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Published on March 8, 2019

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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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