It's no secret that losing weight requires you to take in fewer calories than you burn. But it's not always just a numbers game.
If you're fairly certain that you're doing most things right but the extra weight still isn't budging, one or more of these common culprits might be behind those excess pounds.
WGNO Nutritionist Molly Kimball says these five factors may be weighing in:
FIRST: Underestimating what you eat...
Starchy carbs can pack in the calories. A typical portion of rice, pasta, potatoes can be 400 plus calories. If you 'take the weekends off" your diet make sure to tighten things up more than usual during the week.
Kimball also suggests stepping on the scale every Friday and Monday morning. It may be motivation to avoid overdoing on weekend temptations.
SECOND: Overestimating calories burned through exercise ...
The machine at the gym may say you burn 500 calories in your 30 min workout, but don't count on it. Kimball says cardiovascular machines are set for a 150 pound man. If you weigh less or are a woman, you burn fewer calories than the reading suggests.
THIRD: Prescription medications...
Certain medications can cause weight gain, or at least make it more difficult to lose. Pharmacists say six main categories of commonly prescribed medications that may cause weight gain: ? Blood pressure medications ? Antidepressants ? Anti-seizure medications and mood stabilizers ? Birth control pills and menopausal hormone replacement medications ? Diabetes medications ? Oral steroids
Kimball says most people can't stop taking these medications, but at least they should know that weight gain may be a potential risk.
FOURTH: An underactive thyroid...
Kimball says symptoms include fatigue, hair loss, dry skin, get cold easily, constipation and menstrual irregularity. Some not-so-obvious symptoms include high cholesterol, depression, slow heart rate and delayed reflexes.
If you suspect a low thyroid, ask your doctor for a blood test.
FIFTH: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
It's a condition in women where the body makes excess male sex hormones. It can lead to insulin resistance, which makes it easier to store fat and more difficult to burn fat.
Kimball says symptoms include acne, thinning hair, excess facial and body hair, irregular menstrual cycle, depression, difficulty getting pregnant and weight gain and/or difficulty losing weight.
To read Molly Kimball's entire breakdown, check out her full article in the Time-Picayune online at
Refer to the link posted on Get the Skinny with Molly's Homepage under links.