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weight loss programLosing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a constant struggle for many people. You may think you’re doing everything right, but you’re still not seeing any results. As it turns out, you may not know as much as you think you do about healthy weight loss methods.

Before talking to your doctor about medical weight loss programs, consider the following five ways you could be sabotaging your health and fitness efforts.

  1. Consuming hidden sugar
    You know to avoid sugary junk foods like cookies, candy, and ice cream, but are you really reducing your sugar intake? If you are consuming processed foods, chances are you are taking in a lot more sugar than you realize. Processed sauces like BBQ sauce and tomato sauce often have more than 10 grams of sugar per serving. Canned and dried fruits sound like they should be healthy, but they are chock-full of concentrated sugar. Always check the ingredients in your yogurt, salad dressing, and other bottled, canned, or packaged food products.
  2. Not sleeping enough
    Lack of sleep can throw your whole body out of whack. It can alter your metabolism, preventing your body from burning calories efficiently. When you are tired, you are also more vulnerable to stress, digestive issues, and illness, all of which can hinder your health and fitness goals. Less than five percent of adults engage in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and only one in three adults participate in the recommended amount of physical activity each week. Exhaustion and stress can make you even less likely to get up and go to the gym.
  3. Avoiding strength training
    The way you exercise could actually be preventing you from losing weight. You may be running or biking every day, but if you’re neglecting your muscles, you’ll only get so far. To meet your weight loss goal, you must include weight training in your exercise routine. Believe it or not, when your body is stronger and more muscular, your metabolism increases, causing you to burn more calories even when you’re not working out.
  4. Taking certain medications
    If you’ve participated in weight loss programs, and you’re doing everything right, but you’re still struggling to lose weight, your medication may be to blame. Some prescriptions like anti-depressants and anti-psychotics have weight gain as a possible side effect. If you are concerned about weight gain as a side effect, talk to your doctor about switching your medication if possible.
  5. Starving yourself
    Believe it or not, you can actually gain weight by eating less. When you cut off your calorie intake, you are sending your body a signal to bulk up in preparation for leaner times. As a result, your body will hold on to the calories you consume instead of burning them. Instead of limiting your calorie consumption, snack on small, healthy foods throughout the day.

Take a look at your lifestyle and your health and fitness routine. If none of the factors listed above apply to you, but you are still struggling to lose weight, talk to your doctor about weight loss programs. He or she may suggest a medical weight loss clinic to help you improve your health and fitness initiatives.

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