Why Can’t I Lose Weight?
As a GP, I often get asked this question. Here are 10 simple habits that are backed by medical science:
1. Keep to your meal routine: Try to eat at roughly the same time each day, whether this is two or five times a day.
2. Go reduced fat: Choose reduced fat foods where you can. Use high-fat foods (eg, butter and oils) sparingly, if at all.
3. Walk off the weight: Walk 10,000 steps (equivalent to 60–90 min moderate activity) each day. Take the stairs, walk escalators, and get off the bus one stop earlier – it all adds up.
4. Pack a healthy snack: If you snack, choose a healthy option such as fresh fruit, plain yoghurts, or a handful of nuts instead of chocolate or crisps.
5. Learn the labels: Check the fat and sugar content on food labels when doing groceries.
6. Caution with your portions: Don’t heap food on your plate (except vegetables). Think twice before having seconds.
7. Up on your feet: Break up your sitting time. Stand up for 10 minutes out of every hour. Stand more anywhere, anytime – bus, train, and breaks or while on the phone.
8. Think about your drinks : Choose water first!
9. Mindful Chewing: Slow down. Don’t eat on the go or while watching TV. Eat at a table if possible.
10. Don’t forget your 5 a day: Eat at least 5 portions daily of various vegetables and fruit.
Remember to be patient and be kind to yourself -perseverance is the key!
If you haven’t been able to lose weight even after a healthy lifestyle and you can’t understand why, it would be safer to see your GP to work out whether there’s a medical condition making it much harder to lose weight.
These could include hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), sleep apnoea, chronic stress and hormonal changes in women, to name a few.
Losing weight and keeping it off can be a frustrating challenge, and the odds can be against you if you don’t reach out for help.