7 reasons you're not losing weight

7 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

Everyone has different goals when it comes to fitness.  Some are looking to bulk.  Some are looking to cut.  Some just want to look good, regardless of their weight.  Regardless of your goal, everyone reaches a point of frustration when they can’t seem to make any additional progress.

One of the biggest groups of people that share this frustration are the ones that seem to be working really hard, but not losing any more weight.  If you share in this extremely common struggle, here are 7 interesting reasons why you might not be losing weight.

1. Not getting enough sleep

Getting quality sleep at night is something that is many times overlooked.  This is especially true for the well-meaning, hard-working men and women that have been wired to embrace the grind.  A lot of fitness gurus continually promote the concept of “hustling” and “grinding,” and being able to sacrifice everything to achieve a goal.  While there’s no replacement for hard work, there’s also no replacement for sleep.

Sleep is vitally important for our daily biological functions.  One of those functions is enabling our bodies to properly lose weight.  When we don’t give our bodies an adequate amount of sleep, it messes with our overall metabolism which is vital to weight loss.  The hormones that help us burn fat are not properly produced when we slack on our sleeping schedule.  Working harder is not always better!

2. Not tracking your weight

This one seems a bit counterintuitive.  Some fitness experts recommend not looking at your weight, as it may discourage rather than encourage.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to measure progress if we refuse to track our numbers.  While some may benefit from not jumping on the scale, many are self-sabotaging their success by not weighing themselves consistently.  If you haven’t already, challenge yourself to weigh yourself every single day for a month and see what happens.

If weighing yourself every single day seems too daunting of a task or too much of a nuisance for you to put into your schedule, then at least track your weight on a weekly basis.  The best time of day to weigh yourself is right away when you wake up in the morning, before you’ve eaten breakfast.  This ensures that other variables like water weight do not interfere with the scale.  In addition, weighing yourself right away in the morning will enable you to complete the task at the beginning of your day so that you don’t have to stress about it later on, and many times, conducting a task at the same time every day or every week, will condition our mind and body to form a consistent habit.

3. Doing too much cardio

Performing excessive bouts of cardio is certainly very healthy for you.  At the end of the day, being genuinely healthy is the most important goal of working out; however, if your focus is to lose weight, doing too much steady-state cardio might be holding you back.  Some studies show that running for 60 minutes on the treadmill might not be as effective for weight loss as weight training or high intensity interval training.

It’s really sad, but you, or perhaps someone you know, might be working really hard at the gym with minimal results.  You might be spending 45 minutes to an hour per day on the elliptical or treadmill and might not be losing weight.  If this is the case, you might need to mix things up a bit.  There’s nothing wrong with doing steady state cardio, but feel free to add in a couple days of weight training or vary up the type of cardiovascular training you do.  This will prevent your body from getting too content and conserving energy whenever you hit the gym.

7 reasons you're not losing weight

4. Eating too many processed foods

Indulging in processed foods may seem like an obvious deterrent to hitting your body weight goals, but breaking the habit is easier said than done.  In contemporary society where we’re surrounded by fast food chains, mouth-watering ice cream shops, and cheap, endless snacks at 24-hour gas stations, it’s extremely easy to fall victim to processed foods.

Some people do a great job at monitoring overall macronutrient intake (carbs, proteins, fats), but we also have to be mindful of the source our food is coming from.  Many nutritional stores and supplmement companies frequently release new, “healthy”snacks which seek to imitate the foods we love while providing nutritional value in the form of vitamins, minerals, protein, etc.  Those type of snacks aren’t necessarily bad for you, but we have to keep in mind that our bodies don’t break down and absorb processed foods as well as naturally-ocurring foods.  In other words, your favorite protein bar might help you with your protein intake, but relying on protein bars as your only source of protein might be causing you to gain weight as opposed to keeping it off.

5. You don’t want it bad enough

This is a topic that is extraordinarily popular among motivational authors and speakers.  The desire to succeed is a fascinating topic that could be talked about and analyzed again and again.  On the surface this may seem rather simple and childish: if you don’t have the results you want, you simply don’t want it bad enough.  It almost seems ridiculous and borderline condescending if you put it in those terms.  There is, however, a lot of depth that goes into analyzing and fully comprehending desire.

If you’re trying to lose weight or trying to fit back into your favorite pair of jeans or trying to obtain a better body composition to impress your significant other, but your body is not changing, an honest, self-reflective talk might be in order.  We have a tendency to get so caught up in the daily routine of our lives, whether it’s work, school, spirituality, parenting, and other important responsibilities, that we don’t take time to self-reflect and look at some of the dreams that we really want, but have put off.  Take the time to sit down with yourself or a significant other, write down all the goals that you’re looking to achieve, and then prioritize which goals need to come first.

7 reasons you're not losing weight

If you sit down and write out all your goals, it’ll give you some true insight into what you value.  You might actually be shocked at how important, or not important, some of your goals really are.  You might actually end up determining that weight loss is not that big of a priority for you right now.  If it’s not that big of a priority, there’s nothing wrong with that either.  The important thing is that you’re self-aware of where it lies on your list of priorities, and adjust your actions and attitude accordingly.  No need to beat yourself up if it’s actually not that important to you right now.  There might be other things on your list that you value more, such as spending time with your family, volunteering, advancing your career, or studying for your exams.

There is, however, an issue of cognitive dissonance when you discover that losing weight is relatively high on your list of priorities, but you’re not putting in enough work to make it happen.  If you’re not taking enough action to lose the kind of weight you want to lose, then you need to ask yourself how bad you want it, and then intensify your effort.  You might have to spend more time in the gym or perhaps adjust your workouts.  Maybe you’re being too generous with yourself when it comes to junk food or other unhealthy foods, and need to make the decision to sacrifice some of those foods you love.  Whatever the case may be, you might have to increase your willingness to commit, so that your body can be committed to you.

6. You make too many excuse

As much as we hate to admit, we have a tendency to get in our own way.  In reality, burning fat and getting the body of our dreams is actually rather simple.  There’s a plethora of programs and advice on the market for us to take advantage of.  With technology and internet at our fingertips, it’s very easy to access information that will empower us to shed some pounds.  The biggest battle we have to face is mental.  We let our minds get the best of us and we start to make excuses to justify how little we’ve accomplished or perhaps how little we’re capable of accomplishing.

One of the biggest excuses we tend to make is about time.  How often have you told yourself that you don’t have enough time to hit the gym?  How often have you told yourself that you don’t have time to prepare healthy meals?  Unfortunately, the time excuse doesn’t hold much value because we all have 24 hours in a day.  Some people are using that time to get in the healthiest shape of their life, while others are using that time to progress toward obesity.  It’s never an issue of time, but rather an issue of priority.  Other excuses that are commonly made revolve around genetics, being too tired, having too many responsibilities, working too much, and telling yourself that you’ll “get to it later.”  We need to become more aware of when we make excuses in our head, acknowledge that they’re excuses, and then take proper action that will progress us toward our goals.

7. Not being consistent

If you’re performing perfectly in the previous 6 points and still not losing the kind of weight you want to lose, then there’s a chance that you’re simply not being consistent enough.  Some say that consistency is the number one reason why many people do not achieve their health goals.  You can sleep, eat, exercise, and track perfectly, but if you’re not consistent with it over time, you will not reach your goals.

It’s easy to want something or try something, but when it comes to following through on an objective, it becomes a struggle.  Figure out a system that works for you and start taking actions that promote consistency from week-to-week and month-to-month.  One method to becoming more consistent is to just focus on doing one thing that will help you lose weight.  Focus on mastering one thing for a month, whether it’s minimizing calories or getting 8 hours of sleep per night.  After you’ve mastered that one thing, then introduce the next fat-burning strategy.  It’s much better to do one thing with excellence, than 10 things with medicority.

If you’re working hard or making an attempt at working hard, but not seeing the kind of results you desire, feel free to take a thorough examination of how your lifestyle meets each of the 7 suggestions above.  Losing weight is actually fairly simple.  Sometimes it just takes some self-reflection and fine-tuning in our daily activity to reach the next level.  You might just be one step away from turning your body into a fat-burning machine.

About the Author

Salutations! My name is David Hoang. I’m the owner of SupplementSuperhero.com where we talk about a variety of health topics mainly centered around weight loss, supplement reviews, and concepts to help you get the kind of health and body you desire!