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Are you trying to lose weight but not seeing the results you were hoping for? It can be frustrating when you put in the effort to eat healthier and exercise, but the number on the scale doesn’t budge. The truth is, there are several reasons why your diet may not be helping you lose weight, and even a small change can make a big difference to your waistline.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss 6 common reasons why you’re not losing weight — and how to overcome them. Whether you’re just starting out on your weight loss journey or you’ve hit a plateau, this article will help you address the roadblocks that may be hindering your progress.

Should I exercise alongside a healthy diet?

Put simply, a combination of a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise is the safest and most effective way of losing weight. However, it’s important that exercising doesn’t feel like a chore every time. If you don’t enjoy the type of exercise you’re doing, then you’re more likely to give up and gravitate back to the sofa. 

Jogging or HIIT classes aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Have you considered weight training, yoga, swimming, or cycling? When you find a form of exercise that you enjoy, you might even look forward to it. If the gym isn’t for you — maybe you’d prefer to build your confidence or shift a few pounds first — there’s nothing stopping you from working out at home, either.

Alongside a healthy and well-rounded diet, exercise can help burn extra calories, give you an energy boost, increase your strength, and generally make you feel pretty great. 

How many calories should I eat for weight loss?

The recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 for men. However, everyone’s suggested calorie intake is slightly different for weight loss, as it depends on your current weight, height, age and activity level. Using a calorie calculator can help you understand the optimum calorie intake to help you lose weight.

It’s important not to simply cut out calories without first considering whether you’re still getting all the nutrients you need, however. You should still be eating enough to ensure you’re getting sufficient protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates, all of which are vital for energy and maintaining healthy body functions. 

6 common reasons you’re not losing weight

Everyone’s weight journey is different. But while it’s important not to compare your progress to anyone else’s, feeling dejected and disappointed when you’re not seeing the kind of results you’d like is only natural. 

The most important thing you can do is stick to your weight loss plan. Even at times when you may feel discouraged or your motivation is ebbing away, it’s vital that you’re as consistent as you can be and you’re making healthy choices to keep you on the right path.

If you’re not losing weight, it might be due to any of the following reasons: 

1. You’re getting trapped in a binge cycle

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to lose weight is completely cutting out all of their favourite foods, or food groups that are deemed as unhealthy such as carbs and sugar. To see results, and most importantly be happy, you should aim for a balanced diet. Life’s too short not to eat cake, after all!

According to The Independent Pharmacy, being too restrictive with your diet can actually be counterproductive. You can fall into a cycle of dieting, losing weight, craving the foods you’ve cut out, and gaining the weight back. You can still enjoy your favourite treats, just in moderation. So, go ahead and have that slice of cake, but maybe just one slice instead of two. Or, opt for a healthier alternative like fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

2. You’re not eating enough protein

Protein plays a crucial role in weight loss as it offers a multitude of benefits for your body. Apart from boosting your metabolism, which helps burn calories, protein-rich foods can keep you full for longer. Chicken, fish, cottage cheese, and greek yoghurt are all great sources of protein that can be incorporated into your three main meals.

Additionally, if you’re incorporating strength training into your weight loss journey, protein is essential for muscle growth. This can help you achieve your desired body composition. Don’t overlook the importance of protein in helping you lose fat and gain muscle!

3. You’re not being mindful of portion sizes

When you’re used to eating big portions, it can be difficult to recognize that you’re overeating. But poor portion control can be a blocker to weight loss. Using a smaller plate is a practical method for better portion control — it may take a little while to get used to smaller portions, but you’ll adapt!

If you have leftover food, wait at least 20 minutes before eating more. This will tell you whether you’re actually still hungry or just tempted by what’s in front of you. You can also pop your spare food in a container and have it for lunch the next day, so nothing goes to waste.

4. You’re consuming ‘hidden’ calories

Another common reason why you might not be losing weight is down to hidden calories. Sauces, sugar in tea and coffee, and alcohol — things that we often conveniently “forget” contain ample calories — could be tipping you over your recommended calorie intake and preventing you from losing weight. 

Everyone loves dipping their chips in ketchup, but swapping for a sugar-free alternative could be a smart idea. Additionally, reducing your alcohol consumption can promote weight loss and have a positive impact on your overall well-being, leaving you feeling healthier both mentally and physically.

5. You’re rewarding workouts with food

Are you going to the gym or going for a run and then rewarding yourself with more food? What you eat before and after a workout matters. Why? Well, you’ll end up consuming all the calories that you just burned off! Your post-workout meal or snack should refuel your body, so opt for a protein shake or a delicious protein-rich dinner. 

Make sure your hard work at the gym isn’t overshadowed by your eating habits. Take a healthy snack to the gym with you so you’re less tempted to reach for processed foods like chocolate bars. Instead of rewarding yourself with food, the real reward is the progress you’ll make by opting for healthier choices. 

6. You’re not looking at weight loss as a long-term commitment

If you’re not losing weight, then perhaps you aren’t staying committed for long enough to see the results that you’d like. For steady and sustainable weight loss, you have to think of the long-term goals, not see it as a quick-fix solution. 

It’s completely normal for your weight to go up and down. One week you might lose a pound and the next you might regain half of that, but what matters is that you continue with your balanced diet and exercise regime. The types of foods you’ve eaten in a particular week, your period, energy levels and more will all affect how much weight you can lose — so don’t be hard on yourself if you’ve had an ‘off’ week.

Don’t feel defeated if you’re not losing weight despite thinking you’re doing everything right. Chances are, just a small change in your routine will help you get back on track. In the end, changing your weight and your lifestyle requires patience, dedication and perseverance, so keep going.