5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
Have you been trying to lose weight for what feels like a lifetime with no results? It can be frustrating to say the least. Even more so if you were seeing results and now your weight won’t budge.
It happens! You’re not alone in this. When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s not unusual to hit road bumps along the way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t turn things around and get the ball rolling again!
Below are 5 reasons you might not be seeing the scale budge…and what you can do to break through these barriers.
You Might Be Losing Weight…Even If You Don’t See The Scale Changing
Just because you’re not seeing the number on the scale change doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress! There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to how much you weigh at any given moment. Things like the time of day, changes in body composition, and hormonal changes all have the ability to cause weight fluctuations.
Throughout the day, you can expect your weight to fluctuate as much as five pounds. Think about it, if you hop on the scale first thing in the morning after using the restroom you’ll weigh less than you will at the end of the day. Makes sense right? Of course you’ll weigh more after a day of eating and drinking, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t losing body fat!
Hormonal changes also play a huge role in how much you weigh. This is especially true for women. In young women, estradiol and progesterone affect fluid regulation. According to this study, these two hormones can influence the complex systems that have evolved to control our thirst, fluid intake, sodium appetite. So if you’re seeing weight fluctuations during and around your menstrual cycle, don’t be alarmed! This is very normal.
Changes in body fat percentage can also change the number on the scale – or keep it the same. If you’ve recently added exercise to your weight loss plan, it is more than possible to gain muscle and lose body fat at the same time. The only downside here is that your weight may appear to stay the same – or even increase! Not all pounds are created equal so don’t let this prevent you from working out. There are tons of benefits to gaining muscle. For example, muscle actually boosts your metabolism. In other words, by working out and increasing your muscle mass, you’ll actually burn more calories.
What You Can Do: Don’t ditch your scale completely! Hopping on the scale every once in awhile can help you keep tabs on which direction your weight is trending over time. Instead of weighing yourself every day, try weighing yourself 1-2 times per month. And when you do weigh yourself, keep in mind all of the factors that go into the number you see on the scale. You can also gauge your progress by measuring the circumference of your waist or getting your body fat percentage checked out.
You Don’t Even Know What You’re Actually Eating
Believe it or not, most people don’t even realize what (and how much) their actually eating throughout the day. When it comes to making dietary changes and losing weight, awareness and honesty are absolutely key. Having seconds at dinner when you’re not actually hungry or treating yourself to a little extra dessert is easy to do…and easy to forget if you want to.
What You Can Do: It’s well researched that people who track what and how much they eat, see more success. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to break out the food scale and know what you’re eating down to the crumb -simply keeping a journal or a note in your phone can be enough. The clients I work with do photo food logging, a simple effective way to stay on track.
The key here is honesty. This is only effective if you’re honest with yourself about what you’re eating and how much. It’s also important to look back at your records because they won’t do you any good if you write them down or photograph them only to never look at them again. Weekly check-ins are a great way to see what kinds of habits you’re developing (good and bad) and help you identify how you can improve.
You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
This is one you’ve been told your whole life. Drink water, drink water, drink water! While it sounds simple, it’s something that is often forgotten about. Believe it or not, drinking enough water can make a huge different in your overall health as well as help you with your weight loss goal. Mild dehydration can negatively impact your physical and mental performance leaving you feeling unmotivated. On the flip side, drinking enough water can help you temporarily increase your metabolism and reduce your appetite!
What You Can Do: Make sure you’re getting enough water throughout the day. Your body’s hydration requirements will drastically differ from someone else’s. It might even change day-to-day. How much water you need depends on a variety of things like your activity level, the temperature outside, and your stage of life. As a general rule, take half of your body weight and aim for that many ounces of water. So a 180 pound person can aim for about 90oz per day. Pro tip: having a glass or two before you eat is a great way to curb your appetite.
You’re Skipping Whole Foods In Favor Of Diet Foods
When you’re food shopping, it’s enticing to grab the 100 calorie snack packs or the zero calorie drinks. Resist the temptation! I promise you they won’t leave you satisfied. Believe it or not, they’ll probably do more harm than good. Diet products and processed foods are loaded with tons of sketchy ingredients and chemicals.
Processed “low-fat” foods are typically packed with added sugars to help compensate for the lack of flavor. Let’s taking yogurt for example. Low fat yogurts are extremely high in added sugars. Instead, choosing the full-fat option that will leave you feeling full and satisfied for longer. Be sure to still check the sugar content though!
Another great example is fruit juice. Fruit juice sounds like a good idea, right? I mean, it has the word fruit in it… Unfortunately when fruit is processed into fruit juice, you lose a lot of the nutritional value. The fiber is stripped from the fruit completely leaving you with a glass of what is essentially sugar water.
What You Can Do: Choose whole foods when you can! The quality of the food you eat is just as important as the quantity. Swapping out those diet foods with whole foods like fruits, veggies, grains, lean protein, and whole-fat dairy products is essential if you’re serious about weight loss.
You’re Not Prioritizing Sleep
This is another one I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about! But I wouldn’t be talking about it unless it really was important… and it is. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll gain weight. Leptin and ghrelin, two hormones that play a huge role in appetite regulation, are very sensitive to poor sleep habits. Essentially, leptin lets your body know when you’re full and ghrelin lets your body know when it’s hungry. When you skimp on sleep, leptin production decreases and ghrelin production skyrockets. This leaves you feeling hungry and unaware of when to stop eating.
What You Can Do: Prioritize sleep! It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to happen if you want to lose weight. Sleeping for 7-9 hours per night is required, not recommended. Set yourself up for success by making a sleep schedule and sticking to it.
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