The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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January 8, 2013

4 reasons you aren't losing weight

(Continued)

This is very hard to do through exercise alone. It would require most people to add 60 minutes or more of vigorous activity every day. Exercise is important to good health but it's much easier to reduce the calories you consume than burn them off once you've consumed them. And when you do exercise be careful -- exercise is not an excuse to eat more!

3. Poor timing of meals

Bartfield says people need a steady stream of glucose throughout the day to maintain optimal energy and to prevent metabolism from slowing down. Eat breakfast every day within one hour of waking up, then eat a healthy snack or meal every three to four hours. Fasting is actually counter-productive. Try not to go longer than five hours without eating a healthy snack or meal to keep your metabolism steady.

4. Inadequate sleep

Studies have shown that people who get fewer than six hours of sleep have higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, particularly for high-carbohydrate/high-calorie foods. In addition, less sleep raises levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, which can lead to weight gain.

“Good health practices are more than just learned, they become a regular habit and a way of life,” Bartfield said.

A good first step is to determine how many calories you need each day. The American Cancer Society maintains an online calorie calculator to help you arrive at your number.

You should also discuss it with your doctor to find the approximate number of calories you burn. From there, you and your doctors can devise a target for calorie consumption that is right for you.

Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.

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