Listen, we have all been there. We think we are on the healthy train but we aren’t losing weight fast enough, or at all.
We are reading the back of packages, we are counting the number of potato chips in our bowl, and we are drinking gallons of water. We are increasing our fruit and vegetable intake, and doing CrossFit or running six days a week.
So why then have we been busting our butts for the last several months (years?) without a change on the scale? Discover the reasons you are not losing weight, and try these tips and tricks to get back on track.
Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight
Not Weighing And Measuring Your Food
It isn’t enough to read the label and hope that 11 chips equal 65g. Even between measuring cups and spoons, there can be a difference between measurements. A few grams here, and a few milliliters there, and over time you can sabotage your diet.
What to do instead: Invest in a food scale. It can be annoying and tedious at first, but once it becomes a habit it is second nature. I use a relatively cheap scale from Amazon Basics, and it is excellent! There are certainly other options out there, both in terms of cost and features.
Overeating Healthy Food
Have you ever seen those delicious smoothie bowls on Pinterest or Instagram? Looked on in awe as someone ate an entire avocado or half a bag of almonds because they’re eating ‘clean?’ It is super important to eat healthy food from a variety of sources, including foods rich in fats. However, it is very easy to overdo it, especially when we are fixated on ‘eating clean.’
What to do instead: Measure your food! Just because an item of food is healthy or nutritious doesn’t mean you have a free pass to eat as much as you want. Make sure you are eating a good variety of food and getting adequate amounts of macro and micronutrients. Eating clean but not eating in a deficit is a surefire track to not losing weight.
Undereating During The Day And Stuffing Yourself In The Evening
Or you’re militant about what you eat during the week and it all goes to hell on Friday night. Or you have a cheat meal that turns into a cheat day, weekend, week, month, year, decade. I’m never going to be the person who tells you that you can’t enjoy yourself, but moderation is key. If you lower your calorie deficit by 500 calories a day through diet an exercise Monday to Friday, then go out for a heavy meal with a few drinks. A bottle of wine, a shared platter of nachos, and a burger and fries later… You have canceled out all the work you put in- in one meal. Suddenly your weight loss has stalled- you’re not losing weight.
What to do instead: Moderation and pre-planning are key here. Have a look at the menu early in the week or day. See what options are available, make a plan and stick to it. Don’t deprive yourself! But don’t overdo it either. Maybe have a wine spritzer instead of wine. Try lettuce wraps instead of nachos as an appetizer. Check out their lean meats for your main. Decide on one part of the meal as your treat and leave it there.
You’re Drinking Your Calories
I know, it’s criminal. Wine, mocha fraps, smoothies. Regular pop. Coffee with creamer. It all adds up. For some of us, it’s all we have ever known. For others, we are straight-up addicted to coffee or pop and you will pry it out of our cold dead hands.
What to do instead: Start making swaps for lower-calorie options. Some people don’t like aspartame, and others swear by diet pop. An option could be to use something like a soda stream. Gradually switch your creamer to milk or nondairy almond milk, or even drinking it black! Try sugar-free and fat-free versions of your favorite drinks at the coffee shop. And if it has calories- you still have to measure it as part of your daily calorie intake.
Not Drinking Enough Water
I think some people definitely go overboard with the water drinking, but it is kind of essential to life, so perhaps they are on to something. Drinking water is one of the easiest ways you can create and stick to a habit. Anecdotally, things move a lot easier on a diet if you’re drinking lots of water. Plus, water can help increase feelings of satiety, or making yourself feel full.
What to do instead: Drink more water! There are tons of ways to incorporate more water into your life. I try to drink a 12oz glass as soon as I wake up and before I go to bed. I keep a Contigo stainless steel water bottle at my desk and try to drink a full bottle in the morning, during my lunch, and in the afternoon. I am a bit of a coffee fanatic, so I have to offset that somehow, right?
Being Inefficient In The Gym
You’re religiously going to the gym, hopping on the treadmill or elliptical, and meandering while reading a magazine. Or, you’re spending your time between sets on your phone, and your rest periods are way longer than they need to be. Just *being* in the gym doesn’t help you lose weight- but getting in the door is a good start!
What to do instead: Try a group exercise class like Zumba! Or you can look online or in your local book store for workout plans and ideas. You should aim to do the most you can in the shortest period of time. Even better, look up HIIT workouts- High-Intensity Interval Workouts. You do something as hard and fast as you can (like sprints) for a minute or two, then rest. This allows you to work out super hard in a shorter period of time.
You’re Not Sleeping Enough
With so many demands on our time and weight loss becoming a large time sink of its own, how are you supposed to find the time to sleep? It’s hard enough carving out time to go to the gym, meal prep, do laundry, cook supper, keep small humans alive, and go to work. Now you’re expected to sleep, too? Yes! Your body repairs itself while you sleep. Calorie reduction and hard workouts can take their toll on you, and sleep is your first line of defense.
What to do instead: Find a sleep schedule that works for you and stick to it. It’s not easy, especially with all of the screen time we subject ourselves to daily. If you are anything like me, 12 hours minimum of my day is spent staring at a screen thanks to a desk job. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep- some get by on six while others need nine. Try journaling and practicing good sleep hygiene to find what works for you.
-Don’t miss! A Secret “CARB TRICK” That Burns Up To 1 Pound Per Day
Are you tired of dieting, counting calories and killing yourself in the gym? You are doing everything right and still can’t achieve the desired weight?
A 40-year-old Sarah Donovan burned away 22 pounds in just 13 days with this strange “carb-pairing” trick, without exercise or starving.