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Why Am I Not Losing Weight? 7 Reasons Revealed

Why Am I Not Losing Weight? 7 Reasons Revealed

Does this describe you:

You’ve made some great changes to your diet and started a good exercise program but you’re not losing weight. Or you’ve been able to lose a little bit of weight but it seems like you always regain it back… then you wonder, “why am I not losing weight?”

There may be a few reasons why.

The big thing to acknowledge, first off, is that you have made the decision to start getting healthy. This is the first big obstacle to overcome and if you’ve got underway with working out, or making changes in your diet, you’ve cleared the biggest hurdle.

It’s so much easier to keep eating poorly and to just sit on the couch. The fact that you’ve taken action to improve yourself, and your health, speaks volumes and will be the driving force behind your success.

Of course, everyone needs some extra info and knowledge to approach weight loss in the best way. So if you’ve been wondering why you aren’t losing weight, here are 7 things that may be causing it.

1. Working out Too Much

You’ve started a new workout routine and you’re getting the hang of it. It’s exciting to get in tune with your body through physical activity and getting feedback by feeling better after. It’s also great to see some increases in strength and even some lean muscle.

If you’ve been enjoying it, and seeing some positives, it might make sense in your mind to start working out longer and harder. If three days a week have felt great, then why not five? Why not seven straight days of strength training and cardio?

If one hour of a workout has been great, why not just do two? Or three? This would be a sure way to lose more weight and get fitter.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way and you’re better off allowing your body to rest. When you workout too much, you can make things taxing on your central nervous system. You put your body into a situation where it’s constantly being stressed and releasing stress hormones. When you don’t allow proper rest and recovery this can throw your whole body out of whack.

Overtraining can lead to injuries, muscle tears and strains. It also can weaken your immune system and make you more prone to sickness. You want to avoid this overtraining syndrome to be able to keep losing weight.[1]

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When you’re stress hormones are up it’s more difficult to lose weight as your body wants to preserve what it has. So allow yourself time to rest and recover to improve your fitness and your weight loss.

2. Not Getting Enough Sleep

This is going to piggyback off point number one. If you are not getting adequate sleep, you can create this same overtraining syndrome in your body.

If you are not sleeping enough, your body starts to think there is some sort of trauma happening, or else why wouldn’t you be asleep?

This can also lead to higher stress hormones levels and over time they can get pretty nasty. They can lead to a lot of inflammation in the body and may be at the core of a lot of bad diseases. Along with that, this stress hormones also make weight loss very difficult and your metabolism also starts to slow.[2]

You can imagine if you combine overtraining and a lack of sleep; you can pretty much kiss losing weight goodbye.

Make it a point to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. This means creating a good wind down routine, sticking with it, and starting it at the same time each night.

Look to cut out blue light from electronics that can disrupt sleep and avoid alcohol and caffeine later in the day.

Keep your room as dark as possible and a touch on the cool side to promote better rest and rejuvenation. With your body full rested and repaired you set the stage for better weight loss and improved fitness.

3. Not Eating Enough

This may seem confusing as if you’re eating less, surly you should be losing weight? This all comes back to metabolism and again, that stress hormone issue.

Think of your body fat as a back up fuel source. When times of stress or trauma hit, it can be broken down and used as energy by your body.

When you restrict too many calories, your body thinks there’s another form of trauma, or maybe a drought, happening since you’re not feeding yourself. Body fat storage can be your bodies way of contingency plan.

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When you don’t eat enough, your metabolism slows right down as your body doesn’t want to waste what it has. Everything becomes about conservation at this point and losing weight is not going to be top on your bodies priority list.

Add to this overtraining in the gym and it can really stall your weight loss. Your body will be fighting against you to hold on to what it has. This is where injuries and sickness can also happen as your body may be trying to slow things down as much as possible.

Allow yourself to be fed and nourished. Your body needs consistent fuel in order to function properly and lose weight.

4. Not Building Muscle

We’re not talking giant bodybuilder muscle here, but good lean muscle as this can be part of what helps you to lose weight.

First off, just the act of having to build the muscle through strength training is going to take a full body effort. This burns a lot of calories which will help in weight loss.

Also, the style of training that helps to build muscle — a high-intensity style — is going to put your body into a better state hormonally. Your body will be able to burn calories long after your workout is done.[3] Your metabolism will now be higher and losing weight will be more achievable.

Along with this, just having more muscle increases your ability to burn calories. Lean muscle is metabolically active even at rest so when you have more muscle you’ll be burning more calories even if you’re sitting still.

5. Not Eating Enough Protein

You probably hear about protein all the time and its main goal is not just to build muscle.

Protein is important for so many different functions in the body; from building hormones and the structure, function, and regulation of tissues and organs in the body.

Protein also has a thermogenic effect, meaning that it takes calories just to eat and digest it.

Have you heard of the “meat sweats”? This is that thermogenic function in action as it takes a lot of energy for the body to digest and absorb protein. This act of muscle protein synthesis can be a big calorie burner in the body.[4]

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The next benefit it provides is that just eating protein through the day can also boost your metabolism by 80 to 100 calories a day. This has another good effect as it makes you eat several hundred calories less a day from other food sources.

Protein helps to fill you up and keep you full. You’ll be less hungry at various points in the day and can take in less overall calories helping you to lose more weight.

Protein can also be good at holding off cravings and can keep blood sugar more stable. This way, you won’t get those big peaks and drops that can lead you to craving more carbs and possibly gaining more weight.

It’s a good idea to get a good serving of protein at breakfast as this can help you lose weight. You’ll stay full through the morning and less likely to turn to that mid-morning snack or cravings for sugar.

6. Eating Too Much

If you’ve been serious about losing weight, you’re probably more aware of your food portions and calorie intake. The whole calorie counting issue is a bit of complicated area and it’s not as simple as calories in calories out and not all calories are created equal. 100 calories of walnuts is going to act different in your body than 100 calories of a Coke.

But it’s still important to be aware of how much you’re eating as it may surprise you the amount of calories you’re taking in and not knowing.

The first big thing, for losing weight, is to stop drinking your calories. This means cutting soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, specialty coffees etc. This are fast acting calories that don’t fill you up and can make you hungrier. You’ve taken in hundred of calories without really knowing as there’s no solid structure of protein and fiber to help keep you full.

Since these drinks are all sugar, they can spike your blood sugar leading to a crash. This crash phase is where you tend to crave more of those fast-acting carbs in the form of simple sugars or refined carbs. This is going to make weight loss difficult so do yourself a favor and switch those drinks to water.

You can try to track your calories for a few days just to get an idea of where you stand. From here, you’ll know how you need to restructure things.

Take almonds for example, they are a great healthy snack and having a small handful can be great. But say you do this multiple times over the day. Just one cup of almonds has around 530 calories which may be more than you were planning to take in.

You don’t have to be a slave to tracking food and calories but get a general idea where you’re at and adjust as needed.

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7. Eating Too Many Carbs

You may be sick of hearing about everything to do with carbs but when it comes to you not losing weight, you need to be aware of them.

If you’ve been having issues losing weight, or have blood sugar issues such as type 2 diabetes, you may want to go lower carb.

This is something you want to talk over with your doctor, but the majority of the carbohydrates we’re exposed to are not needed at all.

Things like white bread, white rice, white flour and white sugar etc. are providing you no nutrition and are very high glycemic. This keeps your blood sugar elevated and makes it harder to lose weight.

Keeping things lower carb can have positive effects on triglyceride levels and cholesterol along with controlling blood sugar and losing weight.[5]

Carbs based around your workout can still be great for energy but look to the best choices. Aim for things like steel cut oats, wild rice, sweet potatoes and quinoa.

Summing It Up

“Why am I not losing weight?” is a common question heard around gyms and health clubs everywhere. There may be some reasons why as shared here but it’s easy to get back on track with your fitness and weight loss goals.

You may need to just start sleeping more, watch the liquid calories, add in more rest days and watch the carbs. Either way, there should be some solutions to why you aren’t losing weight.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Jamie Logie

Jamie is a personal trainer and health coach with a degree in Kinesiology and Food and Nutrition.

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Last Updated on August 10, 2020

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

Thus, today’s article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question, “why is goal setting important?”

1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

“Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

7. Goals Make You Feel Good

Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

More Tips About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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