Weight loss, especially if you have a great deal to lose, is a battle. You’re fighting hunger, boredom, time constraints and many other problems. It may seem like you’ll never reach your goal weight, but you can do it. All it takes is a little knowledge and a lot of self discipline. The following are some reasons you may be having difficulties I have endured and ways around them.

1) Actual Calorie Count: The link here goes to a calculator that will help you a great deal. It’s important to know as closely as possible the actual calories you’ve consumed and burned. You may find that you’re consuming more calories than you thought. This can also serve as a food diary. I’ve found that if I have to put down everything I consume, I’m a lot less likely to backslide.

2) Famine Mode: This is another reason you need to know the actual count. Our bodies are wonderfully designed, and one of the coping mechanisms in it is how to survive a famine. If you consume too little, your body will begin to burn muscle and store everything you eat as fat. It will also slow your metabolism to conserve calories. Try to keep the deficit under fifteen percent.

3) Intensity and Duration: A half hour on a stationary bicycle does not burn as many calories as the same duration on a treadmill. It provides a heart healthy cardio workout, but it’s not going to make up for the donut at breakfast.

4) Seek Help: Your doctor, nutritionist and personal trainer can help you find the right diet and exercise program to suit your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

5) Sedentary Culture: We sit a lot. Those of us with desk jobs spend hours at a time seated in front of a keyboard and monitor, then we go home and sit in front of the television set. This isn’t just bad for your weight loss program, it can cause other health problems, including blood clots in your legs. It’s a good idea to get up and walk around every once in a while as well as do our routines.

6) Slow and Steady: You didn’t gain the weight in two weeks and it’s not going to come off in two weeks. You should look to lose one to three pounds a week. It will be frustrating, especially if you weigh yourself daily. Instead, do it weekly and record your results.

7) Thrifty Gene: Some of us have a gene that will make weight gain easy and weight loss hard. That doesn’t mean we should give up and tell people that it’s just the way we are. It means we have to work harder.

8) Weights and Measures: It’s important to know what a serving size is, and then to stick to it. If you just eyeball it, you’ll probably end up with much more than one portion. A digital scale is fairly easy to read and not as complicated as earlier scales were to use. Another tip, use small plates. There is a group called the “Small Plate Movement,” which tells us that putting your food on smaller plates will trick your brain into believing it’s full where a larger plate will have blank spots and make us feel like we haven’t had enough yet.

Weight loss is never easy, but knowing the traps can help you win the struggle. It really is worth it to reach and maintain your ideal weight.