Why aren’t I losing more weight?

Always keep in mind that weight loss is not linear but bounces up and down along the way. There are many reasons why people don’t lose weight, even when doing everything right. Some of the more common reasons may include:

1. Body fluid retention (“water retention”). This may be caused by hormonal fluctuations, time of day, medications, increased or new exercises, lack of sleep, increased sodium intake.

2. Slowed metabolism. There is a fine line between eating little enough to lose weight and eating enough to maintain an adequate metabolism. If you exercise a lot, you may have greater caloric requirements which can best be achieved by increasing the amount of protein in your diet. Also, it is inevitable that metabolism decreases the more weight you lose.

3. Too many carbs/fat/calories. We often hear that someone is “following the program exactly,” only to later hear that they were completely off the program. One of your first steps should be to completely re-evaluate everything you’re eating and drinking to make sure you’re staying within the guidelines. For example, if you add calories from such things as oil, butter or margarine, salad dressings, fatty meats, nuts or seeds, etc. you may be getting too many calories overall. Even if you adequately limit your carbohydrate intake, you can still have difficulty losing weight if you consume too many calories. And remember that “just a little” or “just a bite or sip” adds up faster than you may realize. The bottom line is, if you keep doing all the right things, eventually you will lose weight. It may take longer and it may happen in spurts but the results will be there.

4. Muscle growth. Remember, even the most aerobic activities (bicycling, walking, or jogging) can result in some increase muscle development and muscle does weigh more than fat. That certainly does NOT mean you should avoid exercise. The scale is just one means of gauging “success”. Measurements, level of fitness, and body fat may be more reliable predictors of progress.

5. Unreliable scale. A scale may be “accurate” but unreliable in that the weight is not consistent with another scale or the same scale on another day. Our scales are regularly calibrated but there still is a margin of error.