Health & Fitness

3 Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight

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So, you’re ready to lose weight. You’ve cleaned out the fridge and the pantry. You’re eating healthier than ever and working out. 

And nothing. The pounds are stuck to you like a mosquito in suntan lotion. 

You feel like you’re doing everything right, and yet, the scale isn’t registering all of your hard work. No matter what you do you just can’t seem to lose weight.

So, what gives?

person laying face down with a white surrender flag
Does your diet make you feel like throwing up the white flag in surrender?

I get it. I’ve been there, more times than I care to remember. The frustration is real…and so are the tears.

There could be a million reasons why you’re not getting the results you want. Ok, maybe not a million, but there are a lot. 

In this post, I’m going to break down three big reasons why you may not be seeing those results you’ve been working so hard for.

Reason #1 Why You Can’t Lose Weight: You’re Eating Too Much

This one may seem obvious, and you’re probably thinking, “Duh”, or maybe you’re thinking, “What do you mean I’m eating too much? I’m eating healthier than ever.” 

A lot of us don’t realize how much we’re actually eating on a daily basis…even if we think we’re doing all the right things, following the most awesome meal plan of all time to the letter. 

If you find that you’re struggling to lose weight, even though you’ve been mindful of your meals, try looking at the extras. 

Do you use a lot of sauces or dips or cook with a lot of oil?

These all add up. Big time.

When it comes to sauces and dips, they tend to be loaded with sugar and oil. 

And I’d be willing to bet you’re using WAY more than 1 serving. 

I mean, who only uses 1 tablespoon of ketchup? No one, that’s who.

And speaking of ketchup, there’s a whopping 1 tsp of sugar in every tablespoon of ketchup. I don’t know about you, but I use at least 3 tablespoons of ketchup to perfectly compliment my french fries. That adds up to at least 3 teaspoons of sugar, just for the ketchup!

When it comes to cooking with oil, the same applies. We tend to use way more than is necessary. Most recipes call for around 2 tablespoons of oil just to cook an onion. 

And honestly, you probably don’t even need to use oil for a lot of what you’re doing in the kitchen. 

For instance, if you’re sauteing veggies for a soup, skip the oil altogether and use a little broth instead. I promise, you won’t miss the oil.

Reason #2 Why You Can’t Lose Weight: You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is so important for so many reasons, weight loss being one of them. 

When you don’t get enough sleep the hormones leptin and ghrelin (responsible for hunger and fullness) are affected.

Leptin (I’m full) is lowered. And ghrelin (I’m hungry) is raised. 

Too bad it’s not the other way around, huh?

Sleep deprivation, especially over a prolonged period of time, can also lower the amount of insulin released by your body (controls blood sugar) and can lead to insulin resistance (hello, belly fat and obesity).

Ever notice after a sleepless night or two all you want to do is eat? You’re most likely craving simple carbs and refined sugar, right? Gimme all the doughnuts. That’s your body searching for energy.

So, aim for at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. I know, I know, it’s easier said than done, but making sleep a priority will help set you up for success. It’s honestly a game changer.

I wrote this blog post about how establishing a daily gratitude practice can help improve your sleep. Check it out and maybe you can knock out two birds with one stone (that’s a horrible saying, but you get the idea).

Reason #3 Why You Can’t Lose Weight: You’re Stressed Out

Ugh…aren’t we all.

When you’re in a stressed state, your body releases hormones for survival (cortisol is one of these…I know you’ve probably heard of this one) and redirects blood flow away from your digestive system to your extremities (preparing for fight or flight…literally survival).

The stress I’m talking about here also includes low level chronic stress. Think about the kind of stress that comes from being late for work, paying bills, arguing with your kids or your spouse. 

To your body, that kind of stress is the exact same as, “Holy crap, I’m being chased by a lion!” 

Seriously, your body can’t tell the difference. Stress is stress. 

So, what does this mean for weight loss?

Well, when you eat in a stressed state, your body can’t properly digest food and you’ll end up storing extra fat. 

Remember that hormone, cortisol, I mentioned earlier? Yeah, that’s the hormone responsible for belly fat. 

Have you ever eaten a big meal when you’ve been stressed out (maybe you’re just busy and on the go) and thought, “I don’t even remember eating all of that, and I’m still hungry.”

Stress will suppress your body’s ability to pick up on satiety cues. You’ll eat something and won’t feel satiated, causing you to overeat. 

So, how do you combat this when you’re stressed all the time?

Get Into a Relaxed State: Try This Before You Eat

  1. Do some deep breathing just before you eat. In through your nose, out through your mouth. It literally takes two minutes to get into a relaxed state. 
  2. Don’t eat on the go, while you scroll, or while you work. Take 15-20 minutes to actually eat your meal AND be present for it. 
  3. Chew your food. This may sound like a funny one, but most people chew each bite about 3 times before they swallow. Try chewing 10 times.
  4. Put your fork down in between bites…maybe while you’re chewing ten times. 

I’m not exaggerating when I say that people who slow down and are able to eat in a relaxed state generally find it easier to lose weight and they experience less heartburn. It’s basically a win win. 

woman enjoying her meal
Eating your meals in a relaxed state will help you lose weight.

So, if you’ve had trouble losing weight despite all of your healthy eating, evaluate these three areas to see if any improvement can be made. Maybe you just need to tweak one of these areas to see success.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. Do any of these reasons resonate with you?

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  1. […] 3 Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight – addresses the importance of sleep in relation to weight loss […]

  2. […] It has also been my experience that this is one of the top reasons why people can’t lose weight. You can read more about that in this post.  […]

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I’m Jessica! Just another health coach promising that I’m the one you need to find yourself to health… except, not really. I can’t promise anything but I will tell you one thing — you made it here for a reason and you owe it to yourself to determine whether or not a coaching experience is what you need to get back to a feel-good place for you. This site is your place to decide. I, of course, hope to hear from you and would LOVE to get the chance to potentially work with you!

Hey, you! It’s about time you found yourself here.

Once Diet-Obsessed Amateur Turned Empowering Health and Mindset Coach

Hi! I’m Jessica.

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