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Shed the Pounds: What You Could Be Missing In Your Weight Loss Plan

While the dieter’s mantra of “calories in must be less than calories burned” seems simple, it’s still difficult to lose weight and keep it off. Diet and exercise are both essential to ensuring weight loss, but there are a number of reasons it can be much more of a challenge for some, and not for others. Could external factors be affecting your ability to lose weight?

Hypothyroidism
Losing weight should, in theory, be as simple as burning more calories than you take in on a daily basis. The reality, however, is more complicated. While it’s true that diet and exercise are effective ways to lose weight, there are diseases that make weight loss more difficult. Hypothyroidism is one example. The thyroid produces hormones responsible for metabolic rate and energy levels throughout the body, and when it isn’t working properly, that person could very easily be ten to fifteen pounds overweight because of it. A simple blood test can determine whether or not hypothyroidism is a problem.

PCOS
Another culprit is polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. This occurs in women during ovulation, when the ovary attempts to expel an egg. Instead of the egg descending down the fallopian tube, the egg gets deposited in a cyst that forms on the ovary. It can be extremely painful, and manipulate estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen controls things like satiety, motivation, sex drive, and appetite and can have a negative effect on weight. A gynecologist can usually diagnose PCOS with a sonogram.

Medications
Certain medications can affect the success of any diet. Steroids, some anti-depressants, and anti-psychotics are all known to contribute to weight gain. In addition, some of these drugs list fatigue as a common side effect. This can make exercising more difficult than it would be normally be. Discussing medications with your doctor is essential to understanding how to diet.

Hormones
Menopause can be tough for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the accompanying weight gain. As women age, their ovaries produce less and less estrogen, causing hot flashes, lowered sex drive, and weight gain. This can be remedied, to an extent by using hormone replacement therapy. HRT can be used to help fight weight gain that comes with aging, as well as providing more of the energy for exercise.

If you’re dieting and exercising but the weight isn’t coming off, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor. There could be any number of reasons your hard work isn’t paying off- and many of those problems are treatable.

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