8 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight

Weight loss happens effectively when both internal and external factors work in your favour. There are many factors like genetics, sleeping habits, muscle mass and environment among others which significantly contribute to the process of weight loss. When you try to lose weight, your body fights back and hence, it is important to be aware of some of the roadblocks that may obstruct your weight loss process.

The weight loss journey is the right combination of diet and exercise and may vary from person to person. Once you start eating healthy and working out regularly, you may be able to lose quite a lot of weight at first. However, weight loss may slow down or in the worst case, stop altogether after some time. In this article, we will learn about the eight main reasons why you are not losing weight and suggest tips on how to break through these hindrances to achieve your goal.

Common Reasons for Not Losing Weight

There are several factors responsible for effective weight loss, however, if any of the below- mentioned factors exist in your life, your weight loss journey may be severely affected.

Lack of Sleep

Good sleep is a crucial factor for physical and mental health along with weight management. Lack of quality sleep may slow down metabolism and thereby cause obesity. If you aren't getting enough sleep, your cortisol levels may increase. Cortisol is a stress hormone which can fuel weight gain.

People working the night shifts are at risk of circadian rhythm disruption which can lead to weight gain. Also, switching back and forth between night and day shifts can disturb your healthy and normal sleep-wake pattern and hinder your weight loss progress. Always try to sleep for seven to eight hours each night.

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress can interfere with sleep, make you feel hungrier and raise cortisol levels. Furthermore, stress can drive cravings for comfort foods and this may hamper your weight loss progress severely. Stress triggers our adrenal glands to produce more cortisol and thereby makes us gain belly fat. Women who have a large waist may produce more cortisol in response to stress.

Minimizing your stress should be one of the top priorities if you are trying to lose weight. Creating a downtime for you by regularly practising meditation, yoga and exercise routine can help in combating stress. You can also take the help of a counselor if the symptoms of chronic stress are severe. A mental health counselor can help you with stress management and eventually, that will smooth your weight loss process.

Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions like hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and sleep apnea may drive weight gain and make it harder to lose weight. Moreover, there are certain medications like beta blockers (for lowering blood pressure), steroids, antidepressants etc. which may act as stumbling blocks to your weight loss journey or even cause weight gain.

Sometimes prescribed medicines for diabetes, high blood pressure and depression may also slow weight loss. You cannot stop these medicines out of the blue without consulting your doctor. You can discuss this with your physician so that you can get alternatives to your prescribed medicines. This can cure your medical condition as well as help you meet your weight-loss goals.

Eating Mindlessly

Dieticians often complain that people who follow a balanced diet for weight loss may end up eating little bites like a few chips or crackers. This interferes with weight loss. Mindful eating is one of the most effective weight loss tools. This strategy involves slowing down while eating and savouring each bite. Also, it includes eating without distraction.

Mindful eating sends signals to the brain when your body has had enough and reduces the frequency of binge eating. If you are not aware of what you are eating, you tend to eat more and this hinders your weight loss. One of the solutions is to track what you eat by writing down everything you eat in a single day.

Mobile applications can make this task easy and help you monitor and restrict yourself accordingly. Additionally, eat with zero distractions and when you begin to feel full, drink water and stop eating.


Alcoholic beverages can add carbohydrates and sugar to your daily intake and slow down the liver’s fat-burning abilities. In addition to this, alcohol can also disinhibit our self-control over what we eat and often lead to over-indulgences. Beer, wine and sugary alcoholic beverages are high in calories and should be avoided during the weight loss journey. You may choose to drink spirits like vodka mixed with zero-calorie beverages if you want to lose weight.

Over-relying on Exercise

Exercise is a perfect solution to manage stress and improve sleep and weight management. However, exercise alone cannot aid weight loss. Over-exercising may make you hungrier and you may end up eating more.

Exercise is a celebration of the movement that the body can achieve and should not be treated as punishment for eating something. Your exercise routine should be designed as per your food intake to avoid overeating. Doing regular cardio and aerobic exercises can increase your heart rate and burn body fat.

Lack of Protein in the Diet

Protein is a vital nutrient for losing weight. Eating an adequate amount of protein per day can boost metabolism and reduce cravings and the desire for snacking. Protein has appetite- regulating hormones like ghrelin which can promote weight loss by drastically controlling the urge to overeat or indulge in repetitive snacking.

Experts recommend eating a protein-rich breakfast which can lower cravings throughout the day. Eating protein-rich foods helps in preventing metabolic slowdown which is a common side effect of weight loss. Likewise, it can prevent weight gain.

Drinking Less Water

Drinking water may increase the number of calories you burn and also reduce your calorie intake. Some of the prominent signs of drinking less water are dark yellow urine and constipation. Appropriate hydration helps our brain to stay alert. Furthermore, research has proved that hydration is one of the major factors in the weight loss as it is directly connected with digestion and muscle function. You need to drink at least 60 ounces of water daily to help you feel fuller and to stay hydrated.


Weight loss is not always easy and many factors can obstruct it. Not reaching your weight loss goal may occur if your calorie intake is equal to or higher than your calorie usage. Strategies like mindful eating, consuming more protein, limiting alcohol intake, doing exercises and managing stress effectively can aid in weight loss journey. One must remember that weight loss is not an overnight process. It requires patience, dedication and resilience.

Updated on: 09-Mar-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started