Why Can’t I Lose Weight?
22 June, 2021
This is one of the most common questions that we get asked when clients first come to us – “Why can’t I lose weight?”. Many people believe that they can’t lose weight, because they have been trying the same kind of diet with limited results. In actual fact they need to switch their diet up.
For lots of people, their weight has crept on over many years and now they’re at a point where they feel they need a drastic change. If you feel like you can’t lose weight, 9 times out of 10 it is simply not true. It is just that your mindset around weight loss is negative because in the past you may have had bad experiences.
The truth is, weight loss is actually very simple, and can even be fun! We’re looking at the main reasons that you can’t lose weight to help you myth bust and get to the bottom of your love-hate (or maybe even hate-hate!) relationship with the scales.
Side note: see our article on calories vs macros to discover why calories and weight loss aren’t the be all and end all when it comes to changing your body. Sometimes you don’t need to lose weight to see immense changes in your body – this is really worth understanding and getting comfortable with before you start your fitness journey.
Take a look at 7 of the most common reasons you can’t lose weight:
- You’re not in a calorie deficit
If you’re in a calorie deficit you will lose weight. If you’re not in a calorie deficit, you won’t. We have written an in-depth article on what a calorie deficit is, which should be read if you’re not sure what a calorie deficit is or how to work it out.
Ultimately, the main reason that most people don’t lose weight is because they don’t burn more calories than they consume. As such, their weight stays the same or goes up.
- You haven’t given it enough time
Often one of the key reasons that people think they can’t lose weight is that they haven’t been in a dieting phase for very long. To lose weight sustainably you need to aim to lose about 05.kg per week, so if you started a diet a week ago and are looking for instant results, think again.
Give it more time and you will likely see results so long as you are in a calorie deficit.
- You’re holding onto water weight
When it comes to water weight, hormones have a lot to answer for, for women especially. The week before your period we often hold on to excess water weight which causes bloating and – you guessed it – weight gain.
Likewise, if you drink a lot of water or have upped your water intake you may notice that initially you weigh more. It should regulate as your body finds its own natural rhythm. Water can weigh a lot if you’re drinking, say 3-4L a day, so remember that you may be seeing water weight show up on the scales.
- Your hormones are affecting your appetite
Likewise, bloating isn’t the only thing that women have to contend with when it comes to losing weight. Hormones affect our appetite, and often as a woman’s body prepares for a bleed her metabolism will spike, her body temperature will increase and she will get HUNGRY.
The need to eat during this time is really hard to combat, and often trainers will recommend that you maintain your weight during this timeframe. If your hormones are affecting your appetite you’re probably eating a lot more than you think simply because you are very hungry.
- You overestimate your exercise
Sometimes calorie tracking apps and fitness trackers can be unhelpful as they overestimate the number of calories we burn during a workout. They can be helpful to use as a guide, but whatever you do don’t start eating back the calories that you think you burned as that is asking for weight gain.
Many of these apps overestimate the calories burned during exercise, which means that people eat the calories that they think they burned only to find that they are in a calorie surplus. This is a key reason people might feel that they are exercising and eating right but not losing weight.
- You have an underlying condition
One of the more serious reasons that you can’t lose weight may be that you have an underlying medical condition or are pregnant. Pregnancy causes significant weight gain, and likewise some medical conditions like PCOS, thyroid issues and diabetes can cause weight gain.
If you are trying everything but can’t shift the weight, it might be a good idea to head to the doctor to get a check up. Explain your issues and see if they can offer any advice on what to do next.
- Your weight has plateaued
Many people find that they can lose the initial weight that they have quite easily, however when it comes to the last 5-10kg of weight that they want to lose, they just can’t shift it. This is often caused by a plateau in weight loss.
When you lose weight, your overall body weight goes down. This means that you are smaller and therefore need less food to power your body and stay alive. Your BMR or basal metabolic rate goes down normally when you lose weight, however most people don’t account for this change and keep eating the same amount of calories.
When you lose weight you need to readjust your calorie intake and in most cases eat less calories in order to sustain the weight loss that you achieved before. Working with a trainer will allow you to stay on track with this kind of thing and keep on top of your next steps on your fitness journey.