Why You're Not Losing Weight With Diet And Exercise

Weight loss can be hard! It can also be extremely frustrating when you’re not losing weight with diet AND exercise. Combining the two is a great start, but we’ve lined out some common mistakes that we see often to help you get through the weight loss plateau.

Mistake #1: Not Drinking Enough Water

Alrighty, we’re going to get a little science here with the first reason why you may not be losing weight with diet and exercise, but stick with us. When you drink water, your body undergoes a process called hydrolysis. When your body is hydrated, it works better (in short). When you are hydrated, your body can run a process called lipolysis. Now, there are two different processes that happen under this term, but the one you want to know about is the one that moves your stored body fat (adipose tissue) out and away from where it’s stored.

Watch me explain this in a video: click here

If you don’t hydrate, or drink enough, your body can’t get hydrated, and definitely can’t move that adipose tissue out of its stored state. So where’s a great place to start when you’re not losing weight with diet and exercise? Your water bottle. Set a goal of drinking a gallon of water a day (ya, you read that right). Thank us later.

Mistake #2: Unnecessary Calories From Snacking

Another great reason why you’re maybe not losing weight with diet and exercise is that you’re snaking, and not logging it. If you’re not logging your snacks, and they are just ‘a little here and there’, that ‘little here and there’ and add up to a lot throughout the day, and the week to boot. The average mindless snacker (yes, I made that up based on my coaching experience) can consume anywhere from 400-600 mindless calories per day (nope, didn’t make that up). That’s more than an entire meal! So if you find yourself snacking, and not losing weight, log in and find out just how many unnecessary calories you’re consuming from snacking. Maybe that’s the culprit after all.

Mistake #3: Overruling Your Body’s Hunger Signals

Your body’s what? Your gut is your second brain and if your main brain is overruling the signals of hunger and fullness from your second brain, things are going to get wonky. Think of it this way (we’ve all done this) - when you’re in a rush and don’t have food, your stomach is grumbling and you do actually feel hungry, but you can’t sit down to eat because you’re running into a meeting or dealing with a patient, you overrule your hunger signals. Over time, you do this so often, that the stomach stops sending signals because it is trained that the brain isn’t going to listen to it.

What are you to do? Simple - listen to your body and feed yourself regularly. Eat until you’re about 80% full, drink your water, eat consistently throughout the day, and prioritize things like protein, because it keeps you satiated (fuller) for longer. If your second brain is trying to talk to you, give it a chance rather than telling it to ‘sit down and shut up’ all the time.

Mistake #4: Distracted Eating

Eating while chasing the kids on the way to practice? Eating in front of the nightly news? Eating while driving in the car? These are all great methods of distracted eating and they may be contributing to you not losing weight, even with diet and exercise. Why? Because the body doesn’t actually have a chance to enjoy or digest your food.

When you mindfully eat, you’re able to actually pay attention to what you’re doing so that you don’t end up overeating. You can also avoid that dreaded ‘why did I have that third bowl I’m so uncomfortably full now’ feeling, which is usually a result of eating too quickly and/or while distracted because our stomach signals (fullness) can’t gauge the food quick enough to send a signal to the brain to put the spoon down.

Mistake #5: Overexercising

Believe it or not, anyone can overexercise, which can lead to muscle wasting. If you’re working out at too high of a level, at too high of an intensity, without replenishing nutrients from food, your body can actually catabolize your hard-earned muscle, leaving body fat behind. Woah! Talk about the opposite of your goal.

If you’re starting to notice things like not losing weight with diet and exercise, getting weaker, experiencing injuries, prolonged soreness, or things like joint aches and pains, then take a look at your training to see if you might be overtraining/overexercising. You may also want to take a look at your protein and quality carb intake, which brings me to the next point, nutrition.

Mistake #6: Not Eating Enough

Yes, you want to be in a caloric deficit when you’re trying to lose weight. However, too much of a deficit can cause the body to store body fat and muscle waste. This can also happen if you’re not getting enough protein in your diet, or quality carbohydrates, to maintain and build lean muscle mass. If you’re on a good workout routine, a good rule of thumb with your calories is:

  • 40% calories from carbohydrates

  • 40% calories from protein

  • 20% calories from fat

Now it is important to note that this isn’t a one size fits all approach, but it’s a pretty basic way to approach your daily calories to support weight loss goals, especially when combined with exercise.

Not sure what your macros should be? Enter your info and get emailed a free macro estimate by clicking here

Mistake #6: Poor Sleep

If your sleep sucks, just about everything sucks. Now I get it, if you have a baby or other things you need to tend to in the night, that’s a real thing that’s going to keep you from quality sleep. Now if you’re just binge-watching Netflix making excuses that you don’t want to go to bed because you’ll ‘just have to wake up and go to work’, we’re not buying it.

Poor quality sleep makes it extremely difficult to lose weight because your metabolism slows down, your hunger signals get quiet, you crave high-calorie snacks, and your recovery stinks from your workouts. Not optimal, at all! We recommend making sleep a priority and having good sleep hygiene, like going to bed at the same time each night, waking up at the same time each day, and not watching TV or your phone in bed, at all. 

Mistake #7: Not Logging

Not logging? You’re probably guessing, and probably if we asked you to tell us what your guess is on how much you eat, it’s going to be anywhere from 200-1000 calories off. Why? Unless you eat the same thing in the same portion every single day, chances are, there’s too much to keep count of and eyeballing isn’t very accurate. If you’ve hit a weight loss plateau and you’re not losing weight with diet and exercise, log your food for a few days and see what’s going haywire in your daily diet that you can ‘tidy up’ to avoid unnecessary calories.

Why You're Not Losing Weight: Takeaway

Not losing weight with diet and exercise can be frustrating. If you can pull a mistake or two (or all of them) out of this and make some improvements in your routines, then you’re probably going to break through that weight loss plateau once and for all.

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Tags: Weight Loss