If you’re eating right and exercising, you should be losing weight. If it’s not happening, start by cutting down your calorie intake. Since 3,500 calories equal a pound, even a few hundred calories less per day can add up to a couple of pounds a month, according to MayoClinic.com. If you're still not losing weight despite those changes, it might be due to an underlying medical problem. Consult with your health care provider to discuss possible causes and concerns.
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As of 2010, about 10 million Americans suffer from hypothyroidism, according to EndocrineWeb.com, making it a rather common hormonal problem. Hypothyroidism is characterized by cold intolerance, hair loss, unexplained fatigue and changes in your menstrual cycle. People who suffer from hypothyroidism either gain weight or have difficulty losing it. Estrogen and testosterone imbalances also affect your weight, as does the growth hormone, which your body naturally produces during sleep and after exercise. If you’re not sleeping enough or are inactive, you may gain weight.
Certain medications can cause weight gain, so if you’re unable to lose weight, take a look at your medicine cabinet. How much weight you gain depends on what medications you’re taking. Corticosteroids can cause a gain of a 100 pounds or more, according to JohnsHopkinsHealthAlerts.com. Medications that can result in a weight increase or interfere with your weight loss plan include diabetes drugs, antidepressants, steroid hormones, antihistamines, beta blockers, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics and migraine medication, according to WrongDiagnosis.com. If you’re taking any of these drugs and you're unable to lose weight despite diet and exercise, talk with your doctor about switching to a different medication.
Stress can be an important factor in weight changes, according to MedicalNewsToday.com. It can easily contribute to your weight gain if you don't properly monitor your stress levels. If the scale isn’t budging, look at your environment and the pressures and demands you’re experiencing. Stress affects your food choices, how much you sleep and how often you snack, according to MedicalNewsToday.com. If you’re suffering from stress and have trouble losing weight, MayoClinic.com recommends eating only when you're hungry, rather than when you're anxious or bored. Pay attention to your moods. When you experience negative feelings, distract yourself with positive activities. Read, work in your garden or visit with friends. Exercise and get plenty of sleep to reduce your stress.
- EndocrineWeb: Hypothyroidism: Too Little Thyroid Hormone; Dr. James Norman; July 7, 2010
- Mayo Clinic: Counting Calories: Get Back to Weight-loss Basics
- Johns Hopkins Health Alerts: Prescription Drugs that Cause Weight Gain; Jan. 23, 2007
- Mayo Clinic: How Do I Control Stress-Induced Weight Gain?; Dr. Edward T. Creagan; July 25, 2009
- Medical News Today: Study Examines Effects of Stress on Weight Gain in U.S. Population; July 9, 2009