Can't Lose Weight? Ask Your Doc if It's Because of This ...

Sometimes, no matter how many minutes you've logged on the elliptical or how many doughnut holes you've sailed past, your weekly weigh-in isn't what you expected.

Worse yet, despite your best efforts over the course of many weeks or months, it's possible that the bulge just won't budge ... at all. But what are you supposed to do when you're too tired to work out more than a couple of times a week or you get intense sugar cravings?

When weight loss attempts fail, is it always 100 percent your fault? Or could your "excuses" actually be indicators of a valid medical reason that you can't pare pounds?

Here, a few "excuses" for not being able to lose weight that are likely legit ...

  • "I'm too tired to exercise." OK, sure, sometimes we're just plain lazy, and we don't want to work out. But when you're chronically just too darn beat to get yourself moving, there might be a deeper issue than straightforward Couch Potato Syndrome. If this sounds like you, consider having your thyroid hormones checked out. Like Oprah, you might have hypothyroidism, which causes the metabolism-regulating gland to act sluggishly, resulting in fatigue and, sure, as a secondary symptom, Couch Potato Syndrome. I also think that it's interesting to note that some doctors will treat you for hypothyroidism even if your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) level is in the "normal" range. You could be a "subclinical" case.
  • "I can't fit into my jeans because of my genes." Animal research has shown that up to 50 percent of a person's propensity for voluntary exercise is genetic. Some of us are just "bred" to go skiing and to play tennis, while others are "bred" to sit at a desk and compose witty articles. Thank you, DNA!
  • "I can't help it -- I crave sugar all the time." Maybe you're just really addicted to red velvet cupcakes and chocolate ice cream. But a sugar craving can also signal an underlying issue. For instance, I just found out that my cravings are tied to being mildly hypoglycemic. As my doctor explained it, when blood sugar drops too low, the body can go into panic mode and hold onto fat. Not helpful for weight loss! The solution: Snacking more frequently on foods that are high in protein, good fats, and complex carbs.
  • "Cravings during PMS sabotage my success." Ever hear of PMS-C? It's a subtype of PMS, and the C stands for "Cravings." Seriously. Long story short: Wacky hormone fluctuations can trigger your Ben & Jerry's binge, wracking up 500 extra calories a day in the days leading up to your period. That can add up to a pound a month, or 12 pounds in a year. Yeesh! The good news is that there are lots of therapies that can help, like B vitamins and eating smaller meals more frequently. 

Do you have a weight-loss "excuse"?


Image via Paul H./Flickr

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