15 Reasons Why You’re Already Working Out But Still Not Losing Weight

by Ahmed Zayed, MD on June 20, 2019

Are you trying to lose weight in order to improve your body image? Or are you using weight loss as a method to improve your physical and mental health?

Whatever the reason is, if you are here today, it means that you are doing something wrong as you are not experiencing any weight loss. You are probably tempted to find out the reason, so we are offering you 15 of the most common reasons why you are not losing any weight, despite the fact that you are sweating during your regular workouts.

The 15 reasons that prevent weight loss even when you are regularly working out

1. You eat more calories than you should

Perhaps you have cleaned your fridge from all of the unhealthy foods, and you have finally started to eat clean, and yet, you do not seem to notice any difference when you look in the mirror or at the scales. The reason for that, for many people, is that they simply eat too many calories and burn very little in comparison, even though they are regularly visiting the gym.

When you are trying to lose weight, you should always tend to burn more calories than you intake. A method that is going to help you do that is by tracking the calories that you intake on a daily level. There are some websites or applications that you can try, or you can simply start a meal journal (1).

2. You choose the wrong foods for you

Nowadays, there are numerous brands offering their low-calorie, low-fat, high-protein food options, trying to help the ones that are on the path to lose weight. The problem is – most of those foods are not right for you, and you are making a big mistake purchasing them.

Not only do these popular foods cost too much money in the first place, but they are also filled with sugars, and what, not that actually do more harm than good. We warmly recommend you to prepare all of your meals and snacks at home, as a way to eat healthier and save lots of money. Read the ingredients list carefully and investigate the products that you are about to buy.

3. You are staying away from weight lifting

A lot of people make a mistake to skip on weight lifting when, in fact, this is one of the more popular weight loss methods on the face of the Earth. Weight lifting is more fun and beneficial than you might think, and contrary to popular beliefs, it will help you shed those calories.

With the help of weight lifting, you will be losing weight and building lean and strong muscles at the same time. Strength training is an important part of any workout plan, and you should definitely not let yourself forget about it. If you are new to weight lifting, we would recommend trying some bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, squats, and lungers to prepare your body for what will soon follow (2, 3).

4. You are obsessed with cardio

There is no denying that cardio gets you all hot and sweating, burning more calories than ever (4). However, doing too much cardio, or simply becoming obsessed with it, can harm your weight loss results.

Doing too much cardio will cause your body to store fat as an energy source for your long cardio workouts, instead of burning it to get rid of it. It will also boost your appetite, and if you do not watch out, it will easily bring you closer to overeating, even when you are eating the right foods. Do introduce a session or two of cardio in your weekly workout plan, but do not rely only on cardio.

5. You do not drink enough water

Drinking the recommended eight glasses of water each day has shown to cause major improvements in one’s health. There are various beneficial effects that come from drinking fresh water, and weight loss are one of them.

If you are trying to lose weight, you have to make an effort to create a habit for yourself where you are drinking at least eight glasses of water on a daily level. By drinking water, you are protecting yourself against dehydration by replacing the fluids that you have lost during the workout. But drinking water has also been scientifically shown to boost metabolism and increase the number of calories that are burned by 24-30% (5, 6).

6. You do not let your body recover

Working out is great, but do you know what happens to your body when you are not letting it recover by taking a rest day or simply getting a good night sleep? Recovery days are the days when, most commonly, most of the fat is being burned, contrary to what you might believe.

Make sure that you build an effective workout routine that allows you to take a day off to recover in between workouts. If you still want to be active on those days, you can try walking and stretching to get your body moving. And of course, make sure that you get in bed in time, each night that is. Getting a good night sleep is the best rest that you can offer to your body.

7. You are not working out enough

Recovery is great, and you should definitely not miss it. But you have to understand that workout out and eating healthy go hand in hand when it comes to losing weight.

Look into your workout schedule, and perhaps you will find out that the reason why you are not losing enough weight is that you are not working out enough. We would recommend having at least 3 to 5 workouts a week, with recovery days in between them to let your body rest. In the meantime, a healthy diet is what will give you the energy that you require and keep you satisfied.

8. You are under too much stress

When you are not eating right and exercising too much, without recovering in between, you are putting too much stress on your body and mind. Add to that the stress that comes from your everyday life and you have quite the big amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, being produced.

Stress has multiple negative effects on our bodies, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and much more. Stress endangers our weight loss results as well (7). That is why, it is of essential importance, to focus on relaxing your body and mind. The recovery days might do your body good, but you would need meditation, yoga, and a good night sleep to relax your mind as well.

9. You are relying on the same workout over and over again

One, both the positive and negative ability of our body is its ability to become quite efficient at what it does. What do we mean by that, you ask? You see, once you start running, as a weight loss method, it is at the beginning that your body is shredding the most calories. But as the days pass, your body starts to get used to the activity that you are performing and starts burning less and fewer calories.

If you have had your pleasant weight loss experience with cycling or running, or at the gym a few months earlier, now you might start noticing that you are not burning as much as calories as you used to. The workout will be efficient, but it will not provide the wanted results as much now. The right thing to do is to mix your workouts on a weekly level, as a way to continually challenge your body and maximize the amount of burned calories.

10. You have too many cheat days

It is alright and even healthy, to have a cheat day now and then when you are trying to lose weight. Eating your favorite food will bring pleasure and joy in your life, and you should never spare those moments.

However, having too many cheat days can do more harm than good. We would recommend having one cheat day every 10 or 14 days, but that would be it. And when you do have a cheat day, try to prepare your favorite food in a more healthy option. For example – if you are a fan of pizza, try a vegetarian option, or if you are a fan of chocolate, try dark chocolate for a change. You might be surprised by how much you might like it.

11. You are struggling with a health issue

Unfortunately, there is a wide range of medical conditions that cause weight gain or simply make weight loss a lot harder than it is. In addition, there are many medications that lead to weight gain and prevent fast and efficient weight loss. Some examples would be hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, kidney disease, etc. (8, 9).

If you are worried that it is your medical condition or medications that are preventing you from losing weight, talk to your doctor. He/she can recommend some more effective weight loss methods or offer to switch your medications if that is possible.

12. You have set unrealistic weight loss goals

Weight loss is a slow process that requires constant motivation, devotion, and time. Nobody should expect a miracle to happen overnight or after one week of working out and dieting. You should definitely stay away from any unrealistic weight loss goals that you might have been thinking about.

Losing 1 to 2 pounds a week is considered to be safe and healthy, anything above is not recommended (10). Create a weight loss plan that will allow you to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week by teaching you about healthy habits, regular physical activity, resting and recovering, and eating clean. Do not set unrealistic goals of losing 30 pounds in a month or you will end up feeling disappointed and getting all that lost weight back in no time.

13. You do not intake enough protein

Protein is suggested to be the most important nutrient for the weight loss process. And yet, there are very few people that are actually satisfying their daily needs for protein.

Numerous scientific studies have shown that protein is able to boost the metabolism, increasing the number of calories that are being burned on a daily level, reducing the appetite, and even reduce the number of calories that are eaten throughout the day with the help of a high-protein breakfast (11, 12).

14. You drink too much alcohol

We can give you thousands of reasons why you should reduce your drinking alcohol to a bare minimum, and even eliminate it from your life altogether, but for the purposes of today’s topic, we will give you one. Alcohol causes weight gain, and if you have the habit of drinking frequently, then that might as well be the reason why you are not losing any weight (13).

Make sure that you eliminate any excessive drinking from your lifestyle. And if there is an event that involves alcohol, stay away as far as possible from any beer, wine, and any cocktails that involve too much sugar being added in them.

15. You are starving yourself

We have said it once, and we will say it again – dieting is not about starving yourself and it should never be. You should avoid any diets that make you feel hungry, tired, and sad with the hopes of losing weight.

If you are starving yourself for the benefit of losing weight, remember that when you are doing so, your body is turning on its survival mode. What this means is in fact, that your body will try to hold on to as much as calories as it can, burning the bare minimum, as a way to survive. In addition, it will also store as much as fat possible as an energy source. This will cause you not to lose any weight and


Perhaps it is the fact that you have chosen a wrong workout, or perhaps you are eating too much and exercising very little – whatever the reason is, we hope that by being aware of your mistakes, you are not in power to change things up and get on the path of losing weight efficiently and with stunning results.


(1) //europepmc.org/abstract/AGR/IND44116071/
(2) //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17075583/
(3) //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18356845
(4) //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5329739/
(5) //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14671205
(6) //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17519319
(7) //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6296480/
(8) //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4911848/
(9) //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3021364/
(10) //www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html
(11) //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11838888
(12) //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25098557
(13) //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21790610

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