8 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/28/2013 6:00 AM   :  148 comments   :  3,083,730 Views

Sometimes, people can diet and work out and track their calories and do everything right—but still not lose weight. I can't begin to tell you how often members, friends and even acquaintances ask me why they're not losing weight despite doing X, Y or Z. It's one of the most common questions I get as a trainer. Sometimes, the answer isn't that easy to come by.
But usually, when someone seems to be doing the right things but not making progress, a list of possible problems runs through my head. These are the most common scenarios I tend to see that stop people from getting results—and they could be the culprits for your weight woes, too.
So here are a few cold, hard truths about why you're not losing weight.
You're eating back all the calories you burn.
When you work out, you're burning extra calories. That's why exercise is so important in the weight-loss equation. But a lot of people overestimate how much they burn—and even use the "I exercised today" excuse to later overeat, overdrink (think alcohol) or overindulge. How many times have you faced a food temptation and thought, "Well, I worked out today, so it's OK this time." Or even, "I'll have this now, but work out extra hard tomorrow to burn it off." If that sounds all-too-familiar, this is one major reason why you're not losing weight. For the exercise to help you lose, you can't re-eat all those extra calories you burned. And in most cases, we overestimate how many calories we actually burned and underestimate how many calories we're actually eating, which means using that 3-mile walk (240 calories burned) to justify that restaurant meal (1,000+ calories, anyone?) leaves you in a worse position than if you may realize: at a calorie surplus.
The Takeaway: Exercise can help you lose when you're really using it to burn extra calories, not as a reason to eat more.

You're relying on exercise alone to do the trick.
Yes, exercising can help you lose weight (and it has so many other health benefits) because it helps you create that calorie deficit needs to drop body fat. But here's the truth: Exercise alone will not help you lose weight. For emphasis, I'll say it again. If you are relying on exercise alone to lose weight, you are fighting an uphill battle. Here's why.
Exercise burns calories, but not as much as people think. When you consider how many calories you burn in a day, exercise burns very little. And it takes a lot of time and effort to burn even a few calories. A full hour of intense exercise may only burn 400-500 calories for a lot of people. On the flipside, it's easy to eat hundreds or thousands of calories in even a few minutes. But it would take hours of exercise to offset those calories. If you are not changing your diet and reducing your calorie intake, exercise alone probably won't help you much. As they say, "you can't out-train a bad diet." No amount of exercise can make up for a poor or high-calorie diet. You've got to have both (calorie reduction through diet and exercise) for optimal weight-loss results.

The Takeaway: The best way to lose weight is to cut back on what you eat and increase your burn through exercise—not one or the other.
You're not eating as healthfully as you think.
We know that Americans and others who eat a Western-style diet have a lot of health problems—and weight problems. The vast majority of people are overweight these days. Yet research shows that the vast majority of people also think they eat healthfully and consider eating healthy a priority. Are you as confused about that as I am? Clearly, we are not eating that well if we continue to see steady increases in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity.
Here's the thing: We all think we eat pretty well. Even people who eat a pretty bad diet don't think it's that bad. No one really wants to admit that their diet might be pretty unhealthy. We all think we're probably doing better than others. This is especially true if you compare your diet to what you see your friends, family or co-workers eat and consider your choices to be "better." Whether that's actually true or not, the truth is that the vast majority of people could (and probably should) improve their diets immensely. 
The Takeaway: If you're not meeting basic guidelines for a healthy diet (which involves way more than just counting calories alone) and/or you don't actually track your food/nutrition to see how it all adds up in black and white, don't make assumptions about how "good" you really do eat. Research confirms that people underestimate the quantity of food they eat, so read labels and measure.
You're doing the wrong kinds of exercise.
If you are exercising regularly, you're already doing a very important thing to improve your health. But when it comes to exercising for weight loss, there's a lot of confusion out there. One day you hear that strength training is the best way to lose weight. The next day you're told to focus on cardio—but not just any cardio, intervals. Then you hear it has to be high intensity intervals or Tabata training. What gives?

The truth is that all types of exercise will burn calories, which can help with weight loss. But when it comes to losing weight, it's all about burning calories. And in most cases, cardio is the calorie-burning king. Strength training is important, too (for many reasons), such as reducing the amount of muscle loss that occurs during weight loss, but it's typically not a major calorie burner. So if you are relying almost exclusively on strength training as your weight-loss strategy, it could backfire.
The Takeaway:  The best exercise plan emphasizes cardio for calorie burning, but still includes strength training to preserve lean muscle. Both are important; neither option can do everything. (Get the best combinations of both in my critically-acclaimed DVD.)

You're not being consistent enough.
When you're struggling to lose those final 5-10 pounds or to overcome a plateau, consistency in your efforts is even more important.  A lot of people stick to strict diet and fitness programs for days or weeks at a time, but their habits simply aren't consistent for long enough. Ever eat "perfectly" and exercise "religiously" for a whole week, only to step on the scale that weekend to see that you haven't lost an ounce? "What's the point!" you may think as you go on an all-out eating fest and skip the gym for a couple days. Maybe you don't even make it a few days "on track," but rather you eat right for one day, then fall of the wagon the next.
Or perhaps you do feel pretty consistent in your habits, but the occasional slice of birthday cake or drinks with friends happens more often than just occasionally. Eating that restaurant dessert that's 4-5 times a standard serving size (and packed more sugar and fat than seems physically possible) doesn't really count as moderation, even if it's the only sweet treat you've had all week. Moderation needs to apply not just to the frequency of treats or rest days, but the amount, too. Practice portion control—so that you don't go overboard and set yourself back.
The Takeaway: Eat right and exercise as consistently as possible and apply both moderation and portion control when it comes to indulging.
You're not measuring the right things.
A lot of people complain that they're not seeing the scale move, even though they are losing inches and clothing sizes. Despite these obvious signs that they're getting leaner, they still want to see the scale change.
If you are noticing other improvements in your body shape or size, you are losing fat. The scale might not always reflect that you've lose weight—but ultimately it is the shape of your body and the amount of lean muscle vs. body fat you have that shows you're making progress.
The Takeaway: Don't just rely on the scale to measure your weight loss. That number won't really tell you everything you need to know.
You don't need to lose weight.
If you are at a healthy BMI or a body fat percentage in the healthy range, you probably don't need to lose weight for any health or medical reasons. Still, you may want to lose some pounds for vanity's sake, or even to improve your athletic performance. There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to lose weight when you're already at an acceptable weight. But, when you only have only a little body fat to lose, it can be extremely challenging for some people.
Your body is usually content to be right where it is, weight-wise.  For many, their body has sort of settled in to what it feels like is a good, natural weight—which may not be your ideal weight in your head. It's certainly possible to drop your body fat percentage and get leaner, but it will often take even more dedication—and time—than it will for someone who has a lot of weight to lose. For some, it may involve dieting or exercising to extremes rather than a moderate amount. But with diligence and some experimentation, you can get there—especially if you follow the other tips outlined here (consistency being #1).  
The Takeaway: When you have less fat to lose, the road may be harder and longer; consistency is key!
You have an underlying issue.
When all else fails and you've truly adhered to your program—and all the advice here—and you're still not losing weight, you may secretly wish you had some kind of underlying medical problem that would explain it—a slow thyroid, some kind of hormonal disorder, or something that popping a pill could fix and then magically help melt away the pounds. While it is true that people with certain medical issues or on certain medications can have trouble losing weight, most people struggle with losing it because they struggle with consistently burning more calories than they eat. The only way to do it is to track, measure and weigh your food honestly and accurately, and burn excess calories through increased physical activity.  

The Takeaway: If you've truly tried everything discussed here and more—and simply aren't making progress—it would not hurt to check in with your medical provider to see if any underlying issues are at play.
Here are a few other common reasons you may not be losing weight despite doing everything right:
Weight loss seems simple, but it doesn't happen easily. But many, many people just like you have fought the battle and won—and you can, too. Just be consistent. Track, track, track. Ask for help and support. And slowly but surely, you will get there.
Can you relate to any of these tips? What do you think is the main reason people struggle with weight loss? 

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  • 148
    I know the EXACT reason why I'm not losing weight: I just ate it! Still having trouble staying away from junk food - one chocolate muffin can undo a lot of the good I've been doing lately. Sometimes it really is willpower. - 11/17/2015   9:42:08 AM
  • 147
    I could add another one. MAKE SURE YOU ARE EATING THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF CALORIES TO SUPPORT A SLOW AND STEADY WEIGHT LOSS. Cutting too many calories can slow down your metabolism and impede weight loss. - 8/2/2015   2:04:57 PM
    I hate this because most people are smart enough to understand that you need to eat right and exercise often. Some of us, for some unknown reason, just don't have the luxury of seeing the pounds peel off the way others do , despite following everything to the letter ,keeping a diet diary, working out consistently, yet have no sign of anything being wrong medically. I was on Jenny craig for nearly 2 years. I needed to lose roughly 30 pounds. I would watch tv from my elliptical. I started off 30 minutes a day, which turned into 1 hour a day , to 2 hours a day ..and sometimes 3. Topping that off daily with yoga. I would go to Jenny Craig for my weekly weigh in ...to my dismay losing typically only a quarter to maybe a half of a pound if lucky. No matter how much I exercise or how little I eat..the weight comes off at a snails pace. I lost 40 pounds but it took an eternity and lots of work. It has been about 3 years since jenny craig. My elliptical is completely worn out but I do have a fitbit , I exercise and do yoga regularly, swim in my pool but no longer am able to afford Jenny Craig food. I am also 30 pounds heavier. I am 57 years old, this has been my experience for many years now. Self control is not a problem with me 99.9% of the time. I even quit a 35 year smoking habit ( 3-4 pack a day habit ) cold turkey and never looked back. I sure wish eating healthy and exercising daily was enough to keep my weight in check, unfortunately , it's not that simple..instead , it is a constant battle. - 7/20/2015   12:46:50 AM
    I feel like there is a huge issue in the U.S. regarding education on nutrition and what a healthy diet really consists of. This is fantastic advice you provided, because a lot of people will work out really hard, but undo that progress by rewarding themselves with an unhealthy snack. The phrase "abs are made in the kitchen" is as true as it gets. While you made a lot of valid points that everyone needs to read, I also feel like sugar is overly addictive. It's put in so many products in excess that we don't realize it, but once I quit sugar and watched my intake like a hawk I felt something like a withdrawal from it. I was cranky and felt hungry all the time, but after a week or so it balanced out. I can't stand soda any more. Thanks so much for sharing this. www.glorywellness.com - 6/25/2015   9:36:02 AM
    SASSISPRING, I think you are reading the article wrong - they aren't saying that people with legitimate medical issues are faking it or using it as an excuse, they are saying that when people plateau/struggle to lose weight start coming up with phantom medical issues to explain their lack of progress - when that's not a reason they are not losing weight but an excuse for not changing their lifestyle but expecting to lose weight. - 5/26/2015   9:10:50 PM
  • 143
    What an insulting comment at the end - "you may secretly wish you had some kind of underlying medical problem that would explain it...." I am furious that (once again) SparkPeople talk out the side of the mouth when it comes to medical issues. We don't secretly wish to be ill, we ARE ill! I've lived for decades with this attitude that it's rare for people to have metabolic issues, that it's very uncommon and it's your fault when you aren't losing weight and I'm done! My great-aunt, way WAY back struggled with weight and she had diagnosed thyroid disease - as did her sisters (including my Grandmother). My grandmother and all her sisters - except this one sister - did not struggle with weight. They gained around 20lbs when their thyroids were removed due to goiter (which was what one did back in the day), but that one sister - my great-aunt - she never could lose weight. She was a hard working farmer and like her mother (my great-grandmother), she was quite overweight. Fast forward, I lose weight and gain weight for no apparent reason. I have several auto-immune diseases, including thyroid disease. What am I told - not only by SP, but by society at large, that it's my fault. For some reason when it comes to weight, we are told constantly that it's all our fault for being overweight. It's why there is little research on metabolic disorders and diseases. Health issues are a factor and dismissing them with "it doesn't hurt to see a doctor" is insulting. SP, place health issues as important as "calories out/calories in" and stop dismissing it as an excuse. - 5/26/2015   1:39:45 PM
    I suggest everyone read two books by Gary Taubes. Why we get fat and what to do about it. And Good Calories, Bad Calories. It is all about the carbs. Carbs make you fat. He describes the whole history of the medical professsion"s dealing with obesity and the problems is that still people are told the wrong thing to lose weight, and then we don't lose weight. Basically an Atkins diet is the way to go - no sugar, no starch for starters. There are some youTube lectures for a quick view of what he has to say. Also Dr. Eric Westman of the Duke university weight loss program. Eat as much as you want of protein and fat and you are not hungry and all my numbers from blood work are wonderful. It makes me angry that we are still being told the wrong things - and what people think are "healthy" really is NOT healthy. PLEASE READ - and start with watching the lectures on YouTube. - 5/26/2015   10:56:28 AM
  • 141
    Great article Nicole
    After reading the comments There is no mention about the bacteria that is in out gut.After doing extensive research into why some people don't loss weight and slowly gain. I found that those people with this problem probably have an imbalance in the probiotic and pathogenic bacteria in there gut. According to research the balance is supposed to be 85% probiotic 15% pathogenic. Untill that balance is restored there are many people that just can't seem to loss there weight no matter what they try.It's about the right food to eat to get the balance back in place.There are certain foods that promote porbiotic and certain foods that promote pathogenic. It's about what to eat to get the balance back in place.I don't want to say any more on this, I'm afraid I might get it wrong. I don't want to mislead anyone.If anyone is interested in this research here's the link to the article fixyourgutbacteria.info The presentation is in video ( I almost clicked off cause it is a bit long but I encourage to watch it, alot of good info). I hope this helps some of you. To your health. Dalebee - 4/18/2015   9:42:48 AM
    Typo: At the end of the paragraph following the bold text "You're not being consistent enough," it should be 'off' rather than 'of' in "fall of the wagon." - 3/3/2015   5:16:34 PM
    Oakley1962, I absolutely have the same issues you're experiencing. I did the Fast Metabolism route too for 28-days and lost 4lbs, it was truly a lot of work in my opinion. I did like the food I was eating and felt very satisfied and will probably, at some point give it another try, but it has to be when I have a lot of time to prepare and cook. I could be audrey1961...53 and I've hit the wall. It happens about when I turned 51-52...not happy, walking 3+ miles a day, weight training at the local Y 4 times a week...worked with a personal trainer for 12-weeks and zero loss and no discernible difference in the wat my clothes fit. Very hard to keep my chin up, but I have to say it was good for me to read that someone in my age group was experiencing the same thing. Thank you very much for the post and good luck on your continued healthcare routine. - 3/1/2015   9:33:43 AM
  • OAKLEY1962
    I turned 52 and all hell broke loose! Tendonitis, hot flashes and an added 15 lbs. I have never been on a diet in my life. Partially, b/c I have good genes but also b/c I've always been crazy active. Now, I've put on lbs and inches, esp. in my thighs. I'm eating healthier than I ever did. In fact, prior to menopause, I ate a lot of bad carbs: fried foods, pastas, baked goods, etc. Then I turned to the Fast Metabolism Diet by Haley Pomroy, which I recommend to those my age b/c it discusses how to deal with the slower metabolism brought on by menopause by tricking it with different foods and different exercises. I now eat very healthy and have mixed up my fitness regimen more than ever before. I'm also using a personal trainer. With all that I've said and done, I've lost no weight and no inches. I feel so depressed! - 2/24/2015   4:55:31 PM
    I also want to mention HOLLEYCNH's remark:

    "I can gain weight overnight, but I can't lose weight overnight."

    No truer words were ever written.

    I remember, one weekend, at the cottage, with my husband. We worked very hard, as we always do. We went out for dinner, the first night. I dutifully ordered a plate of greens with balsamic vinegar. My husband ordered wings, a beer, ate the bread...the full deal. When I got back to the cottage, I probably ate a walnut or two, as I always like to add a teeny bit of protein to my fruit or veggies. The next day, I ate maybe an apple and 4 almonds, plus some spicy hummus with celery sticks. My husband ate an entire bag of Oreo cookies, himself, in addition to ribs, soda, etc.

    We'd weighed ourselves before leaving, as we were both attempting to lose weight (allegedly). Despite the massive physical labor I did both days, and eating almost nothing, I gained 2 pounds.

    My husband, with his chicken wings and bag of Oreos? Well...he LOST 3 pounds. (I almost NEVER cry, but my eyes welled-up for about 5 seconds, out of abject frustration.) - 2/20/2015   7:48:51 PM
    I just want to share my weight loss story.

    I OVERestimate the amounts I eat (and have been caught doing so, many times). (i.e. I say I eat 1 cup of soup, when it's really only 1/2 cup.)

    I exercise every day, but it is more in the moderate range. (I did HIIT for some time. Gained weight. I did 'Insanity', too. Gained weight.) I'm mature/logical enough to know that, to be sustainable, it has to be something I can do for the rest of my life.

    I DO eat VERY healthy, and have been doing so for well over a decade. (A typical, mostly organic, day: a green juice -juiced kale, collards, bok choy, etc.- and a spoonful of seeds in a.m. I might eat an apple with 1 or 2 almonds or walnuts. Maybe 1 cu. of lentil soup. A bowl of greens with balsamic vinegar, or some spicy hummus with celery sticks.)

    I don't care about food, and have, many times in my life, gotten to bedtime and realized I hadn't eaten anything. I don't seem to have much of a sense of hunger. But this makes it easy to stick to super-healthy food.

    I am well-aware that most people overestimate CALORIC BURN. I assume maybe 300 cal. for my 2-hr daily, morning workouts (mostly cardio -often 1 hr on treadmill, with some strength, and weights every other day).

    I was rail thin, naturally, nearly my whole life. I do have PCOS, though. While 95 percent of women don't have this excuse, it is UNDOUBTEDLY the cause of my inexplicable weight gain as I approached menopause, plus why it is sooo difficult to lose weight.

    THE NUMBERS: My BMR (factoring-in the effect PCOS has on metabolism) is about 800 cal/day. That means, if I do nothing, it would take 4 days of starvation to lose a single pound. I need to lose about 30lbs in total...or 120 DAYS WITHOUT FOOD. Since that's NOT plausible, I have to keep my calories down to nothing...just enough for adequate nutrition.

    I can't rely on generalizations about calories in/calories out, because (literally) years of experience has proved my PCOS, plus the related insulin resistance, combined with beginning peri-menopause, make those generalizations comical.

    I will...in fact I have, many times, gained weight eating even close to 1,100 cal/day...including daily exercise. I have lost 30lbs before. It was very hard, and I was only successful by eating almost nothing, and doing marathon daily workouts for months. The confounding thing is, I didn't lose an inch anywhere noticeable. Clothes were every bit as tight as usual. 30lbs!?!?

    Oh, and I want to say this: A person's appearance is the LEAST important thing about him/her. Yet, it seems to be the most important thing to most. And women are cruelly, instantly judged for our appearance, everywhere, all the time. Suggesting women should martyr themselves by not doing whatever it takes to minimize the negative judgement they WILL receive in the real world is...well..not helpful...at all. Society: "You're fat/unattractive." Helpful weight-loss 'experts': "You're superficial, and should be happy the way you are." Women can't win.

    I want to reiterate the numbers, though... My BMR is maybe 800. I burn maybe 300 additional cal/day (and have recently started working out twice a day, to augment that). 1 lb of fat is about 3,300 cal. If I eat 500 cal/day, I might lose 1 lb/week. ...EATING 500 CAL/DAY!!!!! If I eat 1.000cal/day, AND REMAIN PERFECT, WITH NO MISTAKES, NEVER MISSING A WORKOUT, I'll be lucky to lose 1lb/MONTH!!!!!

    THIS is why it is difficult for me to lose weight. :( I am on a knife's edge of calories in/calories out, healthy nutrition, and daily workouts. - 2/20/2015   6:39:34 PM
    All right, I'm going to give this thing a try....what do I have to lose? (except weight!) I am a mess, mind and body. I love all of your posts! - 10/19/2014   12:52:53 PM
  • 134
    The only thing I disagree with in this article is the calorie estimates given for a 3 mile walk-- according to SP, at the pace I walk and at my current weight, I burn 400+ calories in a 3 mile walk! I took a 8 mile walk last weekend and, according to SP calculating it with my weight, age, gender, and moderate (3.2-3.4mph) pace, I burned 1,000 calories. - 10/15/2014   1:58:00 PM
    For the last two months i am following innerfight.com website, this is the platform to teach us how to fight with obesity by doing, exercises, proper diet plans, healthy eating plans, crossfit exercises, online videos etc. With the help of them, i lost my 5lbs of weight within 2 weeks. - 10/7/2014   7:12:29 AM
  • 132
    I agree, inflammation may be involved, but for me I think I can eat more, (mostly because the SP tracker tells me I can) but I choose alcohol, sugar, or processed foods instead picking a healthier choice. - 7/6/2014   2:39:31 PM
  • 131
    I learned from my nutritionist that the foods today cause inflammatory body fat gain, this has been proven to be the reason people are not losing weight. With this knowledge it helped one woman lose 100 pounds, it should help you if you need to lose less as well.


    - 6/20/2014   1:14:18 PM
    Losing weight can be challenging at times. With all of the harsh diets, and the exhausting exercise, some people end up just giving up on achieving their ideal weight. There are thousands of methods a person can use to lose weight, but in all honesty, there is never going to be a better, faster, and safer method to lose weight than doing it through hypnosis. hypnosis provides people with the tools they need to keep a straight mind to help them stick to a healthy diet with ease. Hypnosis2change.com is an excellent website to go to if you are serious about loosing weight. Alisa Abdullaeva is an excellent hypnotherapist who according to her has "successfully helped over 1,000 people achieve their weight loss goals and most importantly help them make the weight loss permanent. Most of these clients came to me as a last resort after they have tried every other option only to be met with repeated failures and disappointments". dont try doing those harsh diets and exercises by yourself anymore, if you really want change then you have to go to Hypnosis2change.com and book a session with the wonderful therapist so that you can join the thousands of people who have already made the changes they want through the program. I did! Now I look and feel fantastic. Thanks to hypnotic therapy I am able to keep the weight off and feel confident. The best part about it is that you can lose the weight fast and you can keep it gone for good. - 5/29/2014   2:54:27 PM
    For me, I think Buffalobirdie's brutally honest comments are spot on. I have been doing my time in the gym, cycling classes, focusing on high intensity cardio, tracking my activity, and 3/4ths the time tracking calories. Since October 31 I have lost inches, and fit into clothing better, yet I have lost only 2 pounds. I can do better tracking my calorie intake and being more consistent. The words "annoying, it sucks" etc, in caps really do sum it up. Now I'm off to the gym for some cardio, more than I usually do. Thanks for the reality check! - 4/26/2014   8:59:05 AM
    Exercise is important, obviously, but weight loss will ALWAYS come down to your diet. Not only is exercise sneaky because it always makes us FEEL like we are allowed to 'reward' our efforts with high calorie fattening food, but also remember that the more you exercise, the more you are just going to ramp up your appetite. Your stomach is going to start growling extra and once again, you will likely end up eating more - potentially way more. The fact is, and this really does suck, that you are just going to have to deal with the disappointment of NOT being able to reward yourself with fattening high calorie meals because you worked out. After your workout, what can you eat? You get to have water and a grilled chicken salad. Period. Weight loss is all about suffering. Unfortunately you are really just going to have to accept that you will be annoyingly hungry while losing weight. You will feel left out while your friends and family order delicious food and have wonderful cocktails. You will have to suck it up and learn to either ignore those hunger pangs or learn to embrace them. Sorry folks. Losing weight and getting in shape SUCKS. You think you should be losing weight because you FEEL like you are doing all the right things, when the truth is NO, YOU AREN'T. You are doing SOME things right, but obviously not enough - and not long enough to make the difference. Honestly, you have to get militant with yourself. Get fierce about it. When a waitress brings over that bread basket, grab it and throw it against the wall! (just kidding, of course, but that should be your attitude.) Sorry, but NO - You cannot have beer or wine or cocktails with your friends. Sorry but NO, you cannot order that plate of lasagna 'just this once." NO, you can't go have that vanilla milkshake with your family. NO you cannot skip today's workout just because you "worked out yesterday and I'm tired today." It is so frustrating, I know, but you have to know that as hard as you think you are trying, and as miserable as you already are, you simply aren't trying hard enough and the fact is an increase in misery is on the menu if you wish to reach that goal. And how much more lovely achieving that goal will be! - 4/13/2014   8:00:04 PM
    Also keep in mind that not all calories are the same. Your body will digest and turn 300 calories worth of sugar into fat in no time flat but will treat 300 calories worth of steamed veggies differently. I think some people are staying in their caloric allowance but not actually changing *what* they eat. The body will hit a plateau and store fat because it will think it's in famine if it doesn't get nutrition and that's no matter how little or great the caloric consumption is. - 3/13/2014   9:53:44 PM
  • BBJPO15
    I think one reason people do not lose weight is because, as stated in the article, people think they can eat more because they exercised. The problem is that Spark People, by linking the nutrition tracker and the fitness/activity trackers, is encouraging this way of thinking. When my workout minutes are calculated, my calories range on my nutrition tracker increases; and, there is a message saying "the more you exercise, the more calories you can eat." This is encouraging negative behavior. - 1/16/2014   4:40:54 PM
  • 125
    I can add one more thing... You are not eating enough! I've been stuck forever. Gained back about 30 lbs. Didn't change my tracker. I updated it a week ago. Freaked out at the amount of calories that Sparkpeople was telling me to eat. Decided to trust the system. Dropped 4 lbs. in less than a week. I'll keep watching to see what this means. - 1/16/2014   12:25:55 PM
  • 124
    This article is why the phrase "The more you burn, the more you can eat!" on your nutrition tracking page has never made sense to me. Why bother exercising if you're just going to eat the calories you burnt? - 1/16/2014   12:00:02 PM
    This is a good article, made me think of things I hadn't thought of.....ideal weight versus, what my body is happy with.... maybe I don't need to lose that last 5 lbs, but continue to work on diet and exercise for other reasons, endurance when snow shoeing, or working toward a run/jog/walk instead of just a walk.... goals are not always on the scale - thanks! - 1/16/2014   10:57:35 AM
  • 122
    The best way to lose weight is to cut back on what you eat and increase your burn through exercise—not one or the other. I like this takeaway the best.... when I just exercise I get frustrated by the scales... when I just diet, I can't stand the flab that jiggles but love the scales. You hopefully will provide me with a win win solution! :) - 1/10/2014   6:42:00 PM
  • 121
    I am one of the ones who follows the program without cheating and the scale doesn't move. I don't eat extra when I exercise. I can also rule out the idea that I don't need to lose weight. I am going to try doing more cardio and eating more veggies and fruit. - 1/7/2014   2:37:53 PM
  • 120
    I learned from my nutritionist that the foods today cause inflammatory weight gain, this has been proven to be the reason people are not losing weight.

    SEE HERE www.desperateloseweight.blogspot.co
    - 1/7/2014   12:59:19 PM
  • 119
    Given the first point in the article, why does the newer nutrition tracker factor calories burned into available calories to eat? That's the same philosophy that hurt me with Weight Watchers 2 years ago, and the reason why I still use the old sp nutrition tracker now. - 1/7/2014   9:30:59 AM
  • 118
    I just learned that I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and I had been gradually gaining weight with no explanation and it was so frustrating! Once I was diagnosed, I did a lot of research and have found that I am probably insulin resistant because of a hormonal imbalance. It sucks, but I am glad I have an explanation other than "i'm not exercising enough or eating healthy enough."
    If you are having issues with menstrual cycles, excess hair in unwanted places, experience intense sugar/carb cravings, weight gain or inability to lose weight, then you might want to ask your doctor about PCOS.

    my friend and I started a blog to share our experiences with PCOS
    - 10/18/2013   11:19:03 AM
  • 117
    Thanks! I am the on again, scale doesn't reflect my effort, off again. I like your tips and feel motivated to stick to my program and focus on other signs (clothes, feeling more energy etc.) to keep me on track. - 10/11/2013   9:20:30 AM
  • 116
    I know for myself, if I diet for one day I expect to see a loss on the scale the next day ("But, I tried so hard!"). Unrealistic expectations could be #9 on the list. It is frustrating to want instant results but losing weight requires commitment and life changes. - 9/10/2013   10:09:37 AM
  • 115
    you know people always assume i havent been truthful about what i do to lose weight. i was complaining to my cousin about how im not losing weight and she says well it takes more then a day of effort. yes except ive been following a strict diet and workout plan (with some variations now and then so i dont get bored) for 2 years! i eat between 1400 and 1600 calories i burn at least 1000 calories every day. you would think i would lose right? nope. turns out i have a medical issue that my sisters doctor found in her and then tested me for it when i went with her to her app. its a potassium deficiency disorder. i lose potassium faster then normal. my sister is more severe she can drop to near fatal levels in a heart beat. she has to carry pills with her to take when she randomly gets low. but this disorder acts like hypothyroid. my doctor had my thyroid tested before the potassium issue came out and it was clean. but i have every single symptom of hypothyroid. including weight loss problems.
    people always assume im just making bad choices and i am over weight by choice. yes i admit i didnt eat well when i was a teenager. i ate like crap because i was at work or volunteering or doing my homeschool high school or at college. all at the same time. i was barely home so i ate crap. i gained weight with that. but for the past 2 years ive eaten great and i workout i just joined a gym so i can change up my workouts a bit. i have lost all of 5 lbs in 2 years. lovely. - 9/4/2013   3:17:44 PM
    Great article - and we are all guilty of at least one of these things at some point in our lives! I found some other good, quick tips for weight management here: www.healthsource-solutions.com/blog
    - 9/3/2013   11:31:08 AM
    Also, I believe that to achieve our weight goal and to permanently shrink our body is by growing our mind! If the answer was in a diet regimen, in a magic pill, a shake or a cookie... If it worked, if it were, the global weight control products market would NOT expected to reach almost $47 billion by 2015 and members of this industry would have to find another business idea! Dont you think? Of course we must be physically active and eat healthily, but so many times we eat and skip our work-out plan to cope with the events of the day and our life. That is why I think growing our mind is an essential part of being at the weight and size we desire. - 8/7/2013   9:24:52 AM
  • RONI01
    great article,all of these point makes more sensible.
    fortisbariatricsurgery.com/ - 7/23/2013   9:00:31 AM
  • LEILEI4744
    This is great advice however, I do not agree with cardio being over strength training. I have lost more weight doing some cardio and more strength training then the reverse and of course eating right. Strenght training does burn more calories long after your workout. Muscle boost your metabolism to burn calories. Cardio does burn calories but only when you are doing the cardio. I lost weight and when I did I had a much better shape as I was losing. Eating is definitely 80% of the battle, then ST and cardio combined. - 7/22/2013   5:48:12 PM
    I TOO have been having problems losing weight. I am 59 years old. I am in the best shape of my life. Each day I walk at a very fast pace 7 - 10 miles. I have a FITBIT that I wear 24/7 even sleeping. It tells me how far I have been, how many calories I have used etc. In my early 40's I went from 130 to 151 almost overnight because I hit Menopause early. My body wanted to be 151. I joined Weight watchers and lost it back down to 128. kept it off for years. As I hit 50 I changed again gaining up to 186 at my highest. Went back on Weight Watchers, lost again. Got back to 148. Today I cannot maintain 148. My body refuses to get there and stay. It will go to 151 as in my 40s and I can maintain that weight but only if I continue to eat only 3 meals a day, no snacks, drink my 48 oz of water and do my fast pace walking (and I am talking 4.0 to 4.5, per treadmill) If I continue that I can maintain my weight. I went on vacation for a week and gained 4.5 back so come monday I had to get right back on track. Of course on vacation I did not eat as perfectly as I usually do. But I can gain weight OVERNIGHT but I cannot lose weight OVERNIGHT. Today is Friday and I have lost 2 of those 4.5. It will take me another 2 weeks to get the other 2.5 off. I get frustrated a lot because I try so hard. My clothes fit good great and I am a size 12. So I am satisfied at being a size 12 at 59 years old. I have tried to come to the realization that this is what I am going to be and that I will try to be healthy at this weight and size for my age. I hope I have helped someone else who is struggling like me. Just to give you an example of my daily intake of food which is almost exact each day....Great Grains protein cereal 1 cup, blueberries, 6 oz of Almond Milk, coffee, Ahave sweetener 1 tsp. Fat Free Half and Half. that is breakfast. Lunch is mostly salad with Lean Quisine Salad Fixins 250 to 260 calories and a piece of fruit of some kind. water throughout the day, no tea, coke. Supper usually a grilled piece of meat, greens of some kind or salad and sometimes baked potato or rice. Milk 1 glass. Even on the weekends I will eat my cereal and fruit for breakfast, sometimes we eat out for dinner on Friday or grill out on weekends. I do not snack at all throughout the day, three meals, that's it. Im not gaining or losing I am at least maintaining. But this is my life if I want to keep this up. I would love to be a healthy elderly woman and be very active, so in the next 20 years Lord Willing I hope to be where I am now...lol...Thanks for letting me rant :) - 7/19/2013   10:50:18 AM
    Hey what do you think about my diet formula? youtu.be/vPrfGPh0dzk - 7/3/2013   3:14:12 PM
    So then even if I eat just carbs a day at 1200 calories I won't lose weight? - 6/30/2013   6:19:11 AM
    Great article.
    Thanks for sharing - 6/25/2013   6:45:49 AM
  • 106
    My Greatest hurdle is eating out! I've ramped up workouts and am tracking away....This article is definitely a huge help. - 6/7/2013   6:32:11 AM
    Barring metabolic problems, it's all calories in/calories out. Tracking is the best and most reliable tool I've found in my weight loss/maintenance phases. - 5/28/2013   8:21:10 PM
    good artical - 5/22/2013   9:25:23 PM
  • 103
    this was all very good advice. I think my problem with continuing to lose is perhaps a little of everything. I need better portion control. more consistent cardio exercise, although I have been very consistent with stretch and tone exercises and I do see results there. I had stopped tracking and when I restarted I saw where I was eating more then I realized, even if most of it was the right things. I have recommitted to tracking my nutrition and exercise, and hope to get off this plateau I have been on for so long. Thanks for the suggestions - 5/17/2013   7:11:41 PM
    It's the consistency that gets me. I get so into exercise, the diet, etc. and then when I go a bit off track, I'm liable to fall off the wagon altogether. I'm working on it! - 5/12/2013   12:07:07 PM
  • 101
    Should people eat what they exercise, if you've eaten 1200, and burned 600? So that you're always at least at the minimum? - 5/4/2013   4:07:41 PM
  • 100
    great article which I have bookmarked so I can come back to! I'm down to 8llbs from a healthy BMI, so semi-stalling is the name of the game. S--L--O--W but progressing! Thanks for a good reminder :) - 4/30/2013   12:06:08 PM
  • 99
    Another recycled blog from 2012 that we can't get points for - 4/26/2013   12:46:43 PM

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