You Can’t Lose Weight? Here Are The Reasons Why

Reasons for not losing weight

Why Can’t I Lose Weight No Matter What I Do?

You’ve followed a weight loss plan with a goal to lose weight and it didn’t work. You are now frustrated, you’ve done everything right, and yet you’ve not lost weight as much as you planned.

What is the problem? Why can’t you lose weight even you are on a diet and exercise every day? No, matter what you do you can’t lose weight as you planned.

It is not just you. Many people have a problem losing weight even they are following a weight loss plan. The reasons for this are not unknown and there are answers for everything.

In this article, you will find out what are those reasons, which are stoping you to lose weight and what to do about that.

Common Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight

You are eating too many calories

Eating healthy food doesn’t mean that it is calorie-free. Even healthy food contains calories and it doesn’t mean you can eat unlimited amounts and expect to lose weight.

You are convinced that you’ve eaten a healthy dinner like salmon, salad, and whole-grain pasta, which is healthy but you’ve forgotten to count the numbers. For example, a 6-oz. salmon fillet with two cups of whole-grain pasta contains about 700 calories.

Or you say, “I only eat salad” but a salad of lettuce and tomatoes with a tablespoon of olive oil and vinegar brings in a total of over 800 calories.

Many people who can’t lose weight are simply eating too many calories. You must understand that weight loss is primarily a numbers game: calories in vs. calories out.

This is backed by science too. The study was conducted in Dec. 1992 on obese subjects who repeatedly fail to lose weight even though they report restricting their caloric intake to less than 1200 kcal per day. 

The results of this study showed that the failure of some obese subjects to lose weight while eating a diet they report as low in calories is due to an energy intake substantially higher than reported and an overestimation of physical activity, not to an abnormality in thermogenesis.

Or if we simplify this study we can say that sometimes even we follow some diet to lose weight we maybe eat more food than we should. For example, the nuts you nubbled on during a meeting, the food you eat to clean your child’s plate, etc.

This is how you come to a point where you’re eating more calories than you’re burning. If now you think this is the reason why you’re not losing weight even if you are on a diet, here are some solutions to that.

You can use a calorie calculator – a tool to figure out how many calories to eat. Also try the calorie counters- websites and apps that that can help you keep track of your calorie and nutrient intake – MyFitnessPal, LoseIt, or FatSecret.

Zero Calorie Foods

You should know that if a product has less than 5 calories per serving, companies are allowed to round down to 0 calories per serving. Watch out for cooking sprays, sweetener packets, and especially salad dressings.

Not eating enough protein

Protein is essential to a healthy diet and it is the single most important nutrient for losing weight. Here is what happens when you skimp on protein:

  • Your food cravings increase
  • Your metabolism slows down
  • Your focus diminishes
  • Your wounds and injuries won’t heal as easily

How much protein do you need per day? According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, an adult man should take in a minimum of 10% of his daily calories from protein. That’s equivalent to 0.36 g of protein per pound of body weight. Each gram of protein you take contains 4 calories.

The healthy range for proteins extends up to 35% of daily calories. Eating protein at 25-30% of calories can boost metabolism by 80-100 calories per day and make you automatically eat several hundred fewer calories per day. It also reduces cravings and the desire for snacking.

Is breakfast skipping associated with weight gain, overeating, and obesity?

This subject was analyzed by researchers in 2010. In their study, they found that a breakfast rich in dietary protein provides additional benefits through reductions in appetite and energy intake. These findings suggest that the addition of a protein-rich breakfast might be an effective strategy to improve appetite control in young people.

If we simplify this it comes out that if you eat breakfast be sure to load up on protein. Those who eat a high protein breakfast are less hungry, have fewer cravings throughout the day, and high protein intake helps prevent the metabolic slowdown-side effects of losing weight.

Make sure to eat protein-rich foods. Low-protein intake can bring your weight loss efforts to a standstill.

Eating junk food as healthy

Today marketing agencies try to sell junk food masked as healthy. And maybe you are falling into this trap. You can save yourself by knowing how to identify these healthy food fakers.

Smoothies and Juice: You know that these drinks are especially healthy because they are made from fruits and vegetables. Why be careful when buying these drinks? Because they contain sugar, especially smoothies which also contain ice cream or high-fat yogurt. So check the ingredients before buying, or the best solution is to make a tasty and healthy smoothie at home. It is so easy why buying it?

Multi-Grain and Wheat Breads: You know that whole-grain bread is healthy. Check the nutrition facts even there is a written sign saying “healthy.” Whole-grain bread should have 3-5 grams of fiber which makes it a healthy alternative. Healthy food fakers often have 1 gram or less.

Granola Bars and Protein Bars: Sure these are great for an energy boost. But the average granola or protein bar has as much sugar in it as a candy bar. Again, read the nutrition facts, not everything that has “healthy” signs is healthy, be careful.

Another problem when it comes to eating healthy food and it’s a common side effect of dieting is binge eating. Just because it is healthy doesn’t mean that you can eat non-stop.

Even if something is healthy its calories still count. A single binge can often ruin an entire week’s worth of dieting.

You’re not exercising enough

For an average person to lose weight he/she may need 60-90 minutes of exercise to lose weight. If you exercise every day and that still doesn’t give results maybe you don’t know how many calories different workouts burn or you rely on gym machines which are inaccurate when it comes to calorie counts.

One of the most effective ways to improve your health and also effective at burning belly fat is cardio or aerobic exercise. It includes activities like jogging, cycling, swimming, etc.

Another important thing to do when you want to lose weight is to do some form of resistance training such as lifting weights. This helps to prevent metabolic slowdown and also helps to maintain muscle mass, which is often burned along with the body fat if you are not exercising.

Interesting Fact

For burning fat aerobic (cardio) exercises are better than anaerobic ( weight lifting). They keep your heart rate up for a longer duration, which results in more burned energy and that equals weight loss.

You are sitting most of the day

Are you one of those people who sit in the car to work, then walk to the office and sit for most of the day? Then again sit in the car, come back home, and guess what? You are sitting and watching TV or scrolling through your social media.

All f this sitting means just one thing. You’re not moving as much as it should for your best health outcomes. When you sit, not walking, doing housework, or moving around you are wasting so much time that could be spent on fitness or other physical activity that can help you to burn a few more calories.

Studies have shown that people who spend more time sitting tend to weigh more and also weighing more leads people to sit more often.

So using every chance to move around and spend as much little time as you can to sit helps you not only to burn some calories it is also good for overall health.

Unrealistic expectations

Losing weight is not a fast process and you need to be patient because it takes time to see the results. Don’t look at those photos of models online where they talk about some diet and how they’ve lost many pounds. Those photos and stories are enhanced.

The human bodies are unique and if the weight loss program gives fast results for one person or another it will take some time. If you talk with successful weight losers they will tell you that losing weight is a slow process and sometimes take years to learn to lose weight and learn how to keep it off.

Just think about your timeline. If you’ve been on a weight loss program only for a few weeks you may need to give your body more time to respond to what you’re doing.

Most of the time people have unrealistic expectations of what is achievable with a healthy diet and exercise. If you already lost some weight and you feel good about yourself, but the scale doesn’t seem to climb any further, you should start working on accepting your body the way it is.

You should know that at some point your weight is going to reach a healthy set point where your body feels comfortable. If you try to go further may not be worth the effort or even be impossible for you.

You are not sleeping well – too little or too much

Cutting back on sleep reduces the benefits of dieting, according to a study from 2010 published in The University Of Chicago Medicine.

Study director Plamen Penev, MD, Ph.D., says “If your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels.”

“Cutting back on sleep, a behavior that is ubiquitous in modern society appears to compromise efforts to lose fat through dieting. In our study, it reduced fat loss by 55 percent.”

Sleep is like nutrition for the brain. Most people need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Getting adequate sleep helps to control hunger.

Average levels of ghrelin (“hunger hormone”) are not changing dieters spent 8.5 hours in bed according to the same study. When they spent 5.5 hours in bed, their ghrelin levels rose over two weeks from 75 to 85 ng/L.

Higher ghrelin levels stimulate hunger and food intake, promote retention of fat, reduce energy expenditure.

Good To Know

Many studies from around the world show a consistent increased risk of obesity among short sleepers in children and adults. You may want to work on sleep hygiene if you’re having trouble with weight loss.

Overdoing Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages are generally high in calories. The alcohol itself has about 7 calories per gram which are high.

Two glasses of wine a week add close to 1.600 calories to your weekly tally, and two beers a day are 2.100.

So if you’re serious about weight loss consider putting the beer mug down for a while.

Eating in restaurants

There is nothing wrong with eating out. When you want to lose weight maybe this is not the best choice for you. Why? You never know exactly what is in your dish.

Even if the restaurant provides nutritional info, those are just estimates based on recipes. Do you really think that every member of the kitchen crew is weighing and measuring each ingredient?

So, next time when you are on a weight loss plan it is better to prepare and eat your meals at home. You can spend a great time with your friends and family at home eating tasty homemade food.

Turning to snacks when you’re stressed out

When you are stressed out eating can become an attempt to fill an emotional vacancy in your life. There is a thing called emotional eating.

If you want to learn more about emotional eating read this article Tips To Stop Emotional Eating and Beat Food Cravings. You will find out what is emotional eating and helpful tips to stop it.

There are many other ways that can help you to relieve stress and calm down. Things like exercise, walking, meditation, yoga can help. You shouldn’t find a solution always in food and calories.

How Long Does It Take To Notice Weight Loss

There isn’t exactly the time for you to see and others to notice weight loss results. It depends on many different factors, like your starting size, diet type, eating plan, and many other things.

However many people can see results in one or two weeks when they stick to their weight loss plan.

Sample timeline when you might see weight loss changes

The first week: During this week most people start to see a change in the scale (usually up to five pounds). Not no major noticeable changes in your body.

The second week: You’re likely to start seeing changes in the way your body looks and feels. Exercise is easier and your clothes start to feel looser.

The third week: If you’ve been consistent in your weight loss plan this is the period when you start to feel the program is successful.

The fourth week: This is the period when you’ve lost enough weight (safely) to be a different clothing size.

After the fourth week: After week four your eating plan is starting to feel like more of a normal routine. If you are satisfied with the amount of lost weight, it is time now to adjust the eating plan for weight maintenance.

When you’re following a weight loss plan it is important to be consistent and remind yourself of the many benefits of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. It will help you to stay motivated for the duration of your journey.

Remember, each person’s body is unique and the rate at which you lose weight may be different than it is for someone else.

What To Do If You Can’t Lose Weight

Here are quick tips for weight loss:

  • Be aware and keep track of the calories you’re eating.
  • Find out how many calories you need to burn to lose weight.
  • Make sure that you have realistic weight loss goals.
  • Base your diet on whole foods.
  • Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice.
  • Eat a high protein breakfast.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
Reasons why you can't lose weight on a diet

Final thoughts on why I am not losing weight when I exercise and diet:

Weight loss is not easy. There are numerous factors that can influence the process and bring you to the point when you give up and be disappointed that you can’t lose weight even you are following a diet and exercise every day.

Some of those things as we mentioned and reviewed up here are calorie intake, your calorie intake is equal to or higher than calorie expenditure. Not eating enough protein and eating too much junk food are marked as healthy. Not sleeping well and not exercising enough.

Change your strategy try to keep track of calorie intake, eat mindfully, exercise every day, drink enough water, and get a good night’s sleep.

In the end to shed pounds and lose weight it is not enough just to follow a diet and exercise. It requires discipline, dedication, resilience to see the results that you want.

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