You're working out like crazy. You've stuck to your diet. But the scale won't budge.

What gives?

Lasting weight loss takes more than a restrictive fad diet and hours on the treadmill. Here are 4 ways you may subconsciously be sabotaging your weight loss goals.

  1. You're relying on the scale as your only measure of success. Health is about a whole lot more than the number on a scale. Evaluate how you feel: Do you have more energy? Do you feel more confident? Have your moods improved? These are all signs that you're on the right track, regardless of what the scale says. Experts also advise health-seekers to look at measurements other than weight. If you've adopted a serious workout routine, there's a good chance that the fat you've burned has been replaced by muscle, which means that the reading on the scale won't change even though you're getting healthier. Instead of placing emphasis on the scale, try calculating your body fat or simply taking your measurements with a tape measure. These are both more accurate indications of your improvement.
  2. You're not eating a well-balanced diet. Following fad diet that is extremely restrictive is not a good strategy for lasting weight loss. It may work in the short run, but the weight loss will not last and you may be doing long-term damage to your body. Your body needs the range of nutrients that comes from consuming a wide variety of foods. Gorge on the good stuff, and eat trickier foods, like (healthy) fats and carbohydrates, in moderation. Avocado, for example, is a great source of the healthy fats that help fuel the body.
  3. You're not maintaining a well-balanced workout plan. Dieters across the globe make the mistake of thinking that a punishing cardio regime is the key to weight loss, but experts know better. A truly effective workout is balanced, which means incorporating strength-building exercises, like weight training, into your workouts. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, so building muscle is an essential element of any effective weight loss plan.
  4. You're not making a strong enough commitment. Losing weight – and keeping it off – requires serious dedication. Successful dieters know that weight loss only comes when you are completely committed to making a change and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you're still making excuses, like “My work schedule is so demanding that I don't have time to fit a workout in,” you're not prepared to for the commitment that weight loss requires. Understand that a healthy lifestyle is the only true source of lasting weight loss.