You’re exercising regularly and watching what you eat, but you just can’t shed the pounds. Below are 13 reasons why you can’t lose weight.
1. You’re not exercising
Eating right is only one aspect of achieving a healthy weight—you can’t downplay the importance of exercise. If you have been adjusting your food intake without seeing the scale move, it may be because diet is just one part of the weight loss puzzle.
If you are taking in fewer calories but also moving less, you will be burning fewer calories as well. That cancels out your overall calorie deficit, which leads to limited weight loss.
This is another reason why you shouldn’t cut calories too drastically: You need energy to exercise. Just don’t use that trip to the gym as an excuse to chow down on unhealthy food later.
2. You’re paying too much attention to the scale
If you are exercising more, you may not see a change in actual weight—but that doesn’t mean you’re not getting leaner.
If you have recently taken up an exercise routine, especially one that involves weight training, you may be losing inches without seeing a change on the scale. This is due to muscle taking up less space than fat mass. If you lose a pound of fat and gain a pound of muscle, your weight will stay the same on the scale, yet you will have lost inches.
In addition, muscles burn more calories than fat, so an increase in muscle mass will help you lose even more.
Finally, rather than fixate on a number on the scale, go by the way you look and feel—and how your clothes fit.
3. You’re too restrictive
In the same vein as avoiding fad diets that eliminate entire food groups, you don’t want to be too restrictive with what you allow yourself to eat. Restriction sets you up for failure, because it’s not sustainable in the long run.
Being too restrictive with your meal plan leads to burn out and often times binge eating There’s a reason we say that diets don’t work, and it’s because of the mentality that a diet is something you will ‘go on’ only to ‘go off’ again in the future.
Instead of ‘dieting,’ focus on making one or two small changes and build upon this over time to not just lose weight but to keep it off for life.
If you ease into it, and still allow yourself a treat every now and again, you’ll get used to the change gradually and will adapt better to healthy eating.
Bottom line: Long-term lifestyle changes are necessary to maintain a healthy weight. This includes mindful eating, daily exercise, and portion control.
4. You’re not considering your genetics
Scientists are learning there’s no one-size-fits-all diet plan, so what helps one person lose weight could actually make someone else gain weight.
Trial and error is an option, but to get clearer answers on what will or won’t work for you, consider over-the-counter genetic testing.
Although the majority of your weight status is influenced by your environment and lifestyle choices, some of the way your body stores fat, as well as your body weight, is determined by genes.
There’s not just one gene that determines this predisposition—there are hundreds, so genetic testing should take into account polygenic data to provide the most accurate information.
Your results might reveal, for example, that you’re overly sensitive to dietary fat, so a fat-heavy diet plan like keto or Paleo could be a disaster for you.
Your genes can give some insight into whether you may be more likely to gain weight from eating dietary fat or carbohydrates but again, it’s very multifactorial.
5. You’re not making it yours
What’s the perfect diet for your personality type? The one you will stick to.
Along with genetics, consider logistical, economic, and personal preferences. For example, if you love exercising, make that a bigger part of your routine; or if you find it easy to meal plan or love to cook, focus on food.
When it comes to the type of diet, no one size fits all. A recent study showed greater overall success was achieved by matching different people to different diets.
All facets of weight loss are important, but you’re definitely more likely to succeed at making lifestyle changes you can actually live with.
To stick with long-term positive changes in healthy eating or exercise, it’s important to make it something that you enjoy and even look forward to. This makes change much more sustainable and enjoyable.
6. You’re not going with your gut
Your microbiome, the colony of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the digestive tract, may also affect how different people respond to foods.
A recent study showed specific microbes correlated with blood sugar rises after a meal. The evidence right now on the microbiome is still too preliminary to understand the connection between gut bacteria and weight, or how you may respond to different foods, [but] there is some interesting research on the diversity of gut bacteria and the positive ways it can be influenced by plant foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans.
To keep your gut healthy, eat whole foods and those with probiotics, like yogurt and sauerkraut.
7. You’re not considering other health issues
If you’re having trouble dropping pounds despite your best efforts, see your doctor to check if something else may be going on. For example, a slow thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause weight gain; or it could be a side effect of a medication you’re taking.
Medications, thyroid labs, and other testing should be assessed by your physician if you have concerns. Stress, mental health, as well as sleep also play huge roles in body weight.
This is exactly how much sleep you need if you want to lose weight. Be sure to address all aspects of your lifestyle for optimal results.
Looking at weight loss holistically, from all angles, creates a more well-rounded and balanced program that truly impacts long-term health positively.
8. You’re not being NEAT
Going to the gym might not do much if you spend the rest of the day lying on the couch or sitting at your office desk. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) are the calories you’re burning when you’re not working out, just from walking around, standing, climbing stairs, doing housework, and generally being a more active person.
Studies have found the amount of NEAT expended in different people can vary by 2,000 calories a day—and obese people tend to sit 2.5 hours longer per day than lean people.
No need to go to the gym for two hours if you don’t want to—research shows that getting up and moving while limiting sedentary behavior throughout the day is important.
9. You’re eating too much “healthy” food
Certain foods, like vegetables, are less calorie-dense, which means you can eat more of them. But even if you’re eating healthily, you still have to watch portion sizes.
When you eat a food you assume is a healthy option, it tends to have a ‘health halo‘ around it; you feel as though you can eat more of it without any negative impact on health or weight.
You may eat larger portions of ‘diet’ foods or splurge on other foods since you were eating only ‘healthy’ options the rest of the day. This can lead to an excessive intake of calories, which can lead to weight gain.
Plus, studies show many processed products labeled “diet” or “low-fat” can lead to weight gain, because the manufacturers make up for the loss of fat by adding more sugar or other fillers.
10. You don’t have a “squad”
Working out and eating healthily with friends or loved ones can provide motivation and support—and that makes a difference.
Research consistently shows people gravitate toward the health habits of those around them—in another study, the more time obese people spent with their fit friends, the more weight they lost.
Accountability and support are two main ingredients to long-term weight management success. Surrounding yourself with individuals who can help to provide encouragement and support can be a great way to increase motivation and help you stay on track.
11. You’re not keeping track
You may not realize how much you’re eating—or how little you’re exercising—unless you record your habits. In addition, “fitness gadgets are a great way to boost daily movement.
The awareness these provide can often help you to move more on otherwise inactive days. Although research on fitness trackers has so far not shown much influence on weight loss, newer products offer improved features that can better help keep you on track.
12. You’re a yo-yo dieter
Losing weight quickly and gaining it back repeatedly, called yo-yo dieting or weight cycling, isn’t just frustrating psychologically—research shows the back and forth confuses your body and can make it actually harder to lose weight in subsequent attempts.
Plus, crash diets that cause you to lose weight rapidly due to excessive dietary restriction can lead to a loss of both body fat and muscle mass.
The more muscle you lose, the slower your metabolism, which makes it easier to gain the weight back and harder to lose it again.
13. You don’t have the right motivation
Although most people who hope to lose weight want to look thinner, that’s likely not a strong enough motivation to keep you going long-term—neither is guilt or caring what others think.
Inner motivations like wanting to live a longer life, be more active with your kids, or achieve a goal like running a marathon or hiking a strenuous trail may help you stick to healthier habits.
Successfully improving your diet is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. If your only objective is to hit a certain number on the scale, your motivation will wane when you are no longer attempting to lose weight.
In addition, make sure your expectations are realistic—one study showed that women who used pictures of thin models as motivation had less success losing weight.
Making small, simple changes you can stick with for life is the best way to lose weight and improve health long-term.
One last thing… you should try this odd “carb trick” that burns up to 1 pound of belly fat per day…
“All this by Flavor-Pairing?” I asked.
I met an old friend for lunch last month and I was super impressed with how good she looked.
She said, “It’s not so much about the Flavor-Pairing, but more about how it re-awakens what the Japanese call, ‘the weight loss doubling molecule’ which signals 22-hour a day fat-burning effect in the female body.”
Even though I was skeptical, I’ve been struggling with my weight over the last few years, so I gave it a shot and watched the same video she did.
Well, it’s only a couple weeks later and you know what they say about how “you can’t transform your body overnight”…
They’re right – it actually took me 16 days to lose 22 pounds.
Now it’s my girlfriends asking ME what I’M doing differently 💅