24 Reasons Why You’re Already Working Out but Still Not Losing Weight

Everybody wants to have a slim body because it is the epitome of a perfectly-shaped body. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have such a body. What most people do is they resort to dieting and enrolling in a gym. Some turned out to be successful while others are still struggling.

Losing weight is a process. To some, it is an easy process, but to many, it is a long and difficult process. Some factors can greatly influence weight loss – some can be controlled while others are something we can’t do about, such as gender, genes, and individual biochemical make-up.

It could be frustrating if you have been doing the best you can to lose weight – diet, and exercise, but still not hitting your goal.

Reasons for Not Losing Weight

There are a lot of reasons why you are not hitting your target weight. They are the following:

1. The wrong choice of foods

The foods you eat can greatly affect your ability to lose weight. If all your workout efforts don’t work, then the foods you eat is probably the one to blame. You have to limit your intake of carbohydrates- rich foods. If you are going to eat starchy carbohydrates such as grains and potatoes, make sure you perform strength training exercises. That way, you will be able to burn all the calories. If in the days you are not exercising much, you have to stick to protein, fruits, and vegetables. Limit your intake of highly processed and sugar-rich foods.

2. Over-eating

No matter how hard you train, if you don’t watch how you eat, then all your efforts will be put to waste. To help the body lose weight the soonest time possible, you need to lessen your calorie intake. If you are hungry, eat! Once you feel full or satisfied, stop! Eat slowly as eating at a fast pace will not make you feel full. Eat slowly, savor the foods, until such time you reach the level of satiety.

3. Not training/working hard

Every person has a unique biochemical makeup. Each response to workout differently. If you have been working out and at the same time dieting, but is still not losing weight, then probably your efforts are not good enough. You probably don’t work or train hard. It is not how long you train, but how well you train. Spending the whole afternoon in the gym does not mean you burn more calories than those who spend only two hours in the gym.

4. Too much cardio in your workout routine

We have this belief that to be able to lose weight, you need to perform a lot of cardio exercises. Yes, cardio should be included in the workout routine as it keeps the heart healthy and speeds up the metabolic processes of the body. However, you need to make sure you maintain a balance between cardio and other workout routines. In fact, if you focus all your efforts on cardio exercises, you would hit a plateau and stop losing weight. This means that all your efforts will be put to waste. Too much cardio exercises can eat away your lean muscle mass. If this happens, your body’s metabolism will be greatly affected. It will also increase your appetite. Too much cardio exercise could result in a reverse effect.

5. Not giving the body time to recover

When attempting to lose weight, always keep in mind that too much of anything is not good. If you work really hard today, then at least give your body a break the next day. You can rest for a bit. If you still want to work out the next day, then at least perform a light exercise such as stretching or light cardio. Losing weight does not mean you need to be harsh to your body. It is important to listen to your body. Exercise when you can and rest if you have to.

6. The body is under too much stress

One of the reasons why you don’t lose weight even if your exercise is you’re putting too much stress on the body. When the body is under a great deal of stress, its ability to burn calories will be greatly affected. If the body is in a perfect state of health, the more it can metabolize fats. So, if you want to speed up the weight loss process, you shouldn’t be too harsh on your body. A stressed body triggers the production of cortisol; a stress hormone. Too much cortisol in the body for a long period of time can lead to the formation of stubborn fats, especially in areas where you don’t want to.

7. You’re not getting enough sleep

Adequate sleep is important for losing weight. According to the study conducted in 2006, women who slept only five hours a night were more likely to gain weight than those who sleep seven hours. If you lack sleep, you tend to feel hungry even if you are not. If you are deprived of sleep, the secretion of cortisol is affected. One of the functions of this hormone is to regulate appetite. If you lack sleep, you will feel tired and restless. You tend to be sluggish, which in turn affects the body’s ability to burn fats. If you want to speed up the weight loss process, you have to make sure you get ample sleep. Go to bed early and wake up early. It sets your body in rhythm, thus, making weight loss possible. (1)

8. Slow metabolism

Another reason why you don’t lose weight even if your exercise is a slow metabolism. There are a variety of reasons why your body’s ability to metabolize fat has slowed down, and one of which is age. If you are younger, the body’s metabolism is pretty fast. However, as you age, your body’s metabolism also slows down. Therefore, older people should eat less, or else you will end up being overweight.

9. You’re too relax on the weekends

You probably have been working hard on the weekdays that you want to take a break on the weekends. An occasional break and cheat day are fine, but make sure you don’t overdo it or else all your effort the entire week will be put to waste. During the weekend, you can have one or two treats. If you are not working out on the weekend, you have to at least do activities that somehow involve moving such as cleaning your room or even the entire house.

10. You have an existing medical condition

Some medical conditions hinder you from losing weight. As a matter of fact, some of them are the culprits for you to gaining weight. These conditions include the following:

  • Thyroid-related conditions
  • Drugs used to treat diabetes mellitus
  • Anti-depressants
  • Corticosteroids/steroid drugs
  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Beta-blockers/drugs used to manage high blood pressure

11. Plateau

At some point in your weight loss journey, you will hit a plateau. This is a point where your body adapts to the workout that even if you exert the same effort, you are burning a few calories. It does not only slow your weight loss progress, but it might even stop. There are reasons why you’re hitting plateau such as:

a. You are performing the same workout. For your weight loss to progress, you need to constantly challenge your body. Change your workout routine every four to six weeks.

b. You are not supplying the body with the right amount of calories. Eating the acceptable number of calories while working out is actually good for weight loss. If the body is deprived of calories and you continue to perform the same workout intensity, your body will conserve rather than burning the calories.

12. Too much intake of sugary drinks

All your weight loss efforts will be put to waste if you do not cut your intake of sugary drinks. According to research, the amount of sugar in your diet can greatly affect the body’s ability to metabolize fat. Many sugary drinks have a high level of calories. Although calories fuel the body, it does not seem to be the case in sugary drinks. They do not satisfy hunger and do not provide sufficient energy to the body. If you are working out and you drink sugary drinks afterward, then your workout efforts are useless. In fact, too sugary drinks in your diet could lead to the development of obesity, heart-related diseases, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. (2)

13. Intake of alcoholic beverages

If you are fond of drinking alcoholic beverages, then it is high time to break up with alcohol. If not, then your weight loss efforts will be put to waste. No matter how hard you work out, you will not lose weight if you continue to drink alcohol as alcoholic beverages are high in calories. A small number of alcoholic beverages won’t hurt your diet, but too much could increase fat storage. If you can’t completely avoid alcohol, then at least choose the one that has fewer calories such as whiskey and vodka.

14. You are getting older

As you grow older, you notice that you easily gain stubborn fats. Therefore, you need to be cautious about what you eat. If you have been working out really hard and still not losing weight, then your age and eating habit is to blame. You need to carefully take into account the physiological changes of aging and adjust your lifestyle. That way, your workout, and weight loss effort will pay off.

15. Hydration

Hydration is important when attempting to lose weight. Water regulates not only the metabolism but also digestion and other bodily functions. When working out, you will be tempted to drink energy drinks, which may have hidden sugar. Water is good enough to hydrate the body and facilitate weight loss. When the body is dehydrated, your appetite craving increases. So, the next time you feel hungry and tempted to eat, get a glass of water. Drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water every day to fuel your body, prevent dehydration, and make you feel full for a long period of time.

16. Family history/genetic makeup

If obesity runs in the family, then you will surely have a hard time losing weight. It probably is the reason why you are having a difficult time losing weight despite your workout efforts. It also predisposes you to serious health conditions such as cardiovascular-related diseases. (3)

17. Fad diet

Following a fad diet is one of the reasons why you are not losing weight despite workout efforts. Fad diets don’t work. They could even lead to a variety of health problems. The ideal diet is low carbohydrates, low sugar, low trans fats, and high in good stuff such as lean meat, good fats, fruits, and vegetables.

18. Not taking in enough protein

If you want to lose weight the soonest time possible, you need to supply your body with the right amount of protein. It is extremely important, especially if you are working out. Protein can increase the body’s metabolism and lessen your craving for calorie-rich foods. In fact, it can reduce your snacking. How is this possible? Protein has a direct effect on ghrelin, an appetite-regulating hormone. Your breakfast should be filled with protein so that you will feel less hungry throughout the day. Protein can also help prevent metabolic slowdown or plateau. (4)

19. Not lifting weights

Resistance training is a must when attempting to lose weight. A perfect example of resistance training is weight lifting. It helps maintain muscle mass, which is usually burned along with fat. Weights lifting can also prevent metabolic slowdown. It also helps tone your muscles.

20. Eating junk foods

People who are addicted to junk foods are less likely to lose weight even with exercise. Junk foods are not at all junk because they are packed with calories and these calories are not satisfying. You eat more and more without realizing that you are loading your body with unnecessary calories. (5)

21. Sedentary lifestyle

Your lifestyle says a lot about your weight. As they say, “you are what you eat.” Even if you are doing intense exercise for a few hours a week, your weight loss will not progress if you spend most of your time sitting post-workout. When not working out, you should find activities that will keep you moving, such as walking around the office for a few minutes. (7)

22. Not tracking calories

It is important to track down your calories so that you will know how much you are going to burn. Guessing your calorie intake would not lead you closer to your weight loss goal. Many people underestimate their calorie intake, which is the reason why they fail to lose weight even if they are exercising. Fortunately, some applications can help track down your calorie intake and output.

23. Hormones

When you are not losing weight despite diet and exercise, then your hormones are probably the ones to blame. Women who have a high level of estrogen tend to hold weight, especially in the belly region. Those who have polycystic ovary syndrome are prone to gaining weight too. People with diabetes mellitus have hormonal imbalance too. They tend to gain fats in some areas of the body, especially the upper areas. If you want to lose weight, it is important to address the underlying reasons for hormonal imbalance. (6)

24. Inconsistency

Consistency is the key to losing weight. In fact, it does not only apply to weight loss but in every aspect of life. You have to follow an eating and exercise routine. You can’t be dieting for a week and eat all you can over the weekend. That’s not the way to do it. Unfortunately, a lot of people are doing it. They tend to overeat during their cheat day. Keep in mind that when it comes to dieting, a single mistake can ruin all your hard work.

Final Words

Losing weight is a process – a difficult process for obese people. There is no shortcut to losing weight. You will need to exert effort, hard work, and most of all, you need to be patient. Results do not happen overnight. It would take some time. To speed up the weight loss process, you have to combine training, diet, and a healthy lifestyle. Do not over-stress yourself. Listen to what your body is saying. Rest if you must. When you can’t work out because your body is exhausted, then focus on eating a low-calorie diet. At the end of the day, it all boils down to creating a balance of everything.


(1) https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/164/10/947/162270
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210834/
(3) https://www.karger.com/article/FullText/441375
(4) https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/101/6/1320S/4564492
(5) http://iosrjournals.org/iosr-jnhs/papers/vol1-issue6/F0162632.pdf?id=6560
(6) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321837.php
(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4111078/

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