I am asked this question by someone or other, almost every day. “Despite doing everything right, why it’s not working for me. I’m eating less, eating healthier and working out more, but still why am I not losing weight?? It’s one of most common questions, I am asked as a weight watcher. It happens so often that when someone says he or she has a question, I usually think Oh no…here it comes again!!!
Effective & healthy weight loss is not a simple calories in, calories out equation. Nor is it only a simple diet and exercise paradigm. Weight loss has to a lot to do with your mood, temperament, willpower, genes, setting good habits and expunging the bad ones. So, a question often comes to your mind is: “How Do I Lose Weight?“
Sometimes, you can diet and work out and hunt down your calories and do rest of the things right – but you are still not losing weight. And then it’s not easy for you to answer with reasons – oh why are not you losing weight??? Then a list of possible reasons runs through your head that could be the culprits for your weight woes. I will tell you a list of probable reasons why you are not losing weight. Ready? Read on here why you are failing to lose weight?
Why Am I Not Losing Weight – 9 Reasons For Not Losing Weight Weight
1. You Are Eating Much More Calories Than That You Burn: The calories equation works like this. When we do something – we burn calories. When we consume anything (minus obvious stuff like water) we intake calories. Now, if the amount of calories we intake is greater than the amount of calories we burn, we save calories. This we can call caloric surplus, and it forces the body to store these surplus calories in some form for subsequent uses. The form in which such leftover calories are stored is most often body fat and responsible for our gaining weight.
Wait, we have good news for you also. The opposite scenario gives you opposite results. If the amount of calories you intake is consistently less than the amount of calories you burn, you will lose weight over time. This happens due the caloric deficit that you create, it forces the body to burn some other available fuel source. This source normally is body fat.
The above Calories in vs. Calories out, the so called energy balance equation, is scientifically proven. So, one of the most probable cause to gain weight (or not losing your weight) can be that you are not creating consistent caloric deficit by burning more calories than what you are eating, or in other words you are consistently eating more calories than that you are burning.
2. You Are Burning Enough Amount Of Calories, But Then Eating Them Back All: When you exercise, you burn calories. That is why work-out is always recommended by the trainers for quick weight loss. But take care not to overestimate how much you are burning by doing work out, or take the “I exercise today” excuse to later overeat, over drink or overindulge. Just think how many times you have encountered a food lure – inducing you into thinking that “Well, I exercised today, so I deserve this time.” Or even “Well buddy, I will have just this time now, but promise I will exercise extra hard tomorrow to burn it off.” If this happens with you, then this can be one of main reasons why you are not losing weight. You cannot lose weight by working out hard to burn calories on one hand, but then later re-eating all those extra calories you burned. You also need to be careful about one more thing. Normally, we tend to overestimate the calories we actually burn and underestimate the calories we consume. For example, you may mistake by using that 4-mile extra walk you did today (320 calories burned) to justify a restaurant meal (easily + 1,000 calories). Is it not a blunder to get you in a worse situation – hefty calorie surplus!!!
Bottom Line: Don’t skip the above reason number 1. Read it carefully again. It’s important. Don’t take excuse to eat more thinking that I am working out hard. You need to be caloric deficit to lose weight. Caloric surplus is normally one of the main reasons to gain weight.
3. You Think You Are Eating Healthy, But Actually You Are Not: The Americans and others who eat the modern style western foods face a lot of weight problems. Majority of the people are overweight these days because their diet contains lots of empty calories. Low-carb or not, they are feeding their addition – lots of diet soda and ready to eat junk foods. You think you are eating healthy foods, but actually you are not. Go beyond the labels and look inside to know the reality – the foods/drinks you are consuming may be just crap and empty calories. It’s just not about low-carb only – there is much more beyond that to be seen. We are not eating that well that is why there is steady increase in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity cases.
4. You Are Relying On Exercise Alone, But That Won’t Do The Trick: Yes, you are right exercise helps you in losing weight – and then it has so many other health benefits also. No doubt exercise helps in creating calorie deficit, which is crucial for reducing body fat. But, this is not the whole truth. Doing exercise alone won’t help you in losing weight. I re-emphasize here, exercise alone will not make you lose weight. If you think that will do the trick then you are fighting a tough crusade. Here is the reason.
Exercise does burn calories, but not as many as you probably may be thinking. When you consider actually how many you can burn calories by work out, you will understand where the things stand. And on top of that it takes lot of efforts, energy and time to burn even a meager amount of calories. Just imagine this; you may need to do a full hour of intense workout to lose about 400-500 calories. Compare it with that you only need a few minutes to easily eat hundreds and thousands of calories. Now just imagine how much time you would require to offset those calories.
Bottom Line: So, the bottom line is you need to change your diet to reduce calorie intake, as exercise only will not help you much. You can’t win the battle with a bad diet. You better do the both (not one or the other) for effective weight loss – that is creating calorie deficit through diet and exercise – both.
5. You Are Not Doing Right Kinds Of Exercise: If you exercise regularly that is not only good for your health, but helps you to lose weight as well. But for weight loss, you have to do the right kinds of exercise that focus on weight loss. Someone will tell you that strength training is the best way to lose weight. Someone else will say concentrate on cardio. Then you probably will hear intervals and intensive intervals. Are not you confused?
The truth is any type of body movements can burn calories. And the way to lose weight is also to burn calories. But which kind of exercise will burn more calories is the crux. And in most cases, cardio is at the top end to burn calories. On the other hand, strength training is not a major calorie burner. Do not rely on strength training only as your weight loss strategy, as it may flop.
Bottom Line: Do a combination of both with cardio as your major calorie loss strategy with strength training to preserve lean muscle.
6. You Have Reached A Plateau: You have been losing weight, and then it stopped – that is you have hit the dreaded weight loss plateau. Yes, it can happen when you have equated calorie deficit, and the amount of your calories intake is not allowing you to create further calorie deficit. Let me tell you how and why it happens? You hit a weight loss plateau when you are no longer creating any more calorie deficit and your already created calorie deficit has been exhausted and no longer exist. In other words you have to have a relook at your calorie in vs. calorie out equation & adjust your diet and workout plan accordingly. In other words in the changed situation, you are eating more calories for your new current weight and you need to create calorie deficit again. So set a revised equation – eat a little less or / and burn a little more calories – wow your dreaded weight loss plateau stands broken.
7. You Are Not Being Consistent Enough: You enthusiastically start and stick to your strict diet and fitness plan for days or weeks, but as your habits simply may not be consistent for long enough and so you lose your pursuit.
It can also happen that you eat “perfectly” and exercise “religiously” for a whole week, only to see at the weekend that you have not lose an ounce, so you think – “What is the point!!” With the result you are likely to go an all-out eating spree and skip the gym for a few days.
Or you might be consistent in your habits, but the occasional – a seemingly harmless cake or drinks with your friends actually happens more often than occasionally. Or on receiving some good news you excuse that you deserve an eat-out in a restaurant and you have a dessert packed with hidden calories may offset all your sincere endeavors.
Bottom Line : You need to eat right and exercise consistently as much as you can. And then you have to apply both moderation as well as portion control mantra when you are indulging occasionally.
8. You Are Eating High-Carb Foods: Carbs in your diet play a major role in the weight loss program. Trick is to avoid the processed foods, as they contain lots of hidden sugar.
9. You Have An Underlying Medical Issue: When you have been consistently following your weight loss program – having weight loss healthy diet and none of the above reasons seems to you to be a probable cause for your not losing weight – the probable cause you may wishfully think is that it is an underlying medical problem, such as a slow thyroid, some kind of hormonal disorder, or some other medical reason that popping a pill could fix and miraculously help you to shed off the pounds. Although, it is true that with certain medical disorders or when you are on some medications it becomes difficult to lose weight, but in all probability it is because you are not consistently burning more calories than you are eating. And even in cases when you are having some medical issue, the reason for your not losing weight can still be simply a lack of caloric deficit. The solution in such cases then is about resolving the underlying medical issue that’s preventing your body from burning more calories.
Conclusion: The right way is to keep a track and measure the calories in : calories out equation honestly. Do not underestimate the calories you intake or overestimate the calories that you burn during the course of a day. Create caloric deficit consistently through less calories intake and increased physical activities. Weight loss looks simple, but it does not happen easily. The best mantra is – Be consistent. Many, many people just like you have succeeded in losing weight to become slim and trim. And slowly, but surely you will too!!!!
Can you relate to any of the above reasons? What do you think are the main reasons that people struggle with to lose weight?
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