Going on a weight loss journey can be difficult and emotional. And, if you think that you are doing everything correctly, it can be highly frustrating when you don’t lose weight. Motivation also plays a key role when you make significant changes to your lifestyle and strive to work towards a healthy body weight. However, despite trying everything you can, it can be demotivating if you do not see the desired results. So, are you hitting daggers at your weighing scale and thinking, why are you not losing weight? Despite sweating it out during your workouts, refraining from eating your favourite foods and all the self-control, it can be disappointing if you do not see results.
Losing weight and getting to optimum body weight brings in various health benefits. These benefits include lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, less stress on joints and bones and less stress on the heart. Therefore, it is essential to focus on ways to shed those extra kilos. However, following the right process and executing your plans right is crucial. There can be several reasons you are not getting the desired results, despite putting in all the efforts. Let us understand some of the most common causes.
Fundamentals of Weight Loss
People can lose weight and retain this loss by taking numerous achievable steps. These comprise the following:
Eat Nutritionally Dense Foods
Healthful snacks and meals should form the base of the human diet. An easy way to develop a meal plan is to ensure that each meal consists of 50% fruit and vegetables, 25% whole grains, and 25% protein. In addition, total fibre consumption should be 25–30 grams every day.
Keep a Food and Weight Diary
Self-monitoring is a significant factor in a successful weight loss journey. For example, people can use a paper diary, mobile app or a trustworthy website to list every item of food that they eat every day. They can also calculate their growth by recording their weight every week.
Engage in Regular Physical Activity and Exercise
Regular workout is essential for both mental and physical health. Expanding the frequency of physical activity in a disciplined and intentional way is often vital for successful weight loss.
Eliminate Liquid Calories
It is possible to eat hundreds of calories a day by sipping tea, sugar-sweetened soda, juice, or alcohol. These are known as “empty calories” because they deliver additional energy content without providing any nutritional benefits, hence it’s better to avoid them.
Many people succeed from mindful eating, which encompasses being fully conscious of how, what, why, when, and where they eat. Making more healthy food choices is an immediate outcome of becoming more connected with the body.
Weight loss is a gradual procedure, and a person may feel dejected if he does not see any difference in his weight. Therefore, the fundamental thing is to stay positive and be persistent in working towards conquering the obstacles to a healthy weight loss journey.
Possible Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight
Here are some of the most significant reasons for failing to achieve your weight loss goals and ways to rectify them.
1. Not Tracking Your Calories
Awareness is highly significant if you are trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how many calories they are eating and how many they are burning. As a result, it becomes challenging to balance calorie intake and burn, which hampers your weight loss process. Hence, keeping track of your calories is vital.
Interestingly, a study suggests that people who keep food diaries or photograph their meals tend to lose more weight than people who don’t. However, some studies indicate that excessive use of food and calorie-tracking apps do more harm than good for some people. Hence, it is essential to use a reliable app like HealthifyMe to track your calories.
2. Eating Too Many Calories
It is one of the most common mistakes that many people make. Despite indulging in extreme weight loss measures, they eat too many calories. Many people think that eating fewer calories does not apply to you. Still, you should note that several studies and research demonstrates the role of consuming fewer calories in losing weight. Studies also show that people report low-calorie intake while on a diet and overestimate calories burnt during exercise.
So, if you are not losing weight, you start tracking your calories for a while. Here are some helpful resources:
Tracking is also essential if you are trying to reach a particular nutrient goal, such as getting 30% of your calories from protein. It can be hard to achieve if you are not tracking things adequately.
It is generally not essential to count calories and evaluate everything for the rest of your life. Instead, try out these procedures for a few days every few months to understand how much you are eating.
3. Not Eating Whole Foods
Food quality is just as essential as quantity. Eating whole foods can enhance your well-being and enable you to regulate your appetite. In addition, these foods are much more filling than their highly processed equivalents. Research proves whole foods are much better for weight loss than processed foods.
Remember that many processed foods labelled as healthy foods aren’t healthy. Be sure to read the elements on the package and look for foods comprising extra carbs or fats. Also, try to incorporate whole foods into your weight loss meals, and you can see better results.
4. Possibly Losing Weight without Realising
Are you weighing yourself on a scale and seeing no change in the numbers even after constant efforts? Do not worry. It is common not to see any change on the weighing scale for a few days or even weeks. However, it does not mean that you are not on the right track. You may not lose weight for a while, but you are losing fat.
Sometimes, the body weight does not fluctuate due to a few factors. For example, it depends on the food you eat. Also, your hormones affect water retention (especially in women). Furthermore, since you are physically active and following a proper food plan, you might gain muscle weight and lose fat.
If the weight does not fluctuate for long on your scale, try using something other than the weight scale to measure your progress. For example, gauge your waist and body fat percentage once per month.
5. Insufficient Protein Intake
Protein is a vital nutrient for losing weight. Eating protein at 25-30% of total calorie consumption can stimulate metabolism by 80-100 calories per day. It automatically makes you eat a hundred calories less per day. It can also drastically decrease cravings and desire for snacking. Furthermore, it can help lose weight by protein’s impacts on appetite-regulating hormones, such as ghrelin and others.
So, if you eat breakfast, be sure to incorporate a lot of protein. Studies indicate that those who eat a high protein breakfast are less hungry throughout the day. Increased protein consumption also helps curb metabolic slowdown, a widespread side effect of losing weight. Also, it helps impede weight regain.
6. Binge Eating
Binge eating is very common. As the term suggests, binge eating means you frequently consume large amounts of food very quickly, often much more than your body requires. Therefore, it can be a significant problem for many people attempting to lose weight. In addition, some people may binge on processed foods, while others binge on somewhat healthy foods, including dark chocolate, nuts, and cheese. However, if you continually binge on food, it does hamper your weight loss process.
7. Not Eating Mindfully
A procedure called mindful eating may be one of the world’s most effective weight loss tools. It encompasses eating without distraction, slowing down, enjoying and savouring each bite while listening to the natural signals that notify your brain when your body has had sufficient. Numerous studies have indicated that mindful eating can cause substantial weight loss and decrease the frequency of binge eating.
Here is some advice to eat more mindfully:
- Eat with 0 distractions, sitting down at a table with your food only.
- Chew thoroughly and eat slowly. Try to be familiar with the smells, colours, flavours, and textures.
8. You are Still Drinking Sugar
Sugary beverages are considerably fattening items in the food supply. However, studies indicate that your brain does not repay for the calories in them by making you eat less of other foods.
It isn’t only valid for sugary drinks. It also relates to healthier beverages like vitamin water, which are also rich in sugar. Even fruit juices are troublesome, and you should not consume them in massive amounts. A single glass can include an identical quantity of sugar as numerous pieces of the whole fruit.
9. Not Lifting Weights
One of the most crucial things you can do when losing weight is a resistance workout, such as lifting weights. It can enable you to maintain muscle mass, which is often burned along with body fat if you are not working out. In addition, studies indicate that lifting weights can also help impede metabolic slowdown and assure that your body remains muscular and toned.
10. Not Doing Cardio
A cardiovascular workout, also known as cardio or aerobic exercise, is any category of exercise that enhances your heart rate. It comprises activities such as cycling, jogging, and swimming.
Research indicates that it is one of the most beneficial ways to enhance your health. It is also helpful at burning belly fat, the unhealthy visceral fat that accumulates around your organs and causes disease.
11. Improper Sleep
Good sleep is one of the most significant factors for your mental and physical health and weight. Studies indicate that poor sleep is one of the most prominent risk aspects of obesity. Adults and children with poor sleep have a 55-89% greater risk for evolving obesity.
12. Not Cutting Back on Carbohydrates
If you have a high amount of weight to lose and a metabolic condition such as type 2 diabetes, you should consider a low carb diet. This diet is twice as effective in weight loss as the often advised standard low-fat diet. So finding a balanced meal plan that you can enjoy long term is essential.
13. Eating Too Often
A study indicates that meal frequency has a negligible effect on the weight loss or fat burning process. It is also ridiculously inappropriate to prepare and eat food all day. That will make healthy nutrition intake more challenging.
On the other hand, one effective weight-loss technique called intermittent fasting involves gradually and strategically going without food for prolonged periods, for example, 12–24 hours.
14. Insufficient Water Intake
If you consume homemade food and stay away from processed and sugary foods and beverages and still do not lose weight, then there is a simple reason where you might be wrong. It is when you do not drink adequate amounts of water. Hence, good eating habits cannot work alone in your weight loss journey if you’re not hydrated.
15. Too Much Alcohol
If you love alcohol but wish to lose weight, it may be adequate to eliminate or limit alcohol or stick to spirits like vodka. Mix it with a zero-calorie beverage like water. Wine, beer, and sugary alcoholic beverages are incredibly high in calories.
Also, keep in mind that the alcohol itself has about seven calories per gram, which is very high. Furthermore, studies on alcohol and weight exhibit mixed results. Hence, moderate drinking appears to be okay, while heavy drinking is related to weight gain.
16. Medical Condition
Some medical conditions can increase weight gain, and losing weight becomes more difficult. These include hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Certain medications can also make losing weight harder or even gaining weight. If you think any of these relate to you, consult with your doctor about your preferences.
17. Excess Junk Food Consumption
According to a study, about 19.9% of people in Europe and North America fulfil the criteria for food addiction. So if you think you have a junk food addiction, solely changing your diet or eating less can appear impossible.
Suppose you have lost weight for several months and have reached the goal. Perhaps you should take a break. Instead, try expanding your calorie consumption by a few hundred calories per day by lifting weights, sleeping more, and gaining more muscle.
18. Unrealistic Expectations
Weight loss is usually a slow process. Many people lose tolerance before attaining their goals. Although it is frequently possible to lose weight quickly initially, few people can proceed to lose weight at a rate of more than 1-2 pounds per week.
Another challenge can be having unrealistic goals of what is achievable with a workout and nutrient-dense diet. Not everyone will be competent to look like a fitness model, which is fine. If you have already lost weight, but the weight scale doesn’t want to reduce any further, perhaps try to divert your emphasis to total body fat and muscle mass, and to accepting your body the way it is.
19. Only Focused on Dieting
Diets scarcely work long term. If anything, studies show that people who diet attain more weight over time. So instead of reaching weight loss from a dieting viewpoint, adopt health-promoting habits as your fundamental goal. Examples include:
- Eating a balanced, nutrient-dense diet.
- Working out as often as possible.
- Doing things that regularly make you comfortable and happy.
20. You Have Been Dieting for Too Long
If you are on a weight loss plateau, you are possibly on a diet for too long. When you do so, your body gets accustomed to a specific amount of nutrition it receives, bringing your weight loss to a standstill. Hence, try changing the plan. Eat a few extra healthy nutrients dense calories for a few days, sleep more, exercise more, and change your eating routine a little. If none of this works for you, take a nutritionist’s advice.
Focus on nurturing your body instead of constraining it and following weight loss as a natural side effect. Dieting is not a long-term treatment. If your objective is to lose weight and maintain it long-term, emphasise adopting health-promoting lifestyle habits.
Importance of Losing Weight
Some studies show that just a five to ten per cent decrease in weight can affect your health. Losing weight can mean:
- Decreased joint pain
- Decreased risk of certain cancers
- Decreased risk of diabetes
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Decreased risk of stroke
- Reduced risk in symptoms of osteoarthritis
- Reduced risk in symptoms of sleep apnea
- Improved blood sugar levels
- Improved cholesterol levels
In addition to the health benefits, you may also undergo a better lifestyle if you lose weight. People who have lost weight successfully experience:
- Better sleep
- Decreased stress
- Greater confidence
- Improved body image
- Improved energy
- Improved mood
- Improved sex life
- Improved vitality
- More active social life
Weight loss is not always easy, and various factors can bring it to a standstill. At the most fundamental level, not attaining your weight loss goal can happen when calorie intake equals or is more significant than calorie use. Try keeping a food diary, eating more protein, mindful eating, and doing strength exercises. In the end, altering your weight and lifestyle compels patience, perseverance, dedication, and resilience.