Let’s face it. It’s a lot easier to put weight on than it is to lose weight. In many cases, you may be working hard to get the weight off, and you are just not losing weight. It can be frustrating, and you may end up losing your motivation.
Don’t give up just yet.
There may be things you’re doing that (or not doing) that’s keeping the weight on, and you may not be aware of them. Read this list of 12 reasons you may not be losing weight to see if any of them are hindering you from meeting your weight loss goals.
12 Surprising Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight
You might be astonished to learn the roadblocks to weight loss.
1. You’re not eating enough protein.
Protein is the most essential nutrient you need when you’re trying to lose weight.
Protein helps with weight loss in quite a few ways. One study explains that the most significant help protein offers is appetite reduction. Eating a high-protein diet will make you less hungry. It’s easy to stick with a diet when you aren’t always fighting the urge to eat.
More importantly, it makes you feel satisfied. You’ll know the importance of this feeling if you’ve ever eaten a meal and, no matter how big the dinner was, you aren’t happy with what you ate, and you’re craving something else.
2. You’re eating the wrong snacks.
Snacks are a great way to curb your appetite from meal to meal, but they can be very tricky. However, snackfoods that should be healthy can have hidden fats or sugars. Snacks that may be healthy for some people may not be so beneficial for others.
One way to make sure you’re not eating the wrong snacks is to stay away from processed snacks. Even if they’re labeled as healthy, low-calorie, or sugar-free, they could be empty calories that aren’t providing you with any nutritional value.
3. You’re not eating enough.
To have a calorie deficit, many people may cut out too many calories. This can be just as bad as eating too many calories. It may seem counter-productive, but not eating enough food can be one reason you’re not losing weight.
The human body is incredibly resilient and will do what it must do to survive in challenging situations. Studies reveal that when your starve yourself, your body begins storing fat and calories like a bear that’s storing food for hibernation.
This cycle will ultimately work against your weight loss goals, so make sure that you’re eating enough, so you don’t go into deprivation mode.
4. You need to change your workout regimen.
Working out is an integral part of losing weight, but sometimes it may work against your goals. There are a few reasons this could happen.
One of the main reasons is that you’re not doing the exercises correctly. Some people don’t use the proper form or don’t push themselves in the gym. You know what they say – no pain, no gain. In this case, it’s no loss.
Another reason is that you may be doing the wrong thing. Some exercises are meant to help you build muscle. Some are geared more towards burning fat.
Building muscle is great because it helps you burn fat faster but remember that muscle is denser than fat. While you’re blasting away that fat, you may notice the scale creeping up by a few pounds.
In this case, don’t panic about not losing weight because you’ll still slim down and improve your fitness.
5. You’re not getting enough sleep.
It’s quite interesting how a lack of sleep can lead to you not losing weight.
According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a lack of sleep can have the same effect on your brain as marijuana. It zaps your energy, makes you lazy, and gives you the munchies.
This lack of energy means you aren’t moving as much as you could, so you’re not burning as many calories.
You’ll also be less likely to fight the urge to consume unhealthy snacks, so you’re packing on the calories. To keep this from happening, get enough quality sleep.
6. You aren’t drinking enough water.
Drinking enough water is a big part of losing weight. Your body uses water for everything, so your water intake needs to be high enough to fuel all these activities.
So, what happens when you don’t have enough water to fuel your body?
It’s the same as what happens when you don’t have enough gas to fuel your car. It sputters, and then it stops. In the case of your body, metabolic processes stop. This is everything that burns calories to function.
According to Dr. Lori Shemek, weight-loss expert and best-selling author, when you’re dehydrated, your brain can confuse thirst with hunger.
This can cause you to eat excess calories. Pair that with a slow metabolism, and it’s easy to see how low water intake can lead to you not losing weight.
7. You have unrealistic goals.
Weight loss isn’t something that happens overnight, just like gaining the unwanted weight did not happen overnight.
When you have unrealistic goals, this can quickly lead to a series of failures, which can make it seem like you’re not losing weight.
Losing weight is a race. There will be some highs and lows. One week you might drop double digits, and in the next two weeks, you may not drop anything. What worked one month may need adjustments the next month.
Set goals, but make sure you keep in mind that you may have to change the path taken or even the time it takes to reach them.
8. You’re taking medications that keep the weight on.
Medications can be the culprit behind why you are not losing weight at all–or you see prolonged results. According to researchers at the University of Rochester, see this list of medications that are notorious for keeping the pounds on:
- Diabetes medications
- Antipsychotic medications
- Anti-seizure medications
- Epilepsy medications
- Hypertension medications
- Allergy medications
As you can see, there are a lot of medications that can hinder you from losing weight. The solution could be to work a little harder.
However, if it’s interfering with your efforts too much, you may need to talk with your doctor about alternate medications.
9. You have a medical condition that makes it hard.
Like there are plenty of medications that can cause weight gain or keep you from losing weight, there are also plenty of medical conditions that can do the same thing. Some of these medical conditions can be fixed, while others can only be managed. Here are some of the more common ones:
- Underactive thyroid
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Congestive heart failure
10. Your genetics are working against you.
It’s hard to escape from genetics. In fact, it’s impossible. Unfortunately, some people may be predisposed to being overweight, and this will make it incredibly hard to lose weight through diet and exercise alone.
According to Harvard University, about 85% of humans have thrifty genes. Thrifty genes store fat and conserve energy. These genes came in handy centuries ago when food was scarce, but these days they’re unnecessary. For some people, thrifty genes work whether they want them to or not.
People with thrifty genes may need help with losing weight. Medications, surgery, guidance from a doctor, or a combination of these things can aid in weight loss efforts for thrifty gene carriers. It’s not impossible. It’s just more problematic than the average.
11. You’re stressed out.
Stress can directly lead to weight gain despite your best efforts to drop the pounds.
Directly, stress increases the production of a hormone called cortisol. Although cortisol is beneficial when released in the right amount, extra cortisol causes a spike in blood sugar to produce a “fight or flight” response in reaction to whatever is stressing you. Once the stressor is gone, your blood sugar drops, making you hungry. You’ll probably crave unhealthy foods and, since you’re exhausted from the “fight or flight” reaction, you’ll be more likely to give in to inadequate nutrition.
12. You have a negative mindset.
Your mental energy and physical energy are connected. Your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can affect how your body feels and reacts. If you have a negative mindset about losing weight, your body may respond by not losing weight.
You must remember to be optimistic about your weight loss goals. Even when the journey seems challenging, remember that positive thinking will yield positive results.
If you’ve been working hard towards losing weight but haven’t been successful, don’t give up on your goals. There could be any number of reasons why you are not losing weight. In most cases, a few minor tweaks to your routine could give you incredible results.
The twelve reasons above are a great starting point to find out why you aren’t dropping the weight like you want to. There is a good chance that you’ll find the problem in this list so you can come up with a solution. With a lot of positive thinking and a little bit of extra effort, you’ll soon start shedding those unwanted pounds.