12 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

You've been on the keto diet for months now. You bought a Peloton. Signed up for barre classes. But the number on the scale doesn't seem to be moving. 

Believe it or not, it's a scenario familiar to many people trying to lose weight. And there's nothing less motivating than putting in the work and not seeing the results you want or need. 

From not eating enough to not getting enough sleep, we put together 12 reasons that could be hindering your weight loss goals. 

Reason #1: You aren't managing stress 

It's no secret that stress negatively affects your overall health and well-being. Stress is linked to many conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and depression. In addition, it can impede weight loss. 

Chronic stress causes your body to produce more cortisol,the hormone that promotes fat storage, making it much more difficult to lose weight. Additionally, high cortisol levels can increase your appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods.

Ever come home from a long day at the office, veg out on the sofa, and dive into a container of ice cream? Unmanaged stress often leads to stress eating or using food as a coping mechanism. 

We all feel overwhelmed from time to time. However, learning to handle stress healthily can significantly influence weight loss. 

Reason #2: You aren't getting enough sleep

When you don't get enough sleep, you risk becoming obese. Studies suggest that people who get less than four hours of sleep a night are 73% more likely to suffer from obesity. 

Lack of sleep also interferes with the ability to lose weight. It leaves you feeling physically tired. In turn, you are more likely to skip workouts and choose foods based on convenience. Sleep deprivation causes an imbalance in hunger hormones, like ghrelin, which adversely affects your metabolism. 

If you aren't shedding the pounds you want, look at your sleep health. Getting enough quality sleep is essential to any healthy weight loss plan.

Reason #3: You aren't drinking enough water 

You know how important water is for keeping your body hydrated. But did you know that drinking water can help you lose weight?

One study found that those who drank water 30 minutes before meals lost 44% more weight than those who didn't. 

If you aren't drinking enough water, you are missing out on substantial benefits water has on weight loss, including:

Reason #4: You're exercising but ignoring what you're eating

If you think the more you exercise, the less you need to focus on what you eat, think again. You can go to pilates daily, but if you reward yourself with pizza and smoothies, don't expect the weight to come off. 

A healthy, balanced diet and exercise are crucial to weight loss, especially when it comes to visceral fat. If you are just focused on your workouts, it's time to look at what's happening in your kitchen. 

Reason #5: You aren't lifting weights

Maybe you're intimidated by weights. Or perhaps you believe lifting will cause you to get too bulky. Whatever the case may be, you avoid weight lifting.

The fact is, if you don't see the results you want in the mirror, strength training might be what's missing. Lifting weights helps speed up your metabolism while building and maintaining muscle. In addition, research shows that combining cardio and strength training can lead to better long-term weight loss results.  

Reason #6: You aren't eating enough protein 

While the high protein diet might not be for everyone, getting enough in your daily intake is essential to losing weight. 

There is no magical number of how much you need, as your daily protein amount should be based on your overall calorie intake and nutritional goals. The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that healthy adults looking to lose weight get 25-30% of their calories from protein. 

Incorporating lean, high proteins into a balanced diet can help weight loss and overall health. Protein sources that are ideal for weight loss include:

  • Chicken

  • Fish, like salmon, halibut, and cod

  • Shrimp and oysters

  • Beans, peas, and lentils 

  • Ground turkey

  • Eggs

  • Greek yogurt

  • Nuts and seeds

Reason #7: You're not eating enough

Making a significant decrease in how much you eat will not help you lose more weight faster. Undereating means your body doesn't have enough fuel to sustain and can cause your weight loss to plateau or hit a standstill. 

In addition, not eating enough leads to several other issues that can affect not just your weight loss journey but your overall health as well, such as:

Reason #8: You are eating too much

On the contrary, you might be overeating, especially if you aren't tracking your calorie intake. Studies show that people consistently underestimate their daily intake of calories, often by significant amounts. 

The good news is that it can be a relatively easy fix if you aren't losing weight. Some tips to try are:

You don't necessarily need to count calories for the rest of your life, but we recommend it until you have a better idea of your daily intake. 

Reason #9: You're cutting out entire food groups

Your coworker's friend swears they lost all their weight by cutting out all carbs. However, when you "avoid" foods or eliminate an entire group, you set yourself up for failure. 

Instead, try a technique called mindful eating. Research has shown that becoming more intuitive about eating can assist in weight loss

Evaluating what you’re eating and when you’re eating it can help you create a balanced diet. And remember, things, even sweets, in moderation are okay

Reason #10: You aren't getting enough whole foods in your diet 

Like sleep, food quality is equally as important as the quantity of food. If you aren't getting enough of the good stuff, you might not be able to lose weight. 

Foods are considered whole if they are not processed or have very minimal processing. Think of foods that don't have a long ingredient list, such as:

  • Cruciferous vegetables like kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts

  • Root vegetables such as potatoes, turnips

  • Avocados

  • Chicken breast

  • Whole grains

  • Full-fat Greek yogurt

  • Fruits

  • Whole grains

Reason #11: You're not giving yourself enough time

Experts say you need to create a 500-calorie deficit daily to lose 1-2 pounds weekly for healthy weight loss. That can be challenging, especially when counting how many calories you burn with exercise and other factors that might be affecting weight loss. 

If you aren't losing weight as you had hoped, it might be time to set more realistic expectations. 

Change doesn't happen overnight, so don't be surprised if the weight isn't dropping off rapidly. Give yourself time and grace. And remember, there is more to improving your body than the number on the scale. 

Reason #12 You have a medical condition 

Various medical conditions can cause weight gain and make losing difficult, such as:

There are also various prescription medications in which weight gain is a common side effect. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Medicines that contain hormones like birth control

  • Steroids 

  • Antidepressants

  • Diabetes medications 

  • Anti-psychotics

So even if you feel great, are eating right, and exercising, but the pounds aren't dropping, it's worth visiting your doctor to see if any underlying medical issues might be occurring. 

Final thoughts 

Are you looking to lose weight because of a current medical disease? To prevent a condition like heart disease or diabetes? Or because you want to feel better about yourself overall? Whatever the reason may be, always consult with your physician before starting. 

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