Top 10 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight

You’re trying really hard to eat healthy and perhaps even started exercising. Maybe you saw some results in the beginning or just aren’t seeing the numbers go down on the scale. You’ve grown frustrated and started wondering why the heck you aren’t losing weight? Here are 10 reasons why you’re not seeing results.
Healthy style

Healthy style

Green apple bounded with measuring tape with two dumbbells and bottle of water behind

You’re trying really hard to eat healthy and exercise. Maybe you saw some results in the beginning or just aren’t seeing the numbers go down on the scale. Frustrated, you wonder: "Why the heck aren’t I losing weight?" Here are 10 reasons why you’re not seeing results.

#1: Weighing In Too Often

Your weight fluctuates on a daily basis and for women, based on your monthly cycle. Continuously stepping on the scale will inevitably result in weight fluctuations. Weighing in too often made our list of top don’ts given by the experts.

Instead: Weigh in once a week during the same time of day (like first thing in the morning)

#2: Picking Throughout the Day

Don’t think a few bites here and there matter? WRONG! Mindless snacking can rack up over 1000 extra calories per day that you may not be accounting for.

Instead: Jot down everything you eat and drink, even those small bites and handfuls of gummy bears throughout the day. Keep track so you know when to be more careful about munching.

#3: Not Enough Exercise

If you’ve started walking a bit or moving around more than usual — great, keep it up! But in order to lose weight and see more results, you need to work hard to reach the recommended amount of time you exercise.

Instead: The recommended minimum to help reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease and cancer is at least 30 minutes most days of the week of moderate-intensity physical activity. For weight management, it’s at least 60 minutes most days of the week. If you don’t exercise at all, ask your doctor before starting.

#4: Lack of Sleep

According to an article presented at The American Thoracic Society women who didn’t get enough shut eye (less than 5 hours per night) were 32 percent more likely to experience major weight gain of 33 pounds or more as compared to women who slept at least 7 hours a night.

Instead: Tuck yourself in bed and plan for at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

#5: Weekend Splurging

You work hard on your healthy eating plan during the week, but weekends are a free-for-all where all your hard work is sabotaged by takeout, cocktails and unlimited snacking. All these little treats add up.

Instead: Be mindful of the weekends — they count, too! Instead of going all out, choose a few small indulgences throughout the week to keep from feeling deprived.

#6: Underestimating Calories

Trying to watch those calories when eating out? You may think you’re choosing healthy dishes like salads or a “lighter” dish, when in reality it’s packed with calories!

Instead: Opt to eat in more often. When you do go out, choose the simplest items on the menu and ask for a full list of ingredients and cooking methods. Don’t be afraid to ask for smaller portions or higher-calorie ingredients on the side.

#7: Gulping Liquid Calories

Juice, regular soda, lemonade and sweetened ice teas can tack on hundreds of unwanted calories when you’re trying to shed the pounds. Protein drinks and smoothies are also hidden sources of hundreds of calories, especially when numerous portions are consumed at one time.

Instead: Opt for water or other non-calorie beverages. Drink smoothies and protein drinks in small portions (about 8-fluid ounces) and be mindful of the ingredients used.

#8: Overindulging On Healthy Foods

Olive oil, nuts, brown rice, whole wheat bread and avocado are all very healthy foods. But every food has a calorie amount and a proper portion for your body. For example,  3/4 cup of cooked brown rice will run around 150 calories. Most folks consume 4 to 5 times that amount at once, racking up between 600 to 750 calories just on rice!

Instead: Be mindful of portions — start by measuring them out to get a better feel of how much you really should be eating.

#9: Rewarding Yourself with Food

The classic mistake of saying “I just exercised an hour and deserve an ice cream sundae” won’t reap any rewards. That 600-plus calorie indulgence likely has many more calories than you’ve just burned off with exercise. Healthy eating still stands when you exercise.

Instead: Reward yourself with non-food rewards like a manicure, new music, a bubble bath or a good book.

#10: Incorrect Facts

You may think you know about nutrition and how to lose weight, but oftentimes I see clients who just have it all wrong. Perhaps some friends swear by the newest fad diet, or you read about a magic food to help melt the fat. These too-good-to-be-true plans are at best inaccurate and at worst downright dangerous.

Instead: Get the facts by researching reputable websites like the USDA's My Pyramid or find a registered dietitian in your area to help separate fact from fiction.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

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