Losing weight is a long-held dream for millions of people, sometimes it’s just a couple of inches off the waist, and sometimes it is a life-changing transformation that is desired.

What becomes apparent to anyone who has really tried to lose weight is that it can be very difficult to manage. In this article we are going to examine 20 common reasons why you are not losing weight.

1. You Aren’t Taking Progress Photos

Before and after photos are often used by personal trainers or supplement companies as a form of social proof as to how successful they are.

But progress photos have a real purpose, if you are trying to lose weight then seeing how you are progressing on a weekly basis is a fantastic way to discover if your program is working or not.

2. You Aren’t Hitting Your Step Count

10,000 Steps

Health experts all agree that you should be hitting 10,000 steps per day.

But most people manage less than 3,000! Raise that step count by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from your work, and taking the dog out for longer walks [1].

3. You Don’t Believe in Scales

There was definitely a time when people overly relied on the bathroom scales as a marker for their own self worth.

The inevitable backlash was needed, but as always with these things the scales are now seen as unimportant – when they are anything but! If you are trying to lose weight then you need to know

1) How much you weighed in the beginning

2) How much you weigh currently.

4. You Don’t Set Goals

“I want to lose weight”. Okay but how much? In what time frame? What about after you’ve hit your goals?

5. You Are Being Unrealistic

If you are currently weighing 300lbs and have never exercised a day in your life, then setting a 12 week target to get a six pack is clearly unrealistic.

Destroyer of Motivation

Obviously this is an extreme example – but it is not far off the mark! Unrealistic expectations are one of the biggest destroyers of motivation and commitment.

6. You Don’t Gave a Long Term Plan

Many people can lose weight in 4 weeks, but after that time period they give up. They have no plan for the years afterwards.

The Cycle

They then gain back the weight, plus a little extra – and start the whole process all over again.

7. You Try To Do Too Much

If you have not exercised for 3 years, but then take up walking (10,000 steps per day) you will lose weight over the course of 6 months.

Potentially a lot of weight. You didn’t have to make any other changes, your diet could be the same as ever. So why not keep things simple. After a few weeks you can make another change, and then another. Rather than trying to change everything at once.

8. You listen to too many experts

If you’ve ever heard of the phrase “Too many cooks spoil the broth” you’ll understand what we mean. There are lots of ways to lose weight, lots of methods that you can follow.

Listen to One

But if you try to follow the advice of three completely different coaches you’ll end up going nowhere. Pick one, and follow them.

9. You Don’t Believe in Fat Burners

 As with the scales example earlier (no. 3) fat burners used to be insanely popular and then suffered a huge backlash. Now most experts will tell you that fat burners don’t work.

However, the good fat burners still do work!

This is not true, high amounts of caffeine, green tea extract, etc … can help you with your fat loss goals – particularly if you don’t regularly consume caffeine [2].

10. You Overly Rely on Fat Burners

Yep we’re being very contrarian here! While some people could probably benefit from the extra 5% that a fat burner can give you.

There are way too many people who think that a pill can do all the work for them. Fat burners can help you burn a few more calories during a workout, but they won’t do as much if taken alone.

11. You Avoid The Weights Section

Resistance machines and free weights exercises are some of the biggest calorie burning exercises that you can perform.

12. You Avoid Cardio

Concurrent training is the combination of strength training and cardio, it is the most effective way to burn fat there is.

Combine Both Strength & Cardio

You will burn more combining both then just performing strength training or cardio alone.

13. You Aren’t Eating Enough

This may sound counter intuitive, but if you don’t eat enough calories to fuel your workouts then you may end up with some poor results.

By all means reduce calories, but don’t drop too much, too fast!

14. You Are Eating Too Much

On the other hand, a lot of people aren’t dropping any calories! In fact some people respond to exercise by allowing themselves to eat more!

Fuel your performance, but make sure that you are still in a small deficit – or you won’t lose anything!

15. You Aren’t Tracking Calories

You don’t NEED to track calories to diet successfully, but if you are not losing weight then it could be because you aren’t tracking.

Humans are terrible at estimating portion sizes, and we constantly eat foods that are much higher in calories than we think they are.

16. You Aren’t Eating Enough Protein

When dieting it is essential to maintain high protein levels, even while in a deficit. Protein is required to keep your metabolism high, and to prevent muscle loss.

Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are a particularly effective way to increase your protein without massively increasing your calorie intake [3], along with many other ways to increase protein intake.

17. You Give Up Too Soon

Weight loss is not as simple as “I want to drop 1lb of fat every week!”. Sometimes you can go three weeks without dropping anything, and then lose 2 inches off your waist over the next 6 days.

Most people give up just before they see the results they wanted.

18. You Don’t Eat Enough Vegetables

When dieting you want to eat a lot of foods that are low in calories but high in volume. For example you could feel full eating 400 calories worth of celery, but 400 calories worth of chocolate would be almost nothing.

19. You Aren’t Sleeping Enough

Bad sleep can lead to:

  • Lowered Testosterone
  • Increased Appetite,
  • Reduced Satiety (feeling full after a meal).

These three issues can lead to overeating and weight gain. Sleep more and you will lose weight and raise your testosterone levels.

20. You Aren’t Prepared to do The Work

This doesn’t apply to everyone, but many people who want to lose weight go about it the wrong way.

Instead of exercising regularly, walking more, eating healthily, and being consistent, they try to find a magic solution. Clingfilm wraps, diet pills, 6 second abs, sauna suits etc … All designed to make weight loss as easy as possible. Well you have to work for the things you want in life!


[1] Patrick L. Schneider, David R. Bassett Jr, Dixie L. Thompson, Nicolaas P. Pronk, and Kenneth M. Bielak (2006) Effects of a 10,000 Steps per Day Goal in Overweight Adults. American Journal of Health Promotion: November/December 2006, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 85-89.

(link) http://www.ajhpcontents.com/doi/abs/10.4278/0890-1171-21.2.85

[2] Rumpler, W., Seale, J., Clevidence, B., Judd, J., Wiley, E., Yamamoto, S., Komatsu, T., Sawaki, T., Ishikura, Y., Hosoda, K. (2001) Oolong Tea increases Metabolic Rate and Fat Oxidation in Men. The Journal of Nutrition131(11): 2848-2852

(link) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11694607

[3] Pasiakos, S., Cao, J., Margolis, L., Sauter, E., Whigham, L., McClung, J., Rood, J., Carbone, J., Combs Jr., G., Young, A. 2013. Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: A randomised controlled trial. The FASEB Journal 27(9): 3837-3847

(link) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23739654

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