Losing weight can be frustrating as it gets – especially when you’re doing everything imaginable and still not shedding those extra pounds. Fortunately, there is hope for the hopeless – chances are it’s as simple as making a couple of new changes that will help you finally get rid of the weight you’ve been looking to lose.
Here are 14 Reasons you are still not losing weight and the solutions to finally getting down to the weight you want to be:
You Don’t Get Your Heart Rate Up When You Exercise
Exercising three times a week for 30 minutes is a good rule of thumb for exercising to lose weight. But what many people don’t do is get their heart rate up high enough for it to actually help burn calories. When you work out, you want to be out of breath a little, feel your heart pounding, and work up a sweat. Walking leisurely for 30 minutes is not going to have as much as an effect as jogging for 30 minutes. Of course, some people experience the opposite – getting their heart rate too high. If you’re not sure if you’re taking it too easy or working too hard, wear a heart rate monitor when you work out.
You Aren’t Eating Enough
Not eating enough? While some would think the opposite, eating more will help boost your metabolism and make it easier for you to burn calories. Be sure to eat a large breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner each day. If you’re not sure if you’re eating too much or too little, do a quick estimate of how many calories you eat each day. If it’s under 1400, you might need to eat a little more, especially if you are exercising regularly. If on the other hand you are eating a 2000 calorie diet, you may want to try cutting out 200 calories a day to see if that has any impact.
Your Hormones Are Out of Whack
Hormones are commonly blamed for weight gain, and it is very possible that you may have unbalanced hormones causing you to not lose weight despite your best efforts. If you suspect this may be the case, talk to your doctor about getting tested for hormonal imbalances. An underactive thyroid for example can often cause one to not lose weight, so it is worth seeing a doctor about.
Medication is Causing Weight Gain
A few months ago my doctor prescribed me medication that caused me to gain 5 pounds every month since I was on it. Since I had been very healthy and skinny prior to this, it was obvious the medication was causing me to gain weight. If you’ve been on medication since trying to lose weight, it could be very possible that the medication is making it harder for you than it has to be. While you should never stop taking a medication without talking to your doctor (some can cause serious side effects when you stop taking them, such as risk for heart attack or seizure) – you may be able to talk to your doctor about giving another one a try. I am happy to say my doctor was able to find another medication for me that didn’t cause me to gain weight.
You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep
Just because you get 8 hours of sleep a night doesn’t mean you are getting enough sleep for your body or that the sleep is high quality. Many studies have linked sleep apnea with obesity and not getting a quality night’s sleep can certainly wreak havoc on your body. If you regularly snore or get up several times each night, talk to your doctor to find out what underlying causes could be the culprit. A better nights sleep equals a healthier you so it is well worth looking into if you suspect it could be a problem.
You’re Eating Chemicals and Preservatives
Most diet foods are not healthy for you at all – they are nothing but processed chemicals and nothing that resembles food in any way shape or form. If you haven’t made the switch to cooking from scratch and eating organic foods, now is the time to try. Be sure to avoid artificial sweeteners, any ingredients you can’t pronounce or spell, and anything that seems like a quick fix. Eating organic doesn’t just taste better, it helps you lose weight as well.
You Are Dieting
A good diet doesn’t seem like a diet at all. You should be eating foods you enjoy and that taste great and you should look forward to every meal. If you are depriving yourself you are setting yourself up for failure because no one can be on a diet forever. Instead, you have to find healthy foods you enjoy and try to eat them every single day. If you need help, check out our free weight loss meal plans and how to create your own custom diet that will get you on the right track to eating foods you love and are healthy for you too. Remember: It’s not about dieting, it’s about eating healthy. There’s a big difference!
You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
You should drink 1 full glass of water when you wake up, before each meal or snack, and right before bed to get a total of 6-8 glasses of water a day. You should already know not to drink soft drinks or other sugary beverages, but if you are drinking them, replace them with water asap.
You’re Eating the Wrong Kinds of Fat
Most people do not know there are good fats and bad fats. Unfortunately, its all too easy to get the bad fats and miss out on the good ones. Instead of eating bad fats, make good fats part of your diet regularly. Some examples: coconut milk or oil, avocado, foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids such as walnuts, raspberries, and salmon. Avoid any partially hydrogenated anything, as these are the bad fats. Salad dressings especially are a big culprit, and even low fat ones can be bad for your diet. Instead use a light dressing of olive oil or salsa.
Too Much Sugar In Your Diet
Another common reason people who diet still don’t lose the weight is because there is too much sugar in their diet. Sugar comes in a wide variety of foods, even if you’re eating organic. To help reduce the amount of sugar you eat, limit yourself to only two fruits a day and use sweeteners such as stevia and avoid the high ones like agave and maple syrup.
You’re Stressed Out
Stress can play a big role in weight gain, and in this fast paced world, it’s pretty easy to get stressed out just by going grocery shopping. Fortunately, there are many things to do to relax: take a nice bubble bath, practice yoga and meditation, and do breathing exercises. Try to minimize stressful situations and teach yourself coping skills to help stay calm and stress free.
You Haven’t Tried Giving Up Dairy Yet
I haven’t met anyone who has given up dairy for two weeks and not lost weight. Yes, I love dairy foods as much as anyone else, but sometimes you have to limit yourself because milk is in nearly EVERYTHING and yet milk is not a vital food for human survival. If you’re worried about calcium, there are plenty of calcium rich foods such as spinach you can eat instead. If you absolutely can’t say no to dairy, try to limit yourself to only 1 serving of it each day.
You Haven’t Given It Enough Time
Who wouldn’t want to lose 20 pounds overnight? Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. It may take weeks to lose just a few pounds. Losing weight slowly is well, slow, but it is the healthiest and safest way to lose weight – if someone did lose weight drastically fast it would be a huge cause for concern. So if you are losing 5 pounds a month, don’t be so hard on yourself – you’re doing great! It might take a little more time than you want to see results, but if you stick to it you will see the results you are looking for eventually.
You’re Not Being Totally Honest With Yourself
I know, the hardest person to be honest with sometimes is yourself. Are you really exercising three times a week? Are you really eating healthy foods in a reasonable portion size? Are you really motivated to lose weight? If you still find yourself eating junk food or finding yourself sitting on the couch more than you are getting exercise, it could be time for some intervention from a loved one. Get a friend or family member involved to help you get on track and be accountable for your actions. For example, my husband swims laps with me in the pool to keep me company and make sure I really do follow through with the exercise 🙂
It Doesn’t Have to Be So Hard to Lose Weight
Losing weight doesn’t have to be so hard. If you’ve been working and working and still not seeing results, it’s not your fault entirely. You may have just not found the right diet and exercise plan that works for you. It’s not about eating what someone else tells you to eat or counting calories or spending hours on a treadmill. It’s about finding healthy foods and healthy activities for a healthier you. Stop concentrating on losing weight and starting to focus on being healthier can drastically change the results you see. And of course, don’t forget to talk to your doctor – there really are a lot of things that may not be in your control that cause you to gain weight.
What would you recommend for someone who can’t lose weight? Share your thoughts in the comments below.