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July 21, 2010 at 10:55 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Five Surprising Weight-Loss Saboteurs

By Helen More Blogs by This Author

If you have ever been on a diet (and statistics says you probably have), you know that losing weight is not easy. In fact, many people say that losing weight was one of the hardest things they've ever done. Barriers to weight loss lay in a variety of areas--and some may surprise you. Here are the top five weight-loss saboteurs you may not know about:

#1 The Buddy System

In the beginning, buddy system dieting may seem like a fun and encouraging way to lose weight. Unfortunately, buddy diets can also work against you. They may become too competitive if your buddy loses more weight, or discouraging if your buddy doesn't take the diet as seriously. Many people say their buddy has inadvertently sabotaged their diet by "cheating" and talking them into doing the same. The buddy system may not only sabotage your diet, but challenge your friendship as well. The fact is, weight loss is a personal journey and ultimately success demands that you are your own accountability meter. Yet, this doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't buddy up.

SUGGESTION FOR SUCCESS: If do choose to buddy up, it's important that both parties are understanding and supportive. Keep things fun and low-key, and remember to set diet goals that are yours and yours alone, because ultimately, weight loss success or failure will also be yours and yours alone.

#2 Aging

As we mature, our bodies begin to experience more wear and tear on our joints and muscles and these aches and pains can keep us from our diet goals. Some days certain joints simply refuse to cooperate and the third of the population suffering from arthritis knows this all too well. Menopause is another age-related factor. Women who attempt to diet during menopause will probably experience a difficult time losing weight. Weight that is associated with menopause typically ends up around the waistline, not the hips and thighs.

SUGGESTION FOR SUCCESS: If your joints are bothering you, rather than not exercising at all, try to adjust your exercise routine to your daily stamina level. If you can't walk two miles, walk one. If you can't walk one mile, walk around the block. To combat midlife and/or menopausal spread, incorporate a weight training exercise program into your daily regiment. More muscle means more calories burned and more calories burned means less weight.

#3 Genetics

Genetic disposition is a fact of life. If your mother, your grandmother and your great- grandmother were round, you have a good chance of inheriting the same gene. Genetics are unavoidable and genetic makeup can, in fact, throw a monkey wrench into a diet regimen.

SUGGESTION FOR SUCCESS: Pulling the "genetics" card is the quitter's way. Don't give up! Genetic disposition can be overcome when you continue to follow an exercise regiment that feels right for you, and eat a nutritionally sound diet.

#4 Lack of Sleep

According to Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist of the American Council on Exercise, sleep is very important to weight loss. "We know that if you have poor quality sleep, it influences certain hormones that control appetite," says Bryant. He also explains that good sleep is what helps control hormonal balance and hormonal balance is what helps control appetite.

SUGGESTION FOR SUCCESS: Want to support your weight-loss goals? Get seven or eight hours of sleep every night.

#5 Medications

Many individuals are dependent on medications that have unfortunate side-effects for dieters - some preventing weight loss and other promoting weight gain. Antidepressants and corticosteroids such as steroids and prednisone are notorious for their tendency to promote weight gain. Other medications, such as those that treat bipolar disorder, migraines, high blood pressure and diabetes have also been closely tied. Many spur weight gain in the form of fluid retention and this can be dangerous as fluid retention may cause additional medical issues.

SUGGESTION FOR SUCCESS: Understanding the risks of your medications is extremely important. If possible, look for alternatives that do the trick, without causing weight gain, fluid retention, or other negative side-effects.


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