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Losing weight can be a frustrating business, especially when you're going it alone. Stepping on the scale & seeing that same hated number appear again and again is approximately enough to drive a person batty. Maybe you've been doing all the right things: exercising regularly, watching your diet, maybe you're even using some weights every once in a while, but it just isn't enough. The change that you want to see is too slow in coming. Before you give up and give in, here are a few ideas about why you may not be losing weight. Quite often there's a hidden culprit that can be identified if we are willing to take a close look at ourselves.

You're exercising" just not hard enough.

This may be a hard one to swallow. Surely, you think, if I am moving then that is enough to drop some pounds! That absolutely depends on how intensely you are moving. If walking is your workout but you're just strolling through the neighborhood, then don't expect to see any drastic change. In order to actually start burning calories, you must increase your heart rate until it reaches between 75-85 percent of your maximum heart rate. How do you find your maximum heart rate? There are several free calculators available on the Internet for public use, but the general formula is to subtract your age from 220 to find your absolute maximum heart rate. For a thirty-2-year old, the maximum heart rate would be 188. Calculate 75-85 percent of that and the answer is that the ideal heart rate range for a 32-year-old is between 141 and 160 beats per minute. Keep your heart rate within your target range and you'll burn calories.

Food keeps sneaking into your mouth.

Many times the day can get so busy that you don't have time to go out for lunch, so you have a handful of MandMs from your colleague's candy jar. You get home late and have to start dinner for the kids, sampling the pizza rolls as you do so. Finally the day calms down enough for you to spend some peaceful time with yourself, so you decide to have a treat of rich chocolate ice cream. When you finally attend bed, your stomach is growling and you think, I haven't eaten a thing today! Did you actually not eat a thing? No. The trouble is you ate all the wrong things and you weren't thinking when you did it. Unconscious eating is one of the biggest enemies of weight loss. Too often our lives are so busy that we forget to stop and actually consider what we are about to eat. Being wrapped up in other issues can lead to being wide open to answer the call of temptation with an emphatic yes. Take steps to correct your unconscious eating. Buy a food journal and make a daily commitment to write down everything you eat"everything! Before you put food in your mouth, stop and ask yourself what you are eating and if you really want it. Oftentimes people eat food that they don't really want simply because it's available. Promise yourself to monitor every bite of food you take and you increase your odds for success.

You're secretly very, very thirsty.

When your body is dehydrated, it sends out signals to the brain. Unfortunately, these signals frequently get crossed and the brain ends up telling you that your stomach is empty. Since the signal said that the stomach was empty, you attend get a snack (probably unconsciously) and another calorie-laden, sugar-full goodie slides down your throat. Stop this case of crossed wires by keeping your body adequately hydrated. Drinking water is one of the easiest of all dieting tricks. Simply fill up a plastic bottle and take it with you everywhere you go! Despite the simplicity of this many people skip water. Some say they honestly dislike the taste of water while others dread having to take multiple trips to the bathroom. If you don't like the way water tastes in your mouth, use one of the new flavored mixes offered by companies like Crystal Light. You simply pour the powder into the water, shake or stir, and drink. The powders come in a variety of flavors including lemonade and peach tea. For the ones who want to stay out of the bathroom, your urine output may increase the first few days that you drink additional water but fortunately your bladder will soon become accustomed to the extra demand and treat it as nothing special. In a week or less you will be back to a normal schedule.

Try one of these three tricks in your schedule this week as an experiment" just see if it makes a difference. Incorporate all three and within two to three weeks you will see and feel a wonderful change in your body.