If you’ve been trying ridiculously hard to slim down in a safe, healthy way, you know how frustrating it is when you hit a plateau and stop seeing results. Even though you may think you’re doing everything right, sometimes it’s helpful to have an outside party look in and reveal a new path. Bottom line: there may be simple alterations in your daily routine that can make a huge difference when you’re not losing weight.
If this describes your situation and you’re ready to make the changes required to take you back to success, we’ve got you covered. Check out these 7 reasons why you may have hit a standstill – and what you can do to pick yourself back up and start seeing the magic again.
7 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
You’re leaning on exercise too much
Working out but not losing weight? Though physical activity is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, there is such thing as over-doing it. One reason is because the more energy you exert, the more your appetite goes into overdrive… and this could put a damper on your clean diet!
If you find yourself completely killing yourself at the gym, and then splurging after because “you deserve it”, you could be thwarting your efforts. Instead, it’s helpful to pay attention to your own energy and fatigue levels. Aim for 30-35 minutes of activity a day, whether that be running on the treadmill, walking your dog, or doing house chores.
If you find that you can still eat a clean diet on that schedule, then feel free to add more physical activity – but only within the bounds that you’re following a healthy diet and getting enough rest.
You don’t exercise at all
Maybe you have the opposite problem, and you aren’t being physically active enough. Bottom line is you need to get some exercise into your week, even if you have to do it in small bursts. Otherwise you will have trouble losing weight, and won’t be as healthy in the long run.
A great solution for “not having time” to exercise is to get some simple pieces of at-home gym equipment, such as a yoga mat, gym ball, jump rope, core sliders and resistance bands. It’s much easier to find the time to squeeze in even a quick 10-20 minute floor mat workout when you don’t have to drive anywhere!
You’re mostly sitting all day
Dieting and exercising but not losing weight? You may not realize that even though you’re working out, you actually may be hindering your efforts by then spending too much time sitting. The research shows that on average, Americans spend about 11 hours per day sitting. And this sedentary living has been linked to potential early death and disease. (1)
Not to mention that long periods of inactivity slow down your metabolism and mess with your body’s ability to control blood sugar levels and break down fat. Switch it up a bit by adding more physical motion into your day… Take the stairs at work, walk your dog further than usual or take up an evening leisure activity instead of watching TV. Experts also recommend that if you work an office job, try to stand while working 15-30 minutes an hour, if possible. (2)
You’re drinking extra calories
We’re so used to paying attention to what we eat, but what about what we drink? Sodas, sports drinks, and even ice teas and lemonades are chockful of calories and sugar – two things you want to limit for weight loss. There are even seemingly “good for you drinks” like green juices that have hidden sugars and far too many calories.
Instead, aim to drink healthier. Trade out your mocha latte for a low-calorie alkalizing lemonade containing healthy minerals to help boost pH levels in your body. Or, a detox tea that’s low in caffeine but naturally energizing and cleansing.
Remember those green juices? You don’t have to nix them off completely. Just pick a green juice powder with no sugar that’s low in calories, and mix it up with water or another low calorie beverage.
You’re deficient in nutrients
You probably don’t realize that lacking in certain nutrients can slow your body down to the point where your fat-burning processes aren’t working effectively, and instead you’re storing more fat. In fact, studies show a strong correlation between nutrient deficiencies and being overweight or obese.
Even if you eat a healthy diet, you still may need supplementation in the form of a multivitamin or a meal replacement shake with a vitamin/mineral blend added – especially if you’re on a special weight loss diet.
One research review showed many popular weight loss dietary plans actually can leave you lacking in nutrients – leading to a high possibility of becoming deficient! Some nutrients that are particularly important for your slimming goals include vitamins D, A, C, and B12, and minerals calcium and magnesium. (3)
You’re still addicted to sugar
Even if you’ve given up chocolate bars and other high-sugar foods, you could still be consuming too much sugar in your healthy diet in unexpected places. And this could be a reason you’re having a hard time losing weight. Fruit, for instance, is a healthy carb with many nutrients, however it’s also high in sugar. Therefore, you should eat fruit in moderation and especially limit high-carb fruits like bananas if you’re trying to lose weight.
In addition, many healthy foods, like meal replacement protein shakes, can still contain lots of sugar. You have to be very careful about the brand that you select and make sure it’s both very low in sugar and contains only wholesome ingredients (no artificial sweeteners).
Sugar is addictive, so whether it’s in chocolate or a much healthier food, it’s still going to increase cravings for more once you have it. Therefore, you should monitor your intake, no matter what the source of it is in your diet.
You hit a temporary plateau
Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight – although we wish it did. But we can become addicted to watching the scale instead of focusing on new habits that promote long-term health. If you say you’re “on a diet”, you’ll be stuck in that dieting mentality. But if you focus on a “healthy lifestyle”, you’re much more likely to continue your efforts.
One explanation for not losing weight is that you just hit a temporary plateau. It’s more of a challenge to deal with this mentally than it is physically. It’s great to have a support system during this time, preferably others with similar values and goals. In addition, keep a journal of all your successes so you can look back on them when you’re feeling discouraged.
Hang in there! As long as you’re doing things that you know support a healthy lifestyle (like clean eating, watching your sugar intake, and moving your body), you’ll get there – one step at a time.
What change or changes from this article are you most looking forward to putting in place and why? Let us know by leaving a comment below!