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Why can’t I lose weight? 11 tips to shed those extra pounds

Fitness Editor
Dominic is a sports journalist and personal trainer and writes fitness articles for our magazine. He also makes free workout plans for our site.

You’re paying attention to your diet and doing all the exercise, but still those numbers on the scale just don’t budge? We have 11 possible reasons why this is the case, and how you can overcome these setbacks.

You’re eating too many calories

The fact is: you only lose weight when you are in a calorie deficit. With a calorie counter calculator you can find out how many calories you can have per day in order to lose weight. If you have been following your diet for some time and have achieved initial success, it can happen that at some point you simply stop losing weight.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Because you’ve lost weight, your energy requirements have changed. Instead of achieving a calorie deficit, your daily calorie requirements and calorie consumption now balance each other out. Because of this you have to calculate your calorie consumption again and adjust it accordingly. If you give up in frustration instead because nothing is happening anymore, and eat the same food as before, the dreaded yo-yo effect will occur.

Editorial tip: With our free Body Check you can find out how many calories you are actually allowed to consume each day, and we also have many delicious recipe suggestions for you.

Try our Body Check

You’re not training with enough intensity

It’s great if you’re exercising regularly because you have taken an important step in the right direction. However, if you feel that you aren’t improving and are simply not losing weight, it may be because you are training at too low of an intensity.

An example: Imagine you have a red and a green car with a full tank of gas. Both cars have to drive 100 kilometers. The red car drives 100km/h continuously and reaches the finish line in one hour. The green car drives continuously 200km/h and reaches its destination after 30 minutes. Which of the two cars will have used more fuel in the end? You’re correct, the green car used more fuel.

It’s the same with burning calories. That doesn’t mean that you should only train as fast and hard as possible at the moment, the right execution always comes first, but it shows you how important it is that you do work-out, and keep pushing yourself. HIIT or Tabata are especially good for training at high intensity.

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Your training isn’t improving

With the right training intensity you give your muscles the perfect encouragement to grow, but if the next time you do as many repetitions with the same weight as before, your muscles will not adapt and you start to stagnate.

If the intensity always remains the same you will neither build new muscles nor burn fat. When you’re training using your own body weight, as opposed to weights, you can regularly do a few extra repetitions.

Even if you don’t think you can do more, set yourself the goal of just doing 3 more repetitions. After a few times training your body will already have gotten used to it.

If you train with weights, you can increase the weight as soon as you have as many repetitions in your last set as in the first set.

You don’t eat enough protein

You pay attention to your calorie deficit, train regularly, but neither the mirror nor the scales shows you what you want to see? Maybe not eating enough protein, which is great for your muscles, can be another reason. Maybe carbohydrates and fat often end up on your plate, but all to frequently far too little protein.

Your body needs enough protein to build-up your muscles after training. If your body doesn’t get enough protein and is in a calorie deficit, your body will use protein from your muscles in order to get energy from them.

The result: you stagnate during training and your motivation decreases.

Editorial tip: A protein shake is the tasty and uncomplicated solution to give your muscles the important protein it needs for normal growth and is as delicious as a milk shake.

Discover our Whey Protein

You’ve got muscles now

When you start training your body adapts very quickly to the new weight. Even if you are in a calorie deficit, your body tries to prepare your muscles for the next training session.

It can happen that you build up some muscle mass in the first weeks, and although you can already see clear differences in the mirror, the results on the scale are not yet visible. But don’t worry, the new muscle mass will ensure that you burn even more calories in the long term and that your extra fat will soon disappear into thin air.

You don’t drink enough water

We need water to survive. Depending on age and situation, the human body consists of 70-90% water. Water is involved in all important processes in your body. If you don’t give your body enough fluid, it cannot initiate important metabolic processes that are incredibly important for losing weight.

Are you eating hidden calorie bombs?

Maybe you have calculated your calorie requirements, and maybe you have already tracked your breakfast, lunch and dinner and know how many calories you consume per day, but sometimes you still allow yourself the odd snack or two.

That could be the reason why you’re not losing weight.

Often seemingly small snacks contain an incredible amount of calories. A scoop of chocolate ice cream has 86 calories. Just 100 g of marzipan has almost 500 calories. But even those who like it saltier, cheese and sausage have tons of calories as well. A slice of mortadella has 73 calories. Even a slice of Gouda has 76 calories.

You have too much stress in your life

Stress can also be a reason you don’t lose the weight you want to. When you have a lot of stress in your life your body releases more of the hormone cortisol. This hormone inhibits your fat burning.

The good thing is that regular training helps you reduce stress, which helps you reduce cortisol faster.

Do you still drink calories?

You have just learned why it’s important that you take in enough fluids, and we showed you that there are hidden calorie bombs that unnecessarily increase your daily calorie intake.

Drinks like soft drinks, juices, and alcohol also have tons of calories. 100 ml of coke, orange juice or beer, for example, all have just under 40 calories. So if you drink just one glass of any of those drinks you have already consumed as many calories as you would have consumed by eating a small snack.

Your food is too salty

Another reason for not losing weight the way you want to may be because of the salt content in your food. If you eat too much salt, your body will accumulate more sodium. This causes your body to store more water, which makes you gain more weight unnecessarily.

You are eating too much

You’re paying attention to the tips described here the whole week and still nothing happens on the scale? Maybe you just indulged yourself a little too much on your cheat day. Even if you manage to keep your negative calorie balance during the week, you can already undo all your success from that week with a few cheat meals. Therefore, be careful, and use moderation when treating yourself on your cheat day.

Conclusion

  • Too many calories will prevent your body from burning enough calories in order to lose weight.
  • Train at a high intensity to burn more calories.
  • Brand new muscles ensure that your weight on the scale does not change, even though you can already see changes in the mirror.
  • Avoid hidden calorie bombs and high-calorie drinks.
Article sources
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