5 Reasons Why You Aren’t Losing Weight

woman eating healthy

Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

It’s downright frustrating when you spend countless hours sweating away in the gym and eating the right foods while noticing little-to-no change in your weight. We all know that dieting and exercise are the two key components to weight loss, so why isn’t it working for you? While there could be one of many different factors holding you back from achieving your weight loss goals, here’s a look at five common ones.

5 Reasons Why You Aren’t Losing Weight

Reason #1 – Too Much Weight Lifting and Not Enough Cardio

man lifting weightsIf your goal is to lose weight, you must focus your workouts more on cardiovascular exercise and less on strength training. Some occasional high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is perfectly fine, but basing your workout routine around it won’t help you achieve your goals. Someone who spends all of their time performing barbell chest presses in the gym won’t reap the same weight loss benefits as someone who’s running on the treadmill or elliptical.

The reason why cardio is such an effective tool for losing weight is because it forces nearly everything in your body to work faster, including your heart and lungs; therefore, you’ll burn a greater amount of calories in less time. And unlike strength training exercises, you can safely perform cardio each day of the week without fear of harming your body.

Reason #2 – Eating Too Little

eating too littleContrary to what some people may believe, eating too little may actually cause you to gain weight rather than lose it. By starving yourself, you are restricting your body from vital nutrients and minerals, which results in lower energy levels. With less energy running through your body, you won’t have the same drive and determination to work out. Of course, eating too little will also slow down your metabolism.

Reason #3 – Eating Too Much

eating too much foodEven if you are eating healthy foods and getting regular exercise, there is still a such thing as eating too much food. In fact, many of us actually overdue it on snacks we automatically assume are healthy for us. For example, many popular protein bars are actually loaded with sugar and calories. While one or two bars won’t typically hurt and in fact are actually a great quick snack during the day, snacking on more throughout the day may actually be holding your weight loss progress at bay. Before you know it, you may have consumed 500 – 900 extra calories or possibly even more. When coupled with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and other snacks through the day, you may be consuming more daily calories than you optimally should.

For the reasons stated above, make sure you pay close attention to the snacks you find in the so called healthy isles at the store. There are many great protein bars and other healthy snacks out there that aren’t loaded in sugar and calories, you just have to take a closer look at the label and not overdue it throughout the day.

Reason #4 – Poor Digestive Function

poor digestive functionIf your digestive system is slow and groggy, you will naturally have a more difficult time losing weight. According to the Ohio State University Medical Center, approximately 90 million Americans suffer from digestive problems. Symptoms of digestive issues may range from heartburn and acid reflux to weight gain and bloating. The good news is that certain foods are proven to promote a healthier digestive system.

Here are a few of the best foods for improving your digestive health:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Artichokes
  • Avocados
  • Lentils
  • Flaxseed
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas

Reason #5 – Sodium

too much sodiumThe average American consumes 3,400 mg of sodium each day, which is far more than the recommended amount of just 2,400 mg. In addition to raising blood pressure, sodium also causes the body to retain water. This excess water weight gradually builds up over time, making it difficult to slim down without changing your diet. Avoid eating processed foods like pretzels, potato chips and other boxed/bag snacks, as these are loaded with sodium. Instead, stick with fresh veggies and fruit.

Final Thoughts

While these five reasons aren’t an end all list, paying closer attention to the foods (quality and quantity) you put in your body and getting the right (quality and quantity) of exercise will have you making greater strides towards your weight loss goals.

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Author Profile: Mike Behnken

Mike Behnken is a personal trainer who holds multiple NASM certifications and a MS in Exercise Science. Mike loves fitness, travel, and photography among many other interests.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.

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