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Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Have you been eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, but still not seeing the results you desire on the scale? You're not alone. Many of our first-time clients struggle with weight loss despite their best efforts. So, we thought it would be a good idea to explore and discuss some of the common reasons why you may not be losing weight and what you can do to overcome these obstacles.


Physically fit woman wearing purple sports bra and black spandex shorts. She is carrying a scale and a tape measurer. The background is blue and she is surrounded by white question marks.

Losing weight can be a frustrating journey, especially when you're putting in the effort but not seeing the results. At Fitnello we believe that simply losing scale weight is not the most efficient way to weight loss, you have to build up your muscle mass to help you burn more fat through the day, there are many factors that can contribute to a weight loss plateau (or weight loss stall), including some you might not be aware of.


So, let's take a closer look into the 18 possible reasons why you're not losing weight and how we can equip you with the best knowledge about breaking through the weight loss plateau and helping you overcome it.



18 Common Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight


1. You're not tracking your calories


Tracking your calorie intake is crucial for weight loss. Without keeping track of the number of calories you're consuming, it's easy to overestimate the amount of food your body actually needs and it often leads to consuming more calories than you actually think you do. To ensure you're on track, invest in a food journal or use an app to keep track of everything you eat.


So, the first reason why you might not be losing weight is that you're eating too many calories. Even if you're eating healthy foods, if you're consuming more calories than your body needs, you'll likely gain weight.


To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than your body burns every day. This does not need to be drastic... If your body for example burns 2,000 calories a day, you can create a small deficit of 200 calories, by consuming only 1,800 calories worth of food... Keep in mind, that if you exercise or put your body through a physical load like a 30-minute cardio you will naturally burn more calories throughout the day.



2. You're eating too many processed foods


Processed foods are typically high in calories, unhealthy fats, and added sugars. These foods are created to taste good, making it easy to consume more calories than you need daily. Instead of processed foods, focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources (like chicken breast or ground turkey).


The picture on the left shows junk food such as chicken tenders, french fries, and ketchup. The red circle means it is unhealthy. The picture on the right is a white plate of cucumber, eggs, and sweet potato. The green checkmark underneath means it is healthy.


3. You're not eating enough protein


Protein is important for weight loss because it helps to build muscle and keep you feeling full. Make sure to include protein-rich foods in each meal, such as chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes...


Protein can help with fat burning in several ways. First, protein has a high thermic effect, which means that the body burns more calories to digest and absorb protein compared to fat or carbohydrates. This increased calorie burn can help boost the metabolism and aid in fat loss.


Second, protein helps to build and maintain muscle mass. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, which means that it burns calories even at rest. By increasing muscle mass through regular protein intake and exercise, the body can burn more calories throughout the day, including during periods of rest.


Third, protein can help to regulate appetite and promote feelings of fullness. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who are trying to lose weight, as it can help to reduce overall calorie intake by preventing overeating or snacking between meals.


Overall, incorporating proper amounts of protein into a balanced diet and exercise routine can and will help to support fat loss efforts and improve your body composition.



4. You're not getting enough sleep


Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that control appetite and metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to ensure your hormones are functioning properly.


Sleep plays an important role in weight loss and overall health. There are several ways in which sleep can impact weight loss...


- Lack of adequate sleep negatively affects Hormonal changes. Lack of sleep can disrupt the balance of hormones in the body, including leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that signals satiety (fullness), while ghrelin stimulates hunger. When you don't get enough sleep, leptin levels decrease and ghrelin levels increase, leading to increased hunger and cravings for high-calorie foods.


- Lack of adequate sleep has negative effects on Metabolism: Sleep deprivation can also slow down your metabolism, making it harder to burn calories and lose weight. This is because sleep helps regulate the hormones that control metabolism, such as insulin and cortisol.


- Lack of adequate sleep negatively impacts Energy levels: When you're sleep-deprived, you're more likely to feel tired and sluggish, which can make it harder to exercise and stay active. This can lead to a decrease in overall energy expenditure and make it harder to create a calorie deficit, which is necessary for weight loss.


- Lack of adequate sleep contributes to higher Stress levels: Lack of sleep can also increase stress levels, which can trigger the release of cortisol, a hormone that promotes fat storage and makes it harder to lose weight.


The bottom line, getting enough sleep is important for weight loss and overall health. You should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to support your weight loss goals.



5. You're not drinking enough water


Drinking enough water is crucial for weight loss because it helps to flush out toxins and improve digestion. It also can help with weight loss in several ways...


- It can reduce your calorie intake: Drinking water before meals can help reduce calorie intake by making you feel full and reducing the amount of food you eat. This can lead to a calorie deficit, which is necessary for weight loss.


- It can boost your metabolism: Drinking water can temporarily increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories. This effect may be due to the body working harder to heat up the water to body temperature.


- It replaces high-calorie beverages: Drinking water instead of high-calorie beverages like soda or juice can help reduce overall calorie intake and aid in weight loss.


- It helps with digestion: Staying hydrated can help keep the digestive system functioning properly, which can prevent constipation and bloating.


- It reduces water retention in your body: Drinking water can help reduce water retention, which can cause bloating and weight gain.


Caucasian woman with brown hair wearing a black shirt is holding a water bottle. The background is a woman's gym with a treadmill.

We recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day (the ideal amount of water intake recommendation is 1 gallon of water / per day) to stay hydrated and support weight loss efforts. Drinking water with meals or before meals can also help reduce calorie intake and support weight loss goals.



6. You're eating too late at night


Eating too late at night can disrupt hormones that control metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. Aim to finish your last meal at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. We recommend not eating solid foods after 7 pm. You may choose to have a water-based slow digestive protein shake if you feel hungry in the evening. The shake will tame the hunger and will fuel your muscles with needed protein.



7. You're not getting enough physical activity


Physical activity is crucial for weight loss because it helps to burn calories and build muscle. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Read more on how physical activity affects weight loss in this article.



8. You're not strength training


Strength training is important for weight loss because it helps to build muscle and increase metabolism. Incorporate strength training into your fitness routine at least 2-3 times per week.


When it comes to weight loss, many people turn to cardio exercises, such as running or cycling. However, strength training can be an effective way to lose weight and build muscle. In this strength training overview, we tell you how strength training affects weight loss and provide some tips on how to incorporate it into your fitness routine.


The image on the left shows a physically fit woman wearing a grey sports bra and leggings perform the exercise called a "row". The woman on the right is wearing a grey sports bra and matching leggings and is performing an exercise called a "lat pulldown". She is strength training.


9. You're not eating enough fiber


Fiber is important for weight loss because it helps to keep you feeling full and improve digestion. Make sure to include fiber-rich foods in your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Click here to learn more about how fiber affects weight loss.



10. You're eating too much sugar


Sugar is high in calories and can disrupt hormones that control metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. Limit your intake of added sugars by avoiding sugary drinks and snacks. The following article goes in-depth on how sugar negatively affects weight loss.


The photo is a caucasian hand holding a chocolate chip cookie full of sugar.


11. You're drinking too much alcohol


Alcohol is high in calories and can disrupt hormones that control metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. Limit your alcohol intake to only a few drinks per week. This article goes in-depth about how alcohol can slow down your weight loss progress.



12. You're not reducing stress levels


Stress can disrupt hormones that control metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your routine, such as meditation, yoga, or exercise.



13. You're eating too much salt


Salt can cause water retention, making it harder to lose weight. Limit your salt intake by avoiding processed foods and seasoning your food with herbs and spices



14. Slowed metabolism


Another reason why you might not be losing weight is that your metabolism has slowed down. As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down and we burn fewer calories at rest. This doesn't mean that it's impossible to lose weight, but it may require more effort than when we were younger.


If your metabolism has slowed down, you may need to increase your activity level or reduce the number of calories you're eating in order to see results.



15. Lack of consistency


Finally, another common reason why people don't lose weight is because they're not being consistent with their efforts. It's easy to fall into the trap of starting a diet or exercise program and then falling off the wagon a few weeks or months later. But if you want to see results, you need to stick with it!


Consistency is key when it comes to losing weight. Make sure you're following a healthy diet and exercise routine that incorporates the following quick tips.



16. Hormonal imbalances


One of the primary reasons why people struggle with weight loss is hormonal imbalances. Hormones play a crucial role in regulating your metabolism, hunger, and cravings. When your hormones are out of balance, it can be difficult to lose weight and keep it off.


The hormones that play the biggest role in weight loss are insulin, cortisol, and thyroid hormones. Insulin regulates the amount of sugar in your bloodstream and signals your body to store fat. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, can cause an increase in abdominal fat and make it harder to lose weight. Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism, so an underactive thyroid can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight.


If you suspect that hormonal imbalances may be affecting your weight loss efforts, speak with your doctor about getting a hormonal panel done. They can help you identify any imbalances and recommend treatment options.



17. Undereating or overeating


Another common reason why people struggle with weight loss is due to undereating or overeating. If you're not eating enough calories, your body will go into starvation mode and hold onto fat stores, making it difficult to lose weight. On the other hand, if you're eating too many calories, even if they are healthy, you will still gain weight.


It's important to find the right balance of calories for your body and to track what you eat to make sure you're staying within your calorie range. You can use our food journal, app, or website to track your food intake and see exactly how many calories you're consuming. Read this article to learn more about how undereating or overeating can impact your fitness goals.



18. Genetics


Lastly, genetics can also play a role in weight loss. Some people are simply predisposed to carrying more weight and may have to work harder to lose weight and keep it off. However, this doesn't mean that weight loss is impossible.


With the right diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, anyone can see results and achieve their weight loss goals.



Ways to Make Sure You Are Losing Weight


If you are not seeing the results you want from your weight loss efforts, it can be discouraging. But don't give up! There are a few things you can do to make sure you are losing weight.


First, check in with yourself and make sure you are really committed to losing weight. It takes dedication and hard work to see results. If you're not ready to put in the effort, you won't see the results you want.


Second, make sure you are following a healthy diet and eating the right foods for weight loss. Eating processed and sugary foods will sabotage your efforts. Stick to whole foods and be sure to get enough protein, fiber, and healthy fats. If you're doing all the right things but still not seeing results, it may be helpful to talk to a doctor or registered dietitian to get their professional opinion on what could be holding you back.


This photo shows three healthy meals for weight loss. The top plate is oranges, the bottom left plate is boiled eggs, and the bottom right is an acai bowl. The background is orange.

There are also a number of supplements that can help with weight loss, such as green tea extract, caffeine, and garcinia cambogia. While these supplements can be helpful, it's important to remember that they should never be used as a replacement for healthy lifestyle choices.


Third, make sure you are staying active and exercising regularly. Exercise is essential for burning calories and fat. Even if you're not seeing results on the scale right away, exercise will help tone your body and improve your health overall.


Finally, don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. Weight loss takes time and patience. Keep at it and eventually you will start seeing the pounds come off!



Conclusion

Whether you’re new to the world of weight loss or not, it can be difficult to understand why you are not losing weight. By understanding more about how your body works and what the most effective ways to lose weight are, you can start making changes that will help get you back on track.


With a commitment to healthy eating habits and regular physical activity, coupled with some simple lifestyle modifications like reducing stress levels and getting adequate sleep, it is possible for anyone to achieve their desired level of fitness.


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