FAQ#16: Ask The Expert

Ask The Expert

I am trying to lose weight by taking in fewer calories than I need, but the scale is not moving. What should I do?

It can be very frustrating to not see the scale move when you are trying very hard! However, since many factors can affect weight change, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact reason why you are not seeing the scale budge. The best way to identify what possible factor(s) are affecting your weight would be to see a registered dietitian, who can determine what your calorie intake and expenditure are, and make individualized recommendations for you. You can find a registered dietitian in your area at www.eatright.org. Some general tips you might consider would include:

  • Monitor your portion sizes to be sure they are consistent with what is recommended for your age. You can use www.myplate.gov to determine what your portion sizes should be. It’s a good idea to measure your foods occasionally to make sure your portions are what they should be.
  • Identify possible sources of calories that you may not be aware of. Keeping a food diary is a great way to do this. Sometimes we are not aware of how much we are really nibbling, and how the calories can add up. Don’t forget the calories from what may be added to food in cooking and seasoning.
  • Read food labels to identify the calories in the foods you are eating, making sure you are counting calories for the portion that’s given on the label.
  • If possible, try to incorporate different activities into your exercise program, or change your walking program to be a little more.

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