Losing weight is hard. It’s a long-term battle against your body that requires a lot of time and effort. You may think you're doing the right thing by exercising and sometimes eating healthy foods, but if the weight is not dropping you're doing something wrong. Below are the most common reasons why you're not losing weight.
You're not tracking properly
One of the fundamental elements of weight loss is the concept of calories in vs calories out. Studies have shown interventions utilising a reduced-calorie diet are associated with weight loss(1). To continually lose weight your body has to be burning more calories than it is consuming. If you're not accurately tracking calories you could be overeating. You can work out the total amount of calories your body uses a day by using a TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) calculator. If you're consuming fewer calories than your calculated TDEE, you'll lose weight. Problems arise when you either don't know how to track calories or know how to control your portion sizes. If you're using a calorie tracking app like Myfitnesspal you'll need to make sure you include every bite to binge. As well as not overestimating typical portion sizes. A handful of nuts or a tablespoon of nut butter can have a calorie variance of up to 200kcal. If you're doing that every day you can easily over consume.
You're not fuelling your body right
Most people who embark on a weight loss plan aren't consuming enough protein. This is your main tool to burn fat (2). Protein will boost your metabolism through its thermic effect and keep you satiated (3). Make sure you're including foods that are high in protein with every meal. Aim for one palm size portion of protein-rich foods with your meal if you’re a woman. If you're a man aim for two palm size portions per meal. Your diet should consist of mainly single ingredient foods if you want to avoid weight loss plateaus. Don't fear carbs just eat the right type of carbs that are naturally high in micronutrients and fibre(4). A diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and fibrous carbs will keep cravings at bay and will stop you jumping for that naughty snack.
You're not recovering properly
Don't underestimate the power of a good nights sleep. Studies have shown getting under 7 hours of sleep has been linked to obesity(5) and even coronary heart disease(6). Make sure to keep your sleeping patterns consistent and avoid caffeine after 12 pm. Drinking enough water will also aid in recovery and performance(7). Water will also suppress your appetite, so your less likely to over eat. Aim for around six urinations a day and this will mean that your body is adequately hydrated.
You're not lifting weights
Don't assume that you only have to do cardio if you want to lose weight. An increase in muscle mass will increase metabolic rate, which will mean you'll burn more calories at rest. Aiding your goal of reducing body fat and losing weight.
You're not consistent with training
Exercise is a great way of burning calories and creating that deficit needed to drop weight. Remember you'll need to be burning more calories than you're consuming. So if you consistently skip training sessions and continue to overeat you won't have that deficit. A typical one-hour workout can burn anywhere from 400-800 calories. It's very easy to eat that amount of calories in food. Try and stay consistent with your training. If you do skip a session try and minimise the damage by staying active throughout the day by walking/taking the stairs.