Have you been trying to shed a few pounds yet dread what you see every morning when you step on the scale? You’re not alone. Many others go through the same experience. You diet, watch what you eat, exercise, and do everything you think you should drop some weight, but nothing happens.
We’ll discuss common reasons for not losing weight to help you understand why your plans are being thwarted. We’ll also offer some suggestions and remedies to get you closer to your target weight.
- Why Am I Not Losing Weight?
- What Are Your Eating Habits?
- What Type of Lifestyle Do You Lead?
- Are You Stressed Out?
- Medical Reasons for Not Losing Weight
- So Much Effort, But No Pounds Shed
Why Am I Not Losing Weight?
There are several reasons why you aren’t shedding the pounds you want. Poor diet, insufficient exercise, or even medical conditions could be the culprit. Each individual is different, and losing weight isn’t easy.
If you’ve been working hard to shed those pounds, but they’re not coming off as quickly as you thought, take a look at the list we’ve compiled. But do keep in mind that the cause of not losing weight might not be down to one factor but a combination of different things.
What Are Your Eating Habits?
If you’re not losing weight, one of the first things you should consider is your eating habits. Simply put, we gain weight from the food we put into our bodies. So how much are you eating? Are you eating the right types of food? Consider these key points to see if your eating habits are the issue.
Take a look at what you eat daily and note the number of calories. If you consume more calories than you’re burning, your body will store the excess as fat. On the other hand, consuming too many calories is common but should be avoided if you’re trying to lose weight. The number of calories you should eat each day varies per person and depends on your current weight and level of physical activity. For the weight-conscious, you’ll need to take in fewer calories than you burn.
Curb Your Sweet Tooth
Are you eating a lot of sugary foods or drinking soda each day? Although low amounts of sugar in your diet are acceptable, note how often you consume sugary products. Less than 10% of your daily calories should come from sugar. If you’re consuming 2,000 calories a day, that’s less than 200 calories per day from sugar. As a reference, almost 10 teaspoons of sugar are in a can of the most popular sodas on the market. Eliminating high-sugar foods while trying to lose weight is highly recommended.
It should also be noted that many foods you may eat contain a high amount of sugar even though they aren’t considered sweet. Read the labels and be aware when you see dextrose, fructose, or lactose. These are sweeteners, and if you’re consuming them, they could be hindering your weight loss plan.
There’s been lots of discussion about carbs and weight loss. If you’re eating a lot of bread, pasta, and other starchy foods, it could be something you should take a look at. However, simple carbohydrates are usually responsible—foods like white bread and pasta.
Complex, healthy carbs, foods like beans, rice, and starchy vegetables may help you shed some pounds. Eating healthy will keep your body in better balance.
You Are What You Eat
You should eat as healthily as possible, especially if trying to lose weight. Avoiding high-calorie processed foods is an excellent step to take. This is not only true for weight loss but also for your overall health. Eating healthy, or at least healthier, is of great benefit. If you’re trying to lose weight but are failing miserably, an overhaul of your eating habits may be what the doctor ordered.
Related read: Why Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women
What Type of Lifestyle Do You Lead?
Your lifestyle plays an essential role in whether you’re losing weight or not. You can give up sugar, starve yourself, or meticulously count every calorie that goes into your body and not lose an ounce of weight. However, without adequate exercise, or at the least some type of physical activity every few days, even the best diet won’t help.
Do you live a sedentary lifestyle of sitting behind a computer all day, only to return home to become a couch potato? Then, you’ll need to burn the calories you ingest daily to lose weight.
Movement is life. We need calories to feed our body, but once our caloric needs are met, any extra calories quickly become stored as fat for future use. If you maintain an active-free lifestyle, those fat deposits won’t be needed. The best way to get your body to use them is to move.
The most beneficial type of exercise for weight loss is aerobics. Aerobic, or cardio training, is any activity involving the use of your lungs and heart. These activities are generally things like walking, jogging, swimming, and spin classes, but aren’t limited to those. For example, high-energy dancing, playing soccer with your children or grandchildren, or even some vigorous housework are all aerobic activities.
Aerobic exercises require your body to work harder. Once your heart pumps, it will require more energy to supply to the muscle groups you’re exercising. One way your body will find the extra energy it needs is by dipping into your fat reserves. This is a great way to drop a few pounds. The added benefit of regular aerobic activities is gaining stamina and increased muscle strength.
What Are Your Sleeping Patterns?
How much sleep you get per night and the quality of that sleep could be another one of the reasons for not losing weight. As odd as it seems, sleep is integral to losing weight.
If you’re getting a proper amount of exercise to burn off your excess calories, you’ll need adequate sleep so the body can repair. Not enough sleep can hinder the body’s ability to repair and rebuild. There’s also a connection between a lack of sleep and metabolic irregularities. Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your body’s metabolism, a function required for weight loss.
Are You Staying Hydrated?
Water is vital to maintaining a healthy body. It’s doubly important if you’re exercising for weight loss. Don’t worry. Water contains no calories. An extra glass or two during the day won’t add to your caloric intake.
Drinking water aids in the number of calories you burn. In fact, drinking cold water will increase this number because your body will need to burn more calories to warm the water to body temperature. If you’re not losing weight, try drinking more water. Quench your thirst with a cold glass of water on a hot summer day. It will help burn a few extra calories.
If you tend to overeat, drinking water before each meal may slightly reduce your appetite. Another benefit to drinking water is that it can discourage you from drinking beverages that could be high in sugar and calories. Your body needs water to survive; it doesn’t need the cola you crave.
Many enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a few beers while watching sports on TV. As innocent as this may seem, the amount of alcohol you drink could be the factor that’s stopping your weight loss.
For those trying to drop some pounds, alcohol is considered empty calories. So that harmless glass of wine doesn’t help you lose weight. Sure, it’ll add calories, but it adds very few nutrients. If you prefer your alcohol with a mixer, something like juice or soda, you’re adding more sugars and calories to your diet. Those extra calories mean even more exercise to burn them off.
Alcohol can also hinder your body’s ability to burn fat and lose weight in ways other than simply adding calories. Alcohol will be used first as energy for your body. This means your body will use that glass of wine for fuel before it dips into your body’s fat reserves. If your goal is to burn fat and lose weight, alcohol consumption will slow down the process.
Are You Stressed Out?
Just as inadequate sleep could be a factor when trying to lose weight, the same can be said for stress. Chronic stress could be a cause of your failure.
Feeling stressed at times is normal. However, chronic, daily stress could be a piece of the puzzle as to why you’re not losing weight. For example, when stressed, we sometimes comfort eat and generally don’t make the best food choices.
Stress could also affect your ability to sleep, which, as we’ve already learned, can negatively impact the body’s metabolism. Excessive stress could also stop you from maintaining your exercise routine.
This condition has been known to cause the body to overproduce hormones. For example, if you’ve been experiencing stress and/or anxiety for a significant period, your body may produce the hormone cortisol. Cortisol could be causing your body to hold on to fat deposits.
Medical Reasons for Not Losing Weight
If you’re eating with a caloric deficit and exercising regularly but aren’t losing weight, it could be caused by a medical issue. No matter how dedicated you are to losing weight, some medical conditions or medications you take could be holding you back.
So let’s look at some common medical issues and medications that could cause your body to pack on pounds or hinder its ability to shed them.
Several medical conditions could inhibit or slow the body’s ability to shed weight. This isn’t something you should self-diagnose. Instead, you should consult a medical professional. However, if you have any of the medical conditions listed here, it could be the reason why those pounds are proving so difficult to burn.
An underactive thyroid causes your body to underproduce the thyroid hormone that burns unused fat. This results in a much slower metabolism and will cause the body to store more fat than usual.
This medical condition causes the body’s adrenal glands to produce an abundance of cortisol. This could lead to an unnatural buildup of body fat.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS affects millions of women each year. This hormonal imbalance can cause hair loss, acne, irregular menstrual bleeding, and unusual weight gain. However, if PCOS affects you and you’re eating healthily and working out, this medical condition could prevent you from losing weight despite your best efforts.
There are a large number of common prescription drugs that could cause weight gain. Just like the medical conditions listed above, losing weight could be complicated if you’re taking medication that could cause weight gain. Below are the types of prescription drugs that might cause unwanted weight gain:
- Birth control pills
- Type 2 diabetes medications
- Mental health medications such as chlorpromazine and olanzapine
- Beta-blockers used for high blood pressure and heart conditions
- Some corticosteroids prescribed for lupus and asthma
- Antiepileptics used to control seizures
- Hormone replacement medications
If you cannot lose weight and are taking any of the above medications, talk to your doctor about different options.
So Much Effort, But No Pounds Shed
There are various reasons for not losing weight. Sometimes it’s caused by a poor diet and lack of exercise. Perhaps it has something to do with your sleeping patterns or the stress level in your life. For some people, the main issue is an underlying medical condition or a problem caused by prescribed medications.
It could also be due to a number of these factors combined. The best solution is to eat as healthily as possible and devise a sensible exercise plan that suits your lifestyle and needs.