It was all going so well. You started your weight loss journey. You changed your nutrition, started being more active, and followed all the tips you could find. Then things changed. Now, you step on the scale, and for the third week in a row: it mocks you. The same numbers stare up at you – judging. You stare back down at them – grumbling. The awful cycle continues, and what drives you mad is the not knowing. Where did it all fall apart? How did the relationship between you and your weight loss goals go wrong? Why can’t you lose weight?
Don’t give up on your goals! Here’s the thing. If you’re still eating fewer calories than you burn, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep – you likely just need to make a tweak or two to get back on track. We’ll talk about some common reasons why people stop losing or can’t lose weight. We’ll also give you some advice so you can stick it to the scale and get after your goals!
Why Am I Not Losing Weight?
Here are some common reasons why you’re not losing weight and how to fix it!
1.) Lose Weight Not Breakfast
I know what you might be thinking. “I cut out breakfast so that I eat less during the day!”. That’s a perfectly logical train of thought backed by good intentions. However, you may not actually have cut out any calories. In fact, you might even be consuming more calories when skipping breakfast! Here’s the thing. If you skip breakfast in the morning, you’re more likely to be starving by the time lunch comes around. You’ve fasted all night, you skip breakfast, so noon rolls around and you’re seeing red. You’re fatigued, grouchy, and hangry.
A few things can happen here. First of all – when you’re hangry, you’re sort of stressed out about being hungry. That stress releases the hormone called cortisol. One of the things cortisol does is slow your metabolism which causes weight gain or makes it harder to lose weight. Now, you might think, “If I’m hungry I’ll just eat an apple or something.” That would be great! The problem is, when you’re hangry and fatigued from low-blood sugar – you don’t think straight. Your body craves lots of food, and often the comforting stuff that makes us feel good like chocolate, cookies, and other high calorie snacks. We’re human, and when we’re hangry, our best intentions can easily be supplanted by the treats that make us feel better.
How to Fix It:
Have breakfast. That’s an obvious one huh? I get it though, maybe you can’t do the whole eating in the morning thing. That’s okay, it doesn’t have to be a huge breakfast. Try having something small an hour after you wake up, like an apple with peanut butter. This has fiber and protein to keep you feeling full for a while but won’t make you feel stuffed too early in the morning!
2.) You’re Eating Too Late
There are two sides to the problem here. First of all, you can be eating too late as in having dinner late in the evening. This is problematic because it can increase blood sugar in the body and therefore insulin which exists to regulate that sugar. The increased levels of blood sugar and insulin during the night makes it more difficult for your body to burn fat. Now, there’s nothing special about burning fat at night per se. It’s just that usually people sleep at night, which provides the longest fasting time. That fasting time, or the period between when you last ate and when you eat next, is the important part.
During that fasting, your body regulates blood sugar and insulin, and more efficiently burns fat. If you’re someone who, for example, works the night shift, you likely sleep during the day. This means your idea of “eating late” might actually be eating at 8 in the morning rather than 8 at night! The important thing is to be mindful of your fasting period.
The other side of that coin is that you’re eating after dinner. For example: it’s been a long day. You spent it sending out email after email, gazing your way through zoom meetings, and putting out fires across three different “work apps”. You sit down to watch a good movie or your favorite Netflix show. What you’re watching is really good, so you need something to snack on. Maybe it’s a cookie… or a piece of chocolate… or some ice cream… you see where I’m going with this? You’re adding calories past what you should be consuming, and you’re also eating later, going back to the first problem. Easy to see how this might put a wrench in your progress!
How to Fix It:
Set a time to have dinner and don’t eat after that. If you’re going to bed at 10pm, eat three to four hours before your bedtime. You’ll want to be done eating by 7pm at the latest. If you’re someone who works during the night, adjust this accordingly. The point is – extend that fasting period and allow your body to reset insulin levels at night. If you’re a nighttime snacker, and absolutely need a food companion to watch Netflix with, opt for a soothing tea! You’ll have something to sip on while not exceeding your calorie goal for the day.
3.) To Lose Weight You’ve Gotta Chill!
A little stress is okay. It helps us focus and get stuff done! However, being stressed all the time is terrible for you. Full stop. Not only does chronic stress play a role in developing health issues, including mental health issues, but it can totally jam up your weight loss progress. See, when you’re stressed out, your body releases the hormone called cortisol.
This hormone plays a role in managing your metabolism and can actually slow it down. A slower metabolism means your body struggles to convert food into energy, therefore – it doesn’t burn fat as efficiently. A slow metabolism is like having a car that doesn’t use the fuel optimally. If your body doesn’t use the fuel it has optimally, it stays in the “tank” or, in this case, the fat stored in your body. Having too much cortisol can cause weight gain and make it more difficult to lose weight too.
How to Fix It:
The trick here is pretty simple: schedule out time to relax. I know you’re busy. I know you have a million things to do, and you feel like you don’t have time for anything “relaxing”. However, if you don’t have time to optimize your health, you won’t perform optimally to do all the stuff you need to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s work, looking after family, studying, losing weight – whatever. If you don’t take care of yourself in the first place, you won’t have your best to offer to all these other things. Try scheduling time to do the things that relax you, even if it’s just 30 minutes a day. That could be doing some yoga, meditation, going for a walk, painting, writing, or reading a good book. It’s up to you!
4.) You Metabolism is Slow
Your metabolism is the process where your body turns food into fuel. There are three big things that contribute to your metabolism: body size and composition, sex, and age. People who have more muscle just naturally burn more calories, even if they’re not doing anything. Men tend to have more muscle than women, so they have a faster metabolism. Lastly, the younger you are the faster your metabolism and vice versa. All this taken together means that some people have higher/faster metabolisms than others, meaning their body processes food into fuel better. The faster your metabolism the easier it is to lose weight. The inverse is also true.
However, it’s not just your metabolism involved in weight loss. How much you eat and how much you move plays a big role, regardless of how fast or slow your metabolism is. Plus, other things contribute to weight gain like genetics, underlying health conditions such as underactive thyroid, hormones, and your sleep and stress levels! All in all, you can’t blame all your weight loss woes or success on your metabolism.
How to Fix It:
One of the things you can do to increase your metabolism is lift weights. Strength training helps you build muscle, and as we mentioned, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Plus, strength training helps you burn calories, therefore helping your weight loss goals!
5.) To Lose Weight You Can’t Lose Sleep
We’ve mentioned this before, but here’s a recap. Sleep is when your body restores and heals itself. Without it, things start to fall out of whack, like your hormones, insulin levels, your metabolism, and just your will to exercise or eat healthy because you’re tired, grouchy, and probably hungrier (thanks to those hormones). When you’re not well rested, the hormone that makes you feel full decreases and the hormone that makes you hungry increases. The result: you’re more likely to eat more.
Plus, the foods you crave when you’re tired are not exactly the healthiest options. Your body wants calories, usually in the form of high carb high fat, which means your sleep-deprived brain wants the cookies and the ice-cream not the salad. Your insulin resistance also falls out of whack, which basically means your body starts producing more insulin to do its job than necessary and that leads to difficulty burning fat. Last, but not least, who wants to exercise after four hours of sleep? Maybe if you’re Dwayne Johnson. For the rest of us mere mortals – we generally just want to lay in bed, cry, and feel sorry for ourselves. All of these things together means sleep-deprivation can really mess with your weight loss goals! For more information on sleep and weight loss check out our last blog Sleep and Weight Loss
How to Fix It:
Work on improving your sleep! This includes making sure you have time to relax and unwind before bed, avoiding caffeine and sugar late in the day, and keeping a comfortable sleep environment. At the end of the day, anything that helps you sleep better will only contribute to the success of your weight loss journey! For more information on how to improve your sleep check out the blog Nutrition and Sleep.
6.) It Might Be Your Thyroid
It’s important to state that the relationship between weight and thyroid is extremely complex, and therefore, we can’t really tell you that your thyroid is the reason you’re not losing weight. There are two aspects of thyroid health that may contribute to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
An underactive thyroid is known as hypothyroidism. It may lead to weight gain because of a buildup of salt and water in your body. Since this is water and salt weight, not fat, it can complicate your weight loss journey. An overactive thyroid is called hyperthyroidism. Though many people with this condition lose weight, they can also gain weight because they might experience more hunger. Again, the relationship between your thyroid, your metabolism, energy, and weight is complex. Therefore, if you think your thyroid may play a role in difficulty losing weight, we highly recommend visiting a trusted healthcare provider!
How to Fix It:
The best course of action when it comes to questions regarding your thyroid health is to visit a trusted healthcare provider! They can help you understand your thyroid health better and come up with any necessary plans to improve your health!
7.) Underlying Health Conditions May Sabotage Losing Weight
Some medical conditions can make it difficult to lose weight or even contribute to weight gain. Many health issues can play a role in this, but some of them include:
- Eating disorders
- Heart disease
- Hormonal disorders
- Sleep disorders
Also, some of the medications used to treat certain conditions can also make weight loss progress difficult. Some medications that can contribute to this are those prescribed for:
- Birth control
- High blood pressure
- Bipolar disorder
How to Fix It:
If you have been prescribed any of these medications, PLEASE DO NOT STOP TAKING THEM. This can cause serious side effects and health complications. If you think your medication may be contributing to difficulty losing weight, please consult your healthcare provider and discuss your concerns with them! Again, WE DO NOT recommend stopping your medication for weight loss. Your overall health is important and precious. Any concerns regarding medications should always be discussed with healthcare providers!
8.) Want To Lose Weight? Get a Move On!
In order to lose weight, you have to be burning more calories than you eat. This means you have to be active. Though you can lose weight by just cutting back on calories, it’s more efficient to lose weight if you’re also being active. Being active enough is also important. If you find you’re not losing weight, but you’re still watching what you’re eating, it may be time to upgrade your workout routine!
How to Fix It:
Find something active you enjoy doing! You don’t have to run a marathon, do CrossFit, or become a powerlifter. You can, if you want to, but simpler forms of exercise work too. If you enjoy sports, see if you can join a league nearby. Biking, brisk walking, jogging, climbing, cycling classes, dancing – all these are great options! Find something you enjoy and stick with it!
9.) To Lose Weight You Have to Eat Enough Too!
I know that sounds weird. If you need to eat less than you burn every day, then how is eating little bad? Eating too little is bad. Generally speaking, extremes aren’t healthy, and weight loss is no different. One of the problems with really severe caloric deficits (eating fewer calories than you burn) is just that they’re unrealistic. If you’re eating a tiny amount of food, you’ll feel miserable and cranky all the time, be extremely hungry, hate every moment of your weight loss journey, become more likely to binge and completely throw out your plan, or become so discouraged with how awful you feel that you give up. We don’t want you to experience any of that! Plus, eating too little can also lower your metabolism, which will make it harder to lose weight. As per usual – the answer is balance!
How to Fix It:
When choosing a weight loss plan you want to make sure you’re striking the balance of eating enough calories to lose weight while nourishing your body, and also make it something you can stick to. The goal is to lose weight at a healthy pace while maintaining optimal performance. The goal IS NOT to starve yourself.
How FK Can Help You Lose Weight
Phew, that was a lot of information. Losing weight doesn’t require any magic pills, expensive powders, or a genetic lottery. It does take some research, patience, and discipline though. Now, FK can’t help you grow the patience and discipline to see your plan through, BUT we can create a meal plan for you! We’ll take the research out of the equation so you can focus on following your deliciously nutritious plan to lose weight!
You can join the FK family TODAY and be on your way to crushing those goals! All it takes is signing up for one of our FK Online Meal Plans.
We offer three customizable online meal plans:
Each one is designed to provide maximum flavor, nourishment, and body restoration depending on your unique situation. You have the option of choosing which path you’d like to take, for example, Keto is our most popular Online Meal Plan. However, everybody is different, and everybody has different goals. That’s why we make sure to tailor your plan to your needs and goals – including weight loss. All you have to do is fill out the survey when signing up for one of our FK Online Meal Plans. Here, you’ll fill out information regarding your current health, your goals, and any allergies we may need to know of. After a few days, our team will send your brand-new meal plan to your email!
It comes with a full list of everything you need to know to reach your goals and transform your health. The meal plan will include the meals, how to prepare them, cook them, store them, and even a shopping list for every week so you’ll know exactly what you’ll need! Plus, the extensive nutrition information provided will let you know exactly what you’re getting out of each meal.
We’ll Help You Lose Weight… And Much More!
Our FK Online Meal Plans won’t only help you lose weight. They will transform your health by:
- Improving immunity
- Restoring gut health performance
- Reducing inflammation
- Boosting your energy
- Improving focus
- Helping in the management of health conditions
- Helping prevent the development of health issues
Are you ready to start your weight loss journey, optimize your health, and crush those goals?
It’s our mission to help you reach your fitness goals by offering powerful nutrition in deliciously designed meal plans. Wherever you’re starting from and whatever your goal is – you’re part of the FK family! Cheers to your health!
NOTE: Fran’s Kitchen offers two different meal plan services. Our Delivery Meal Plans are delivered to customers on an agreed upon schedule. Our ONLINE MEAL PLANS are NOT delivered. These online meal plans are sent to customers via email to be cooked, followed, and enjoyed from the comfort of their own kitchens! Please be mindful of these differences when registering for Fran’s Kitchen services. Thank you!