour a Day and Limit My Calories?

by
author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
Why Can't I Lose Weight if I Work Out an Hour a Day and Limit My Calories?
The workout you perform influences how many calories you burn. Photo Credit Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you've committed to limiting your intake of calories and working out an hour a day but aren't losing weight, it's easy to get frustrated enough to give up your healthy lifestyle. Instead of throwing in the towel, accept that your approach and expectations might need a slight adjustment. By improving your diet and exercising regularly, however, you've already set an important foundation for weight loss.

Pick the Right Exercises

A daily workout lasting an hour is often enough to help you lose weight. Failing to find success, however, means it's time to take a look at how you work out. Pick an exercise that burns calories at a heightened rate. For example, if your workout consists of basic stretching or lifting weights, you're burning just a fraction of the calories you'd burn performing a cardiovascular activity such as running on the treadmill, taking an aerobics class or even going for a walk. Focus on exercising at an elevated tempo for the entire hour; chatting with fellow gym members doesn't exactly constitute a workout.

Tweak Your Caloric Intake

Even if you've chosen to limit your calories, you might need to further reduce your caloric intake to find success. For example, if your body burns about 2,000 calories per day but you consume 1,900, you're creating a caloric deficit of only 100 calories per day. At this rate, it would take you more than a month to lose any noticeable amount of weight. Use a calorie calculator to determine exactly how many calories you should consume for your age, body type and activity level.

Evaluate Your Expecations

It's possible that you've developed impractical expectations concerning your weight loss -- perhaps because of the numerous weight-loss myths circulating through the fitness industry. Even if you limit your calories and perform an hour of cardio every day, don't expect to lose multiple pounds every day. Rapid weight loss is difficult and can be dangerous. A more practical, and safe, weight-loss goal is in the range of one to two pounds per week.

Schedule a Physical

If you continue to find weight loss a challenge, the answer might lie in your health, rather than your diet or fitness routine. Those with hypothyroidism often find weight loss a challenge, as the condition leads to a decline in your metabolism. Hormonal issues can lead to insulin resistance, which results in your body storing excess fat. Some forms of medication, including those that treat depression, can lead to difficulty losing weight.

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