Do you eat healthily, maybe even do without carbohydrates, and do sports? But still, nothing is happening on the scales, and you don’t see any real progress in the mirror? Why am I not losing weight?
Then you’re probably wondering, “Why don’t I lose weight?”
In the following article, I will show you why you are not losing any weight despite various efforts.
In addition, I have, of course, also included practical tips with which the kilos will finally tumble (again).
1.) You’re not losing weight because you’re not in a calorie deficit
I wish I didn’t have to enumerate this cause anymore.
Unfortunately, many people still don’t understand that the calorie deficit is the essential basis for losing weight.
It is now known with 100% certainty that fat loss only works if we consume fewer calories than we burn in the same period. ( 1 )
This condition is also known as negative energy balance or calorie deficit and is always necessary to reduce body fat.
Intermittent fasting doesn’t matter whether you choose low carb, low fat, paleo, or 16:8. Intermittent fasting doesn’t matter. The calorie deficit must be achieved with every form of nutrition to lose fat. ( 1 )
Check your calorie consumption with an accurate fitness bracelet* or calculate how many calories you roughly burn per day. After that, look at your calorie intake and ensure you’re in a deficit.
This measure is recommended for anyone who is not losing weight.
And yes, that also means you may need to count calories for some time. After all, the five to ten minutes that it takes to type per day is significantly better than struggling for weeks without losing a single kilogram.
2.) You eat the wrong foods
Unless you’re eating primarily unprocessed foods that fill you up, you’ll be hungry a lot when trying to lose weight. This, in turn, causes you to consume more calories and not lose weight.
The fact is that there are foods that fill you up much better than others. ( 2 ) They should be the basis of your diet if you want to lose weight permanently.
Limit processed foods to no more than 20 percent of your calorie intake. This will automatically make you feel fuller and consume fewer calories.
In addition, with this measure, you ensure that you absorb more vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If you need ideas for suitable foods, you can also find a list of the best foods for losing weight on our blog.
3.) Why am I not losing weight despite exercising?
Maybe you even do sports in addition to a healthy diet, but still, nothing happens on the scale.
Then it can very well be that your body or the scales are tricking you. Beginners, in particular, can build muscle with strength training while losing fat. ( 3 )
As a result, your weight will not decrease, but you will still lose fat.
If you do strength training or other high-intensity sports, you should also measure various circumferences. This includes, for example, the waist circumference.
If those sizes go down, you’re losing fat, even though you think you’re not losing weight.
4.) You eat too little protein
Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to weight loss. It protects the muscles from breakdown and ensures that we are less hungry. ( 4, 5 )
If you don’t eat enough protein, you may experience cravings more often and thus eat too many calories. Ultimately, this means that you will not lose weight.
As long as you don’t have any illnesses and drink enough, slightly higher amounts of protein are not harmful. ( 6, 7 )
To estimate how much protein you should be eating per day, you can check out our comprehensive guide to protein.
5.) Your calorie consumption is too low
Of course, if you consume fewer calories, it is more difficult to achieve a calorie deficit.
Unfortunately, nowadays, many people have a sedentary job that hardly burns any calories.
In addition, women naturally have lower energy requirements. Even if you are relatively small and don’t weigh that much, you automatically use less energy.
Overall, this hinders losing weight and can lead to nothing happening on the scales.
Many new smartphones and almost every fitness bracelet* already count how many steps you take per day.
Set an appropriate value for your fitness level and see that you achieve it every day. That can be, for example, 5,000 steps a day, and then you slowly work your way up to 10,000 steps.
In the end, you use more energy and achieve a calorie deficit more quickly.
6.) You’re not losing weight because you’re getting your period
Logically, this section only applies to women. But the effects of the period can be enormous, especially when it comes to losing weight.
On the one hand, it is well known that hormonal changes can lead to water retention. ( 8 ) This naturally causes the weight on the scale to go up instead of down.
On the other hand, it is also the case that many women get veritable hunger pangs before their period. In the worst case, these can lead to the calorie deficit of the last week being destroyed.
First and foremost, you should start by adequately weighing yourself.
That means as a woman:
Only the average weight of the respective week is compared with the same week from the previous cycle.
For example, cycle week one is compared to the same week from the next cycle, and so on.
Otherwise, as a woman, you won’t get comparable results, and, in the worst case, you’ll even be frustrated because you’re gaining weight due to water retention.
The only thing that helps with food cravings is staying strong and eating enough vegetables, protein, and fiber. ( 9, 10 )
And if it has to be some chocolate, then that’s how it is.
You mustn’t do a whole cheat day and throw everything away because you destroy the previously hard-earned deficit. Maybe healthy sweets will help you against cravings.
7.) Why am I not losing weight even though I’m counting calories?
If you have determined your calorie consumption, count calories, and are sure that you are in deficit, you may still not lose weight.
One of the most common reasons for this: is inaccurate counting!
Here 10 grams more peanut butter in the restaurant, only roughly estimated, and boom! It’s 300 calories more than what you entered into your app.
Please don’t lie to yourself about counting calories, and when you’re dining out, it’s better to enter a little more than too little.
8.) Why am I not losing weight despite low carb?
You should automatically lose weight if you’re already giving up carbohydrates, right?
No, unfortunately not! The amount of calories you take in every day is more important than carbohydrate intake.
If you don’t have a calorie deficit but a calorie surplus, you will gain weight even with low carbs.
I consider strict low carb to be anything but sensible anyway.
On the one hand, this is because it is entirely unsuitable for a permanent change in diet. After all, who wants to do without carbohydrates for the rest of their lives?
On the other hand, I also see people overeating saturated fat and processed meat when they’re low carb. This has nothing to do with a healthy diet and may increase the risk of diet-related diseases. ( 11, 12 )
If you don’t lose weight with low carbs, you are most likely eating too many calories. Large amounts of high-fat foods add up quickly.
If you don’t see any progress with low carb, you should check your consumption and intake and adjust both if necessary.
9.) Your cheat day throws you back massively every week
I can understand the idea behind a cheat day, but unfortunately, it doesn’t make sense. This is especially true if you do one weekly and wonder why you’re not losing weight.
A cheat day with 4,000 calories can quickly destroy a few days when you are in a calorie deficit. Overall, this means that you only break down fat very slowly or not.
It’s better to stick with a cheat meal, i.e., a single cheat meal, instead of a whole cheat day.
In the best case, you make your diet so flexible that you never have to cheat because you can treat yourself to something anyway and still healthily lose weight.
10.) You forget that drinks are also high in calories
Do you want to lose weight and still drink orange juice every day and sometimes alcohol?
It is not a problem to drink some wine at the weekend when losing weight. But of course, you have to consider that drinks also contain calories.
In addition, carbohydrate-rich juices, sodas, and alcohol are very poorly satiating, if at all. In some people, they can even trigger cravings. ( 13 )
It would be best to consider the calories from drinks to lose weight.
In general, it is recommended to only consume very low-calorie or calorie-free drinks. These include, for example, water, tea without sugar, or coffee without sugar.
Also, check out our top 7 drinks to lose weight and our article on low-carb alcohol.
11.) Why am I not losing weight despite intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a healthy and effective way to lose weight that involves not eating for a set period.
However, some people have a strong appetite in the subsequent eating phase that they go overboard. As a result, sometimes even more calories are absorbed than without fasting.
Even with intermittent fasting, it is ultimately the calorie balance that counts. If fasting makes you binge eat, then another method may work better.
12.) Your craving for sugar throws you off track all the time
You’ve eaten all the calories you have for a given day, but the extreme craving for chocolate hits you again, and you can’t help but grab it.
It has not yet been proven whether there is a sugar addiction, but almost everyone knows that it usually does not stop with a piece of chocolate.
Try to make your diet sugar-free and learn how to deal with sugar correctly.
It is by no means a question of altogether avoiding fruit or other foods that naturally contain sugar. The main focus is on avoiding artificially added sugar.
13.) You focus on the wrong things
Are Sweet Potatoes Better Than Regular Potatoes for Weight Loss? Should I eat white rice instead of brown rice?
And what about dairy products anyway? It makes you gain weight.
Things like that can play a role in terms of healthy eating. However, when it comes to losing weight, they matter less than you might think.
Make sure you’re in a calorie deficit, eating mostly unprocessed foods, and getting enough protein, fat, and fiber.
These are the most critical factors that ultimately matter when losing weight.
Like foods that supposedly boost metabolism, little gimmicks are useless unless you take these factors into account. Therefore, concentrate on the essentials instead of dealing with myths and possible miracle cures.
14.) You sleep too little
If you don’t sleep enough, losing weight will be much more challenging. This has also been scientifically confirmed several times.
Studies show, for example, that people are more hungry when they don’t sleep enough. ( 14 ) Insufficient sleep has also been linked to weight gain. ( 15 )
Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
How much sleep you need varies from person to person. However, too little or too much sleep does not appear healthy and can hurt fat loss. ( 14 ) Insufficient sleep has also been linked to weight gain. ( 15 )
15.) Why am I not losing weight despite exercising?
Sport is significant when it comes to losing weight. Or maybe not?
The truth is, nutrition is more critical to your success. While exercise helps, you can lose weight without exercising.
You can’t just “train away” a bad diet. You should consistently achieve your calorie deficit through diet and see exercise as a bonus.
Also, make sure that you do not overestimate the calorie consumption during exercise. For example, an hour of weight training at the gym doesn’t burn as many calories as you think.
16.) You are too impatient
It’s only been five days, and you’re wondering why the damn scale shows 0.2 kilograms more despite eating healthy?
Due to the stress you cause yourself with this, it is another 0.3 kilograms more two days later.
It is enough now! You throw in the towel and abandon the diet or dietary changes.
Blueberries: effect on health and weight loss
It will not work like that!
If you don’t stick with it for some time and consider the essential factors already mentioned, you will only lose a few pounds at a time and then put them back on.
So be patient, check possible sources of error and prefer lasting rather than short-term successes. Losing weight is also a matter of the mind, but it makes you stronger-willed and more self-confident.
17.) You take medication that promotes gaining weight
The last reason is more of an exception. The lack of weight loss has nothing to do with the lack of a calorie deficit.
Some medications can cause you to gain weight. One of these drugs is cortisone, for example. ( 16 )
It is best to discuss what you should consider when losing weight with your doctor. As soon as drugs are involved, the Internet is the wrong place to go.
If you don’t lose weight, it’s easy to wonder why.
In 99 percent of the cases, it is simply due to excessive calorie intake, for which various factors can be responsible.
What is your biggest stumbling block in losing weight? And can you think of another reason that should be listed here?
Leave a comment now, even if you have any questions on the topic.
Until then, I’ll say goodbye for now.
Greetings, Healthidem, and the delicious weight loss team.