8 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight
The number on the scale isn't necessarily a good indicator of whether or not you are healthy. However, it's no secret that many people want to lose weight and sometimes it might be necessary for their health. If you have been working hard on your nutrition and physical fitness but aren't seeing the results you want on the scale, these might be some of the top reasons why you aren't losing weight.
1. You Aren’t Keeping Track
If you aren’t keeping close track of everything you put in your body – at least in the beginning – you are literally just guessing when it comes to weight loss and nutrition. Plain and simple, if you want to truly find out what foods work for you, you need to log everything you’re eating. The good news is that it’s actually very easy once you get the hang of it because technology takes care of 99% of the work. We suggest using MyFitnessPal and tracking exactly what you eat for a week – then go to the “Nutrients” page and you’ll be surprised at how much (or in the case of protein, how little) you’re actually consuming. This will help you with portion control and help guide you towards what macronutrients you should be consuming.
2. You’re Expecting Results Too Soon
How many years have you been eating unhealthy foods and not taking care of your health? How many days has it been since you changed that? I hope this puts things in perspective. Change takes time. It’s actually astonishing how years and years of being unhealthy can start to be negated in only a couple weeks. Stay the course. Some people see results fast, but EVERYONE will see results if they stay consistent.
3. The 80% Rule
80% compliance with a diet does not yield 80% results. If you are compliant with your nutrition 80% of the time, but then binge like crazy the other 20%, you could be negating all of your progress. Chances are, if you are cheating your diet on the weekends then you could very easily be packing back on all of the calories you were able to shave off during the week. Cheat meals need to be carefully planned and binges will derail your progress.
4. You’re Stressed
According to Mayo Clinic, stress and anxiety increase your cortisol levels which can halt your weight loss journey. Chronically increased cortisol levels are actually proven to result in weight gain, along with a whole other host of negative side effects. It's obviously easier said than done, but try to decrease stressors in your everyday life and work to manage stress better. Some proven ways to manage stress include yoga, meditation, and exercise, as well as some superfoods. Ashwagandha is an all natural supplement that has been proven to help decrease cortisol levels, which may help you lose weight faster.
5. You’re Drinking Spoonfuls of Sugar
Speaking of drinking, let’s talk about “Sports Drinks” and energy drinks. I think it’s pretty obvious to most people that energy drinks aren’t healthy for you. Check the labels, these things are packed with sugar and tons of unnecessary ingredients. If you insist on drinking them, find a low-cal version and just know that some of the artificial sweeteners and chemicals that are put in these drinks are very questionable and science doesn’t really know whether they’re okay to consume or not. That being said, science DOES know that sugar is bad for you.
Just because they say the word “Sports” doesn’t mean they’re healthy. These things are absolutely saturated with sugars. One spoonful of sugar is roughly 4 grams. Check out these nutrition facts for Gatorade… 34 grams of sugar. You wouldn’t eat 8 and a half spoons of sugar and think you’re being healthy, but these products lead you to believe that you can drink it and be healthy. And don’t even get me started on the bottle of lies that is Vitamin Water.
6. You’re Not Eating Enough Protein
This goes along with the first item on this list, but I felt that it warranted it’s own point. I would bet that nearly every person reading this this is eating less protein than they think they are. Athletes are advised to eat up to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, but even eating .7 grams per pound of body weight will be sufficient. The benefits of eating sufficient protein are twofold. First, protein is essential in building lean muscle mass and recovering after strenuous work outs. Second, if you eat a sufficient amount of protein, you are less likely to overeat on carbohydrates and fats. You’ll feel fuller longer and you’ll give your body the fuel it needs to build muscle and burn fat.
7. You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
Drinking a lot of water will help with a number of things in your weight loss journey. First, it will make you feel full longer and suppress you’re appetite, so you’re less likely to eat a ton of garbage. Second, water will help boost your metabolism so you burn off calories quicker (check out the performance benefits of being hydrated here)! Third, drinking a lot of water will help your body flush out waste more efficiently, and finally – drinking water will actually help your body to stop retaining so much water – meaning you’ll lose more water weight. Weird, but we’re not complaining.
8. You’re Building Muscle
As I mentioned in point number 1, it’s easy to track what nutrients you’re putting into your body. What isn’t as easy is tracking your body fat percentage vs. your lean body mass. Your lean body mass is the weight of your body minus the fat and there are some good tools for finding this information out, such as the InBody machine, but they can be expensive and not accessible to everyone. We use the InBody for some of our nutrition clients, and without fail they both lose body fat percentage and gain lean body mass, meaning they are gaining muscle. So if you are working out correctly (both weight training AND cardiovascular training) and eating correctly then it’s very possible that you are gaining muscle while also losing fat. This information is not represented on a scale so don’t be hard on yourself – if your body composition is changing and you are feeling better, then you are making progress.