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One of the most frustrating things for a woman can be putting in all the effort to work out every day and still not lose much weight. Sometimes you may feel like you're doing everything you can, but you're still not seeing results. There are several things that can be contributing to the weight-loss issues, and finding the source of the problem can help you begin to finally lose the weight you want.
Too Many Calories
You might think exercising is enough but forget to include a reduced-calorie intake into the equation. Exercising typically burns fewer calories than you might think. For example, a 3-mile walk burns about 240 calories, while an overindulgent restaurant meal might add 1,000 calories. A regular 12-ounce beer is about 146 calories and a serving of unsweetened apple juice is 117 calories. If you don't watch every calorie closely, you might be consuming more than you think you are -- and too much for exercising to compensate for.
Wrong Type of Exercise
If you are exercising regularly but not doing the right kind of exercise for weight loss, you might think you should see better results than you actually do. Although any form of exercise will burn calories, some types burn more calories than others. Cardio, an intense exercise that raises the heart rate and causes faster breathing, is the best exercise for burning calories. Good cardio exercises that will help you burn the most calories include running, biking and swimming. You should still include strength training in your regimen, but lifting weights burns far fewer calories than an aerobic type of exercise.
Sometimes when you're doing the same exercise routine over and over, your body can reach what is called an exercise plateau. When this occurs, your progress slows or may even stop. This is because your body has gotten into better shape, so the same routine no longer has the same effect. You can overcome an exercise plateau by switching things up. Instead of running on a treadmill, run outside. When you go to the gym, add different workout machines to your routine. Add heavier weights to your strength training. Changing the variety or intensity of your workout can get you back on track.
Sometimes you may work out extensively and not see changes on the scale even if your body is responding positively. If you are losing inches in your waist size or if your clothes are starting to fit you more loosely, you're on the right track even if you're not seeing a change on the scale yet. Sometimes, you may gain lean muscle, which weighs more than fat. Your body will change and become healthier, and your clothing size may even drop, but the scale may not show a lower weight at first because your new muscle weighs more than the fat it has replaced.
If you have exhausted all other possibilities, if you're cutting calories and working out and still not losing any weight, then an underlying medical disorder may be playing a role. For example, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome have a tougher time losing weight unless they start a low-carb diet that helps lower the insulin levels in their blood. A slow thyroid can also cause a woman's metabolism to slow down, making weight loss exceedingly difficult. Blood tests, diet changes and medicine can help determine the cause and treat the underlying problem.