There is actually nothing more frustrating than torturing yourself, making sure you stick to a strict workout schedule and see NO results. It can make you want to tear your hair out and just give up.
You’re doing everything right.
You’re eating the right foods. You’re exercising often. You’re following all the best advice.
And you’re still not losing any weight!
What gives? What does a person have to do to lose some damn weight around here?!
Well, eating “well” might really mean eating “better than I did before but still not great.” And exercising “often” doesn’t mean that you’re exercising “effectively”.
Fat loss is about shaping your life into a healthier direction so that you don’t have to try so hard to stay healthy.
If you’re struggling to be healthy and still not losing weight, here are 7 reasons why that might be:
1. You’re Not Eating Right
Diet is the #1 control of how much weight you are or aren’t going to lose, and if you’re not eating the right foods, you’re not going to lose any weight.
People think that if they spend enough time in the gym, they’re going to get in shape – but in fact, diet is way more important.
Every person is different when it comes to dietary needs, but one maxim that every person can follow is that it’s best to stick to all natural whole foods.
When you need carbs, stick to whole grains, potatoes, and brown rice – like on days you’re lifting. On days you’re resting, eat more protein and vegetables.
Whatever you do, avoid highly processed foods and artificial ingredients. Do that and you’re well on your way to a much healthier diet.
Here are 15 forbidden foods to cut out of your diet if you want to lose weight.
2. Your Portion Control Is Off
OK, let’s say you’re eating the right foods and you’re not making any diet mistakes and you’re still not losing weight!
Well, in that case, the next most likely culprit is your portion size.
No matter how healthy the food is that you’re eating, if you’re eating too much of it it’s going to be unhealthy for you.
If you want to lose fat off your body, you need to be burning more calories than you put in. If you’re not controlling your portion size, that’s not going to happen.
With that said, I’m not telling you to starve yourself or anything. You should find a balance that works for you. A great way to limit portion size is to eat when you feel really hungry, and focus on eating slowly. You should be able to stop eating before you get full.
Do that, and the pounds should start coming off.
These 6 protein packed smoothie recipes will keep you full all day.
3. Too Much Cardio
It goes without saying that cardio is an important part of any workout plan – if only for the amazing benefits it provides your body. It will boost your metabolism and keep your heart feeling healthy and happy.
But cardio shouldn’t be the only ingredient in your workout – it should just be one aspect. That’s because doing too much cardio will actually erode your muscle mass, and get rid of muscle in your body instead of fat.
When you do a ton of cardio, your body shifts into “endurance mode”, where it wants to store as much fat as possible. Stay away from that to burn more fat and lose more weight.
Try this 4 week squat challenge to get fit fast!
4. Not Enough Weight Training
Weight training is a key aspect of any successful workout plan. Cardio is good – but like I said before, too much cardio isn’t good for you.
That’s where weight training comes in. The best way to burn fat and build muscle in your body is by adding resistance training to any cardio routine you have.
By building up the muscle in your body, you’re actually training yourself to burn more fat. A great place to start is exercises that use your body weight to train, like pushups, lunges, and squats.
Here’s why strength training is great for women.
5. You’re Slacking On Your Fitness Plan
Just because you go to the gym for an hour every other day doesn’t mean you’re actually working at the gym. If your time at the gym is spent drinking powerade and waiting for an available treadmill – it doesn’t count as exercise.
You have to actually work at getting healthier and trimmer. Instead of timing your workouts and thinking “OK, I’ve done my hour, I’m done for the day”, you should be measuring your workouts in terms of intensity and how tired you feel afterwards.
That’s why working out harder is actually more effective and better for you than working out longer. If you can up your intensity, you lessen the time you spend in the gym, and maximize the number of calories you burn.
Here’s how to get started and stick with exercising.
6. You’re Not Giving Yourself Enough Recovery Time
You know the feeling after you have a reeeeally good workout, where your whole body is sore and you really feel like you accomplished something?
You should be taking that time to rest, not get more workouts in.
If you keep training the same muscle groups day after day, you’re not giving them enough time to repair themselves and grow stronger, and all you’re doing is maximizing your chances of injury.
Start by training certain muscle groups on certain days, and then resting them on off days. If you don’t give your body time to recover, you won’t meet your fitness goals, and you’ll probably just wind up hurting yourself.
Avoid these exercises at all costs!
7. You’re Too Stressed Out
It’s hard on a body when you decide to work out and get in shape. All of a sudden, all that time on the couch relaxing turns into hard, stressful activity. Add in a stressful life or a stressful job to that equation and all of a sudden you could be looking at a super stressed out body.
When your body is really stressed out, it’s going to go into survival mode and try to store as much fat as possible rather than burning it.
Plus, it’ll produce a lot of cortisol, which is a hormone that helps you burn fat in moderation – but in excess causes you to store fat in exactly the areas you don’t want it.
Take the time to nurture your body and give it days off when you’re not exercising and not stressed out, so that you can regulate your cortisol production and keep your body healthy and on its way to your weight loss goals.
The Top Reasons You’re Working Out And Not Losing Weight
- You’re not eating right
- Your portion control is off
- Too much cardio
- Not enough weight training
- You’re slacking on your fitness plan
- You’re not giving yourself enough recovery time
- You’re too stressed out
If you loved this article, then check out these other must-see related posts:
5 Surprising Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
6 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
LOL. I guess if I workout and go down a burger and fries after it won’t do me any good huh? Nice list.
These are all very relevant to those that cannot figure out how a diet works. Getting a diet coke with your Big Mac is NOT going to do any good!
You might have hit that spot where you are at the “right” weight, right? We have all been there, it is just a matter of where you want to go and how much MORE work you want to do to get around the “not losing weight” part.
I laugh when I hear my friends wondering why they have not been losing weight even though they stuff their faces at Starbucks for lunch every day. I think they figure because it is the middle of the day, the weight will just stay away from them as they work the rest of the day?
These are valid reasons. Some times you just have to work a little harder to break through a plateau type of situation. If you are not losing weight, change it up a little bit and see if anything happens!
Judging by a few of the posts on this blog, stress is going to play a major role in whether or not you lose or maintain your healthy weight. Guess it might be time to look into ways to reduce stress.
Great! I sit here and try to figure out what is wrong with my body and way I am stuck at a certain weight. This really opened by eyes, thank you!
Like trying to lose weight is not stressful :) I think that a lot of people are not good at portion control for one. Plus, if you end up going out to eat, the portions are way too large and that can be deceiving.
Getting the most out of your workout is most likely going to require some routine and as long as you can keep it going, there is no reason you can’t lose weight.
You have to mix things up as you will eventually stop losing weight even when you think you should be losing more. These are good things to keep in mind when stepping on the scale.
This is great information for beginners that are not sure why their weight loss has stopped. You should know things like this just so you are not freaking out when it happens.
I have had this happen. At first I felt like I plateaued, but then I realized that the 1 week out of the month I am bloated, my weight changes and that is what causes me to freak out. :)
Just like with everything else, you need to moderate and when you do too much cardio, or too much weight lifting, your body does not benefit like it does when you have a balanced workout.
It is a common thing to not have enough time between workouts. You body needs to rest and when you deprive it of that, you are asking for more trouble than it might be worth.
Portions are so messed up these days it ridiculous. Can you imagine if you ate a recommended portion of food at each meal? You would feel like you didn’t eat enough, however, that would not be the case.
It can be discouraging when you see the weight on the scale after you felt like you did a good job, but gained. If it is only a pound or two, I just make myself think I gained some muscle :)
This is a good post. It will educate those that think they can down a Diet Coke and 10,000 calories and lose weight.
These are good tips that lead you down a better path to a healthy lifestyle!
People need to understand, or be better educated on how the diet works. Its just like those that order everything on the menu AND a diet coke.
Just like all the diet plans that you see on the TV, “with a well balanced diet” is always in the small print. Good tips!