Why am I not losing weight? You may have been asking yourself that question even when you eat well and work out according to schedule. Your frustrations are running high. But, everyone’s body is different, requiring different needs. You can even consider DNA as a factor in why some people lose weight quickly and others do not. For those who wish to see significant weight loss, there is a need to find a balance between exercise, diet, and emotional health to create the loss you desire.
Why Am I Not Losing Weight? | The Answers You Need
What Could Be the Problem?
Most people shall go through a process of determining the best way to lose weight for their body’s needs. To do this, consider a few of the most common reasons why people do not lose weight and a few ways to jump-start your weight loss journey.
The most important step you can take is the easiest. Set aside your scale. Focus on eating healthy food. Exercise every day with an activity you enjoy doing.
Stay as stress-free as possible. When you still struggle, consider these reasons why you may not be losing.
#1: You Are Losing Fat but Gaining Muscle
One of the most common misconceptions about weight loss is that the scale will just keep moving down. When working out, you are doing two things.
You are burning stored fat in the body. But, you are also toning and building muscles. Muscle adds weight to the body – but it is a healthy addition.
There is good news here. You will not keep adding muscle unless you focus on weight lighting. And, muscle tissue burns fat faster and more efficiently. Eventually, the added muscle will help you burn fat faster.
To see what is happening, consider this process. Measure your waist or your hips. Do so at the start of your weight loss journey.
Then, use this tape measurement as a guideline for fat loss. It will indicate that you are losing fat, but potentially gaining muscle.
This is one of the most common causes of weight gain in people who exercise. Gaining weight, initially, tends to be a sign of muscle building.
This can be a good thing in the long term. So if “why am I not losing weight” is running through your mind, muscle building can be the main reason.
#2: You Have Insulin Resistance Working Against You
You’ve been exercising and dieting but you still ask yourself, “why am I not losing weight?” Are you diabetic or pre-diabetic?
Insulin resistance can be a problem for many people who are. You may not know you are. If you are exercising, but not losing weight, it may be due to insulin resistance. Weight loss is very difficult if you are.
When insulin resistance occurs, the cells do not react properly to it. However, to take and process the foods you need, your cells need to respond to insulin.
When this does not happen, the pancreas works to produce even more insulin. This causes a higher blood sugar level. When insulin levels are high, the body is storing more fat instead of burning it.
To overcome this, consider these tips:
- Control your insulin levels. If your blood sugar is very high, you may need to work with your doctor to lower them. It is important to manage your blood glucose levels well. This may not require medication for some people.
- Reduce your intake of carbohydrates. Carbs turn to sugars in the body quickly. When this happens, it creates a spike in blood glucose levels. This, in turn, causes the body to store more fat. Reduce your intake of any non-natural carbs.
- Eat a diet with more protein and less processed products. Improving your diet can make a significant difference in your overall wellbeing if you are insulin resistant.
#3: You Are Getting More Calories Than You Realize
Sometimes, we make the switch to a new diet and workout regimen and assume the weight will come off. It may, but this depends on the actual quality and quantity we consume. It’s easy to eat too many good-for-you foods and limit your weight loss as a result.
Do you know how much you are really eating? Use a food journal or a tracking app. Document everything you eat throughout the day.
When you do, you may recognize you are eating more than you should. Even if your diet does not require counting calories, too many calories, in general, can lead to stalled weight loss.
Also, note this simple rule. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. If you consume more calories than you burn, the body stores those calories as fat.
You don’t lose weight. Turn this around by limiting your calorie intake to at least below the level you are burning through exercise.
#4: You Need Higher Quality Foods
A recent study from JAMA found people who removed refined grains, added sugar, and processed foods from their diet lost a significant amount of weight.
The benefit comes from what they did eat, though. These people eat more vegetables and whole foods. They did not count calories, and they do not limit the portion sizes they consumed. Yet, they continued to lose weight.
These individuals followed a diet with low fat and low carbohydrates. It is important to note these individuals did not remove whole food groups from their diets.
They still consumed some carbohydrates, mostly through the consumption of whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
For those who are exercising but not seeing the weight loss they desire, take a look at the quality of food are you consuming.
Are you settling for a boxed dinner with few nutrients? Are you taking in processed foods or those with added sugars? Removing this can help. Choose diet food with a whole food focus instead.
#5: Your Body Needs More Protein
Protein is a building block in the body. To build stronger muscles, your body needs between 25 and 30 percent of its calories to come directly from protein, according to researchers.
When you consume this much, you also encourage your body to burn fat faster. Your metabolism increases, sometimes by as much as 100 calories per day burned in addition to your normal levels.
It also helps to reduce cravings according to some studies. This may help to avoid the risk of snacking.
It does not have to be difficult to get more protein in your diet. Start with your breakfast.
Be sure to create a high-protein meal to boost your body’s metabolism from the start. You may also find this simple step helps to reduce your cravings all day long.
#6: You Are Not Getting the Right Combination of Exercise In
You are exercising, but you still ask yourself, “why am I not losing weight?” The real question is, what type of exercises are you doing?
The right answer is a combination of both cardio and weightlifting. Even if you don’t wish to build a significant amount of muscle mass, building and toning some muscle will encourage better weight loss. Researchers know weight training helps to reduce fat buildup over the entire body.
At the same time, you need to burn calories. Just weight lifting isn’t going to help enough. Cardio workouts include running or swimming.
They include activities that increase the heart rate. Cardio can help you to burn belly fat, studies show.
#7: You Need to Balance Your Lifestyle
Some of the most common reasons for not losing weight relate to what is happening outside of your workout and diet routine. Here are some examples:
- You are not getting enough sleep. A National Institutes of Health study found those who don’t get enough sleep are up to 89% more likely to be overweight.
- You’re stress eating. Some people snack (on good or bad foods) because they are under stress. The Mayo Clinic reports this is a common cause of consuming high-calorie foods.
- You consume too much alcohol. Many people do not realize there are significant calories and sugar levels in alcoholic beverages. Even grabbing a single drink after work can stall your efforts.
#8: Your Expectations Are Too High
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Healthy weight loss occurs when you lose one to two pounds per week. Sometimes you may lose a significant amount more in the initial weeks of a new diet.
However, weight loss should be gradual. When it is, it will help you maintain the loss over time. Choosing a healthy diet and food program, coupled with exercise, can help you lose this amount per week, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A crash diet limits your success. It may take pounds off initially, but it may not remain off long-term.
If you’re having trouble hitting your weight-loss goals, watch this video on how to lose weight using a proven dieting strategy:
Still wondering, “why am I not losing weight?” Exercising is a key component of weight loss. Getting any type of physical activity most days of the week can help you start to see success.
Long-term success comes from more effort to balance exercise with food intake and overall well being. And, it takes time.
Most people will find consistency is the one, single most common reasons they don’t lose weight in the long term. Simply, you have to create a healthy plan and stick with it to see sustained results.
Do you ask yourself, “why am I not losing weight?” even after a lot of effort? Share what you’ve tried from the list in the comment section below.