It can be really frustrating when you are doing everything right health-wise, following a strict diet, getting enough sleep, and doing proper exercises – but the number on the weighing scale remains the same. You might be wondering about the reasons for not losing weight. The thing is, weight loss is not about exercise and dieting. Weight loss is a challenging journey for many. But the fact is that the weight for each person depends on their age, starting weight, lifestyle, health conditions, and many others. Despite your efforts, if you feel you are not losing weight, take a look at the list of reasons why you are not losing weight and overcome the challenges.
Why are you not losing weight?
There may be several reasons why you are not losing weight despite your efforts. If losing weight is challenging for you, continue reading to understand the reasons that might be hindering your weight loss and get the best results from your efforts.
Thyroid disorders can significantly affect your metabolism, making it difficult to lose weight. Hypothyroid patients have a greater tendency for irregular weight gain associated with a slow metabolism. If you are not losing weight even after your continuous efforts, thyroid problems might be the reason. Consult with a healthcare professional to get proper treatment.
Irregularities in your sleep schedule can also hinder your weight-loss efforts. Too much or too little sleep (less than 5 hours) can lead to weight gain. Irregularities in your sleep pattern can disrupt the hormones that control your appetite, causing weight issues.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects the reproductive system of women. If you are having PCOS issues, it can inhibit you from losing weight. Hormonal imbalance and insulin resistance that occurs as part of PCOS are the main reasons behind weight gain. PCOS can be the reason behind irregular periods as well. If you are having any of these issues, consult a gynaecologist or endocrinologist to take proper medication for PCOS, which can help manage your weight issues.
As we mentioned before, insulin resistance is a major reason for not losing weight even after following a strict diet and exercising. Insulin resistance occurs when your body becomes less responsive to the hormone insulin, which maintains normal blood glucose levels. When your cells become too resistant to insulin, it can elevate your blood sugar level, leading to weight gain. Insulin resistance can be managed to a certain extent with regular exercise and a balanced diet. If necessary, consult a healthcare expert.
Having under-nourished food
You might be eating a very small amount of food, but the type of food you have is also important. If you want to lose more weight, focus on fibre-rich foods and cut down on junk food, artificial sweeteners, sugary foods, red meat, etc. Consuming sugary food can give you a temporary energy boost, but it will digest quickly and make you hungry faster, leaving you to eat more food. So, eat veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and legumes rich in fibre content to satiate your appetite and promote weight loss.
Too much stress or depression
We are all going through stressful situations in our life every day. Some changes in our life can bring more stress and depression, which in turn lead to weight gain. When you are experiencing high stress or depression, you may not be able to focus on your calorie-deficit diet or exercise, and this can stop you from losing weight. Stressful eating is another thing that can increase your food intake, leaving you more addicted to food to get away from all the issues. When the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone increase, it reversely affects other hormones. Hence, the insulin level goes down, and the unbreakable glucose gets stored as fat. During this time, even if you exercise and follow a balanced diet, you might find it difficult to lose weight.
According to health experts, certain medications can cause weight gain. Medicines for diabetes, antidepressants, steroids, epilepsy medicine, and some other beta blockers can interrupt your way to losing weight. These medicines can mess up your metabolism and cause weight gain. If you are noticing unnatural weight gain, talk with your doctor about switching you to a different medication or adjusting the medicine’s dose. If that’s not possible, contact a dietitian who can guide you towards weight loss with a proper diet.
Beware of sugary beverages & alcohol
What you drink will also affect you, just like what you eat. If you think you are just having an almond shake or yoghurt smoothie for breakfast, but it has too much sugar, it will definitely affect your health. Soft drinks, soda, juices with added sugar, and alcohol are enemies of a healthy body. Be it wine, beer, or other drinks, if you often drink any of the drinks with alcohol, you are more likely to be overweight. So, stay away from these kinds of drinks or reduce the amount to keep you from gaining more weight.
Underestimating your Caloric Intake
Underestimating your calorie intake impedes weight loss. Mindless eating, high-calorie foods, unbalanced macronutrient intake, and ignoring portion sizes can contribute to a surplus of calories. Monitoring what you eat and drink by keeping a food diary will help you achieve a calorie deficit and help you easily lose weight.
Mindless snacking can easily contribute to obesity or weight gain. Reaching out for high-calorie snacks or your favourite potato chips frequently throughout the day increases your calorie overload. Hence, be mindful of your snacks and try to consume nutritious snacks whenever you feel hungry to promote your weight loss journey.
Ineffective Exercise Routine
An ineffective exercise routine can equally contribute to weight gain, just like lack of workouts. Sometimes, even if you engage in physical activity, your weight loss might be slow. This could be due to your ineffective workout routine, which lacks intensity. If you think you are not losing weight, get help from a fitness professional to create a personalised workout plan that suits your body and fitness goals.
You might be a techie or have a desk job, but your sedentary lifestyle might be preventing you from losing weight. Sitting for long hours at work or doing minimal physical activity can delay your weight loss. So, be involved in regular exercise to burn calories and improve your overall well-being. Incorporate both cardiovascular exercises along with strength training activities into your routine to boost your weight loss efforts. If you wake up every morning and sit at a desk for work, for long hours, then come home and sit on the couch to watch TV, then weight loss will be hard to achieve.
Skipping meals & overeating
In your effort to cut calories, you may show a tendency to eat less and even skip meals. But the fact is that when you do this, your body will push you to eat, and this deprivation backfires, causing weight gain instead of weight loss. When you restrict yourself from food, you will end up bingeing, causing obesity. Hence, when you restrain yourself from eating most of the time, you will feel like eating an entire box of snacks late at night. So, eat regularly in adequate quantities to avoid overeating and get enough nutrition
Less Protein Intake
Less intake or not eating enough protein is one of the key reasons for not losing weight. Having protein in a rich amount will boost your metabolism, reducing cravings and the desire for untimely snacking. Include high-protein foods in your breakfast to lower frequent cravings throughout the day. Having enough protein makes you feel full and less hungry. Swap animal protein with plant-based protein foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, etc., for a healthy weight loss routine.
If you frequently binge on food, that might be the reason you are not losing weight. Binge eaters are more likely to gain weight because it involves eating large amounts of food at once. This leads to the unconscious consumption of food that is more than your body needs. Track your eating habits and stay away from binge eating, especially processed foods and junk food. Be it healthy foods, or highly processed foods, binge eating is not recommended if you want to lose weight.
Not drinking water
Drinking water can aid in weight loss. Studies show that drinking half a litre of water thirty minutes before meals can help you lose weight considerably. Drink a glass of water before your meals to reduce your calorie intake. It may also increase the number of calories you burn.
Not focusing on cardio exercise
You might be wondering why you are not losing weight despite taking walks every day. But if you want to lose weight through walking, you have to walk a minimum of 6 to 7 miles per day. For better results, you should definitely increase your cardio workouts. Activities that increase the heart rate, like cycling, squat jumps, jogging, or other high-intensity workouts, would promote your weight loss journey more than mere walking.
Losing weight is a challenging and complex process that requires patience, consistent efforts, a well-prepared physical and mental state, a healthy diet with a balanced workout routine, and more. Identifying and addressing the reasons for not losing weight is crucial for achieving sustainable results. Whether it is a lack of physical activity, poor eating habits, hormonal imbalances, inadequate sleep, too much stress, medications, or other underlying physical or mental health conditions, rule out the cause before experimenting on your body. Understanding the real obstacles will help you make the necessary changes to progress towards your weight loss goals.