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Updated 20 October 2015

What's keeping you from achieving your dream body?

Are you frustrated with the constant struggle to get to your ideal weight? Our expert weighs in on your weight loss woes.

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Keeping your weight down isn't easy – sometimes you drop a few kilos and then, before you know it, you've put the weight back on again! There are many diets that claim to miraculously melt your fat away, but it's hard to find a lasting solution to your weight loss woes.

Thankfully, there are experts that know what to do when diets don't work. DietDoc answers these common weight loss questions:

Q: Can contraception be the cause of weight gain?

I've never had a problem with my weight but started gaining weight after going on the pill.

What the expert says: The use of female hormones for contraception (the pill, patches, injections etc.) and hormone replacement therapy can cause weight gain or weight loss, depending on the individual patient. Women should consult a gynaecologist for personalised advice on the contraceptive that would work best for them. To keep weight in check, women should follow a low-fat, low-GI (glycaemic index) diet and exercise regularly. Read more: DietDoc on weight gain and contraceptives.

Read: Black women gain weight with contraceptives

Q: How can I stop overeating?

I am overweight and want to eat, regardless of my mood. I enjoy food when I'm happy and when I'm sad. I have tried many diets but nothing seems to work because I can't stop overeating.

The expert: Constant hunger can be caused by physiological problems such as insulin resistance, diabetes, female hormone imbalances or a thyroid condition. It can also be caused by an underlying psychological problem. It is a good idea to consult a doctor or psychologist if you think your overeating is caused by any of these.

Read more advice from DietDoc on how to stop overeating.

Q: I can't lose any more weight.

I eat a healthy balanced diet and have lost 4.4kg over the last 7 weeks, but now my weight is stuck at 66kg.

What the expert says: When people go on a slimming diet and initially lose weight, the human body always tries to regain its balance, so it will slow down weight loss to try and compensate for the loss.

It's known as reaching a plateau. As your body becomes lighter, fewer kilojoules are burnt during activities, which means the overall energy expenditure also lessens.

It is important to persevere with your diet and exercise until the body starts losing weight again. More from DietDoc on slow weight loss.

Read more on the weight loss plateau.

Q: My diet is making me constipated.

I am on a high-protein low-carb diet. I am losing weight but it's causing constipation. I'm afraid to add fibre to my diet as it may cause weight gain.

What the expert says: The initial good weight loss that most people experience with these Atkins-type diets, is caused by loss of water. The side effects of these diets can include constipation. Adding a high-fibre carbohydrate like a low-GI like high-fibre bran or, dried fruit are excellent ways of stimulating sluggish bowel movements and should not hinder weight loss.

It is important to eat a balanced diet.

Read more from DietDoc on healthy weight loss.

Take this test to find out whether your diet is causing constipation.

Read more:

10 ways to supress your appetite naturally

Misconceptions about high-fibre

Is Fexaramine the weight loss pill we've all been waiting for?

 
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