8 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  173 comments   :  4,282,827 Views

Sometimes, people can diet and work out and track their calories and do everything right—but still not lose weight. I can't begin to tell you how often members, friends and even acquaintances ask me why they're not losing weight despite doing X, Y or Z. It's one of the most common questions I get as a trainer. Sometimes, the answer isn't that easy to come by.
But usually, when someone seems to be doing the right things but not making progress, a list of possible problems runs through my head. These are the most common scenarios I tend to see that stop people from getting results—and they could be the culprits for your weight woes, too.
So here are a few cold, hard truths about why you're not losing weight.
You're eating back all the calories you burn.
When you work out, you're burning extra calories. That's why exercise is so important in the weight-loss equation. But a lot of people overestimate how much they burn—and even use the "I exercised today" excuse to later overeat, overdrink (think alcohol) or overindulge. How many times have you faced a food temptation and thought, "Well, I worked out today, so it's OK this time." Or even, "I'll have this now, but work out extra hard tomorrow to burn it off." If that sounds all-too-familiar, this is one major reason why you're not losing weight. For the exercise to help you lose, you can't re-eat all those extra calories you burned. And in most cases, we overestimate how many calories we actually burned and underestimate how many calories we're actually eating, which means using that 3-mile walk (240 calories burned walking) to justify that restaurant meal (1,000+ calories, anyone?) leaves you in a worse position than if you may realize: at a calorie surplus. If this sounds like you, you may be interested in our guides on what to eat before you workout and what to eat after you workout.
The Takeaway: Exercise can help you lose when you're really using it to burn extra calories, not as a reason to eat more.

You're relying on exercise alone to do the trick.
Yes, exercising can help you lose weight (and it has so many other health benefits) because it helps you create that calorie deficit needs to drop body fat. But here's the truth: Exercise alone will not help you lose weight. For emphasis, I'll say it again. If you are relying on exercise alone to lose weight, you are fighting an uphill battle. Here's why.
Exercise burns calories, but not as much as people think. When you consider how many calories you burn in a day, exercise burns very little. And it takes a lot of time and effort to burn even a few calories. A full hour of intense exercise may only burn 400-500 calories for a lot of people. On the flipside, it's easy to eat hundreds or thousands of calories in even a few minutes. But it would take hours of exercise to offset those calories. If you are not changing your diet and reducing your calorie intake, exercise alone probably won't help you much. As they say, "you can't out-train a bad diet." No amount of exercise can make up for a poor or high-calorie diet. You've got to have both (calorie reduction through diet and exercise) for optimal weight-loss results.

The Takeaway: The best way to lose weight is to cut back on what you eat and increase your burn through exercise—not one or the other.
You're not eating as healthfully as you think.
We know that Americans and others who eat a Western-style diet have a lot of health problems—and weight problems. The vast majority of people are overweight these days. Yet research shows that the vast majority of people also think they eat healthfully and consider eating healthy a priority. Are you as confused about that as I am? Clearly, we are not eating that well if we continue to see steady increases in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity.
Here's the thing: We all think we eat pretty well. Even people who eat a pretty bad diet don't think it's that bad. No one really wants to admit that their diet might be pretty unhealthy. We all think we're probably doing better than others. This is especially true if you compare your diet to what you see your friends, family or co-workers eat and consider your choices to be "better." Whether that's actually true or not, the truth is that the vast majority of people could (and probably should) improve their diets immensely. 
The Takeaway: If you're not meeting basic guidelines for a healthy diet (which involves way more than just counting calories alone) and/or you don't actually track your food/nutrition to see how it all adds up in black and white, don't make assumptions about how "good" you really do eat. Research confirms that people underestimate the quantity of food they eat, so read labels and measure.
You're doing the wrong kinds of exercise.
If you are exercising regularly, you're already doing a very important thing to improve your health. But when it comes to exercising for weight loss, there's a lot of confusion out there. One day you hear that strength training is the best way to lose weight. The next day you're told to focus on cardio—but not just any cardio, intervals. Then you hear it has to be high intensity intervals or Tabata training. What gives?

The truth is that all types of exercise will burn calories, which can help with weight loss. But when it comes to losing weight, it's all about burning calories. And in most cases, cardio is the calorie-burning king. Strength training is important, too (for many reasons), such as reducing the amount of muscle loss that occurs during weight loss, but it's typically not a major calorie burner. So if you are relying almost exclusively on strength training as your weight-loss strategy, it could backfire.
The Takeaway:  The best exercise plan emphasizes cardio for calorie burning, but still includes strength training to preserve lean muscle. Both are important; neither option can do everything.

You're not being consistent enough.
When you're struggling to lose those final 5-10 pounds or to overcome a plateau, consistency in your efforts is even more important.  A lot of people stick to strict diet and fitness programs for days or weeks at a time, but their habits simply aren't consistent for long enough. Ever eat "perfectly" and exercise "religiously" for a whole week, only to step on the scale that weekend to see that you haven't lost an ounce? "What's the point!" you may think as you go on an all-out eating fest and skip the gym for a couple days. Maybe you don't even make it a few days "on track," but rather you eat right for one day, then fall of the wagon the next.
Or perhaps you do feel pretty consistent in your habits, but the occasional slice of birthday cake or drinks with friends happens more often than just occasionally. Eating that restaurant dessert that's 4-5 times a standard serving size (and packed more sugar and fat than seems physically possible) doesn't really count as moderation, even if it's the only sweet treat you've had all week. Moderation needs to apply not just to the frequency of treats or rest days, but the amount, too. Practice portion control—so that you don't go overboard and set yourself back.
The Takeaway: Eat right and exercise as consistently as possible and apply both moderation and portion control when it comes to indulging.
You're not measuring the right things.
A lot of people complain that they're not seeing the scale move, even though they are losing inches and clothing sizes. Despite these obvious signs that they're getting leaner, they still want to see the scale change.
If you are noticing other improvements in your body shape or size, you are losing fat. The scale might not always reflect that you've lose weight—but ultimately it is the shape of your body and the amount of lean muscle vs. body fat you have that shows you're making progress.
The Takeaway: Don't just rely on the scale to measure your weight loss. That number won't really tell you everything you need to know.
You don't need to lose weight.
If you are at a healthy BMI or a body fat percentage in the healthy range, you probably don't need to lose weight for any health or medical reasons. Still, you may want to lose some pounds for vanity's sake, or even to improve your athletic performance. There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to lose weight when you're already at an acceptable weight. But, when you only have only a little body fat to lose, it can be extremely challenging for some people.
Your body is usually content to be right where it is, weight-wise.  For many, their body has sort of settled in to what it feels like is a good, natural weight—which may not be your ideal weight in your head. It's certainly possible to drop your body fat percentage and get leaner, but it will often take even more dedication—and time—than it will for someone who has a lot of weight to lose. For some, it may involve dieting or exercising to extremes rather than a moderate amount. But with diligence and some experimentation, you can get there—especially if you follow the other tips outlined here (consistency being #1).  
The Takeaway: When you have less fat to lose, the road may be harder and longer; consistency is key!
You have an underlying issue.
When all else fails and you've truly adhered to your program—and all the advice here—and you're still not losing weight, you may secretly wish you had some kind of underlying medical problem that would explain it—a slow thyroid, some kind of hormonal disorder, or something that popping a pill could fix and then magically help melt away the pounds. While it is true that people with certain medical issues or on certain medications can have trouble losing weight, most people struggle with losing it because they struggle with consistently burning more calories than they eat. The only way to do it is to track, measure and weigh your food honestly and accurately, and burn excess calories through increased physical activity.  

The Takeaway: If you've truly tried everything discussed here and more—and simply aren't making progress—it would not hurt to check in with your medical provider to see if any underlying issues are at play.
Here are a few other common reasons you may not be losing weight despite doing everything right:
Weight loss seems simple, but it doesn't happen easily. But many, many people just like you have fought the battle and won—and you can, too. Just be consistent. Track, track, track. Ask for help and support. And slowly but surely, you will get there.
Can you relate to any of these tips? What do you think is the main reason people struggle with weight loss? 

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  • ANGIEV02
    This is all so true eating the proper foods helps, but eating the foods that burn calories is even better & you can find those here: https://tinyurl.com/y9r62tjr - 2/16/2018   12:49:35 PM
    True - 2/7/2018   7:46:35 AM
  • SISIR001
    Thanks for sharing info.This is very useful for us.Its better result for losing weight.
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    https:// www.healthstime.com / - 2/7/2018   4:05:36 AM
  • SISIR001
    Thanks for sharing info.This is very useful for us.Its better result for losing weight.
    - 2/7/2018   4:04:06 AM
    A few of you in the comments seem to get the calorie estimates wrong. You may very well burn 400+ calories with a 3 mile walk, but that's including what you burn while you rest. What's important is the *additional* calories burnt during a walk, which is what Ms Nichols presumably meant in the article.
    Another point: The SparkPeople daily calorie goal is based on an algorithm, presumably the MSJ-equation or the Harris-Benedict-equation (5% difference, give or take). This formula works for "average Joe", so to speak. You may very well be well over or under the BMR. It's best to have it measured by a professional. The problem is, if you're obese, your body-fat percentage exceeds 25% (for men) and 36% (for women). The key fat burner is muscle (which is incidentally why I disagree with Ms Nichols statement that cardio is better for weight loss, because it's not as lasting as muscle mass). So the fatter you get, the bigger the discrepancy between the calorie goal set by SparkPeople and your actualy calorie intake necessary to lose weight. It's also why it's harder for women to lose weight.
    Last but not least: If your circumference shrinks, you're doing it right. Don't step on your scale and cry bitter tears over losing only a pound or two or even gaining a few pounds. Circumferences is where it's at, seeing as muscle has four times the density of fat.
    If you're not willing or able to take measurements, take pictures. Always at the same time and place, every week or so. And do the "jiggle-test". Tense all your muscles, jump up and down in front of a mirror and see what jiggles. - 2/7/2018   3:04:34 AM
  • 168
    ...well written... again, learned something... - 2/6/2018   11:13:30 PM
  • 167
    Interesting and thoughtful comments from RROHLIN. Especially reference the diet soda. Thank you! - 2/2/2018   4:28:37 PM
  • 166
    Thanks. - 2/2/2018   12:50:39 PM
  • 165
    THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST I HAVE READ. - 2/2/2018   11:41:51 AM
  • 164
    Seems to me as others have noted that other reason are omitted - like stress - cortisol really screwed up my metabolism. Lost 20 lbs since since 7 of January. - 2/1/2018   8:22:49 PM
    ANOTHER REASON: Your liver removes toxins from your blood that are not excreted by the kidneys or eliminated by the colon. Your body can only eliminate so many toxins / day. When the liver cannot remove toxins, it stores them in fat tissue to protect the rest of the body. The more toxins that it must store, the more fat tissue is required as a storage facility. Here's an example. A lot of people drink diet drinks because they are zero calories and it sounds like it makes better sense to drink the diet drink than to have the sugared variety. (The average can of sugared cola has 14 teaspoons of sugar in it.) But Nutrasweet becomes a toxin in your body. The combination of aspartame and caffeine produce "excitatoxins" in your body while cause the liver to have to go into almost immediate store-toxins-in-fat mode. Additionally, aspartame breaks down into formaldehyde (used for enbalming cadavers) and wood alcohol in the blood stream. So now the liver has 2 more toxins to deal with. In one study, regular diet soda drinkers stopped drinking diet drinks and the average participant lost 19 lbs over the study period. I drank 1-2 Diet Coke 2-liter bottles / day for a long time. When I found out I had type 2 diabetes with an average blood sugar of 220 and an A1C of 9.6, I quit drinking diet coke. So far, I have lost 26 lbs. in 3 months with few other dietary changes. Additionally, my A1C is now 6.2 (pre-diabetic, no longer diabetic) and I continue to improve. Diet drinks greatly increase your chance of Type 2 diabetes because the toxin storage is done in visceral fat (the fat that surrounds your pancreas and makes it hard for insulin processing). If you can't lose weight, start with a detox diet. Then refuse to put any chemicals or processed foods back into your diet. Chances are that your weight loss will get started again if you pay attention to the other factors in the author's well-written article. - 2/1/2018   3:12:47 PM
  • 162
    good points - 2/1/2018   2:45:34 PM
  • 161
    Very sensible suggestions. If I'm not losing weight, the first thing I do is give myself a reality check. I am responsible for what I do or do not put into my body. I am responsible for how much activity I get. If I am truly meeting my goals, the next step is my doctor's office. Thank you for sharing! - 2/1/2018   12:19:50 PM
  • 160
    The user comments are poof that this pudding is bad. Each time an article is published that suggest that the problem of not losing weight or being overweight is the fault of the individual, the comments explode with excuses and lash-backs. This is the very root of the weight problem. Until the individual accepts responsibility for their weight gain, they will not be able to lose. Even when diseases work against the efforts, weight loss is in the control of the individual. - 2/1/2018   11:00:29 AM
    Weight loss definitely takes effort and time, and there's no prescription for immediate weight loss! But I find that it's definitely easier and faster if there's a step-by-step approach to losing fat, especially belly fat. Anyone interested can check out this link: https://tinyurl.com/y99lmsfv - 1/9/2018   9:53:50 AM
  • 158
    Glad to be prepared with this article! - 1/9/2018   8:19:45 AM
    Yes these are majority of reasons for not losing weight. www.bradexbackguide.com / - 12/29/2017   2:11:47 AM
    I think only way to lose weight is calorie deficit. www.bobwomenmenadore.com / - 12/28/2017   1:48:16 AM
    I am 9 months pp and bfing my son. I gained 40 lbs with my baby and was unable to get rid of those stubborn pounds stuck with my body, but once I started drinking "Mummy Magic Weight Loss Tea", within three months I lost all the extra weight. - 12/24/2017   2:06:29 PM
  • 154
    Gives you something to think about and put in action too. - 7/25/2017   12:03:43 AM
  • 153
    Thanks I need this - 7/15/2017   1:33:21 PM
  • 152
    This is the harsh reality I needed this morning. - 6/5/2017   8:24:58 AM
  • 151
    I need to be more consistent with Healthy eating and exercise and really work on moderation 👍👍 - 4/28/2017   8:13:49 PM
  • 150
    Hmmm...I really need to start doing measurements... Good idea :) - 4/27/2017   9:43:51 AM
  • 149
    Thanks - 4/21/2017   8:32:18 AM
  • 148
    Great info! - 4/17/2017   9:36:23 AM
  • 147
    Stay the course and don't try to sabotage yourself in the process. Its hard enough as it is to stay on track. - 4/16/2017   10:11:01 AM
  • 146
    I know I am eating the wrong foods and not reaching my calorie range. Can't get back on track right now but hoping within a couple weeks as we begin our travels, that will change. Will be preparing our own foods and not eating out as much as now when we are all saying so long for the summer. - 3/20/2017   10:38:28 PM
  • 145
    I just had a conversation about this very issue with my gyn; he said that I'm doing everything and I weighed less than my last visit, I'm not going up, and encouraged me just need to keep at it. - 10/27/2016   11:59:17 AM
  • 144
    How many times will this keep coming up? I read comments on Facebook and frankly, it's really frustrating to "hear" the fat hate. I think SP needs to do an article about fat discrimination and fat hate, post that up on FB rather than this article that basically states "you are the problem" because all this is doing is leading to more fat hate. This is from 2012, the research done in the past year has been incredible around weight and I'd rather read that, then this recycled blog. - 2/15/2016   6:08:05 PM
  • 143
    I know the EXACT reason why I'm not losing weight: I just ate it! Still having trouble staying away from junk food - one chocolate muffin can undo a lot of the good I've been doing lately. Sometimes it really is willpower. - 11/17/2015   9:42:08 AM
    I could add another one. MAKE SURE YOU ARE EATING THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF CALORIES TO SUPPORT A SLOW AND STEADY WEIGHT LOSS. Cutting too many calories can slow down your metabolism and impede weight loss. - 8/2/2015   2:04:57 PM
    I hate this because most people are smart enough to understand that you need to eat right and exercise often. Some of us, for some unknown reason, just don't have the luxury of seeing the pounds peel off the way others do , despite following everything to the letter ,keeping a diet diary, working out consistently, yet have no sign of anything being wrong medically. I was on Jenny craig for nearly 2 years. I needed to lose roughly 30 pounds. I would watch tv from my elliptical. I started off 30 minutes a day, which turned into 1 hour a day , to 2 hours a day ..and sometimes 3. Topping that off daily with yoga. I would go to Jenny Craig for my weekly weigh in ...to my dismay losing typically only a quarter to maybe a half of a pound if lucky. No matter how much I exercise or how little I eat..the weight comes off at a snails pace. I lost 40 pounds but it took an eternity and lots of work. It has been about 3 years since jenny craig. My elliptical is completely worn out but I do have a fitbit , I exercise and do yoga regularly, swim in my pool but no longer am able to afford Jenny Craig food. I am also 30 pounds heavier. I am 57 years old, this has been my experience for many years now. Self control is not a problem with me 99.9% of the time. I even quit a 35 year smoking habit ( 3-4 pack a day habit ) cold turkey and never looked back. I sure wish eating healthy and exercising daily was enough to keep my weight in check, unfortunately , it's not that simple..instead , it is a constant battle. - 7/20/2015   12:46:50 AM
    SASSISPRING, I think you are reading the article wrong - they aren't saying that people with legitimate medical issues are faking it or using it as an excuse, they are saying that when people plateau/struggle to lose weight start coming up with phantom medical issues to explain their lack of progress - when that's not a reason they are not losing weight but an excuse for not changing their lifestyle but expecting to lose weight. - 5/26/2015   9:10:50 PM
  • 139
    What an insulting comment at the end - "you may secretly wish you had some kind of underlying medical problem that would explain it...." I am furious that (once again) SparkPeople talk out the side of the mouth when it comes to medical issues. We don't secretly wish to be ill, we ARE ill! I've lived for decades with this attitude that it's rare for people to have metabolic issues, that it's very uncommon and it's your fault when you aren't losing weight and I'm done! My great-aunt, way WAY back struggled with weight and she had diagnosed thyroid disease - as did her sisters (including my Grandmother). My grandmother and all her sisters - except this one sister - did not struggle with weight. They gained around 20lbs when their thyroids were removed due to goiter (which was what one did back in the day), but that one sister - my great-aunt - she never could lose weight. She was a hard working farmer and like her mother (my great-grandmother), she was quite overweight. Fast forward, I lose weight and gain weight for no apparent reason. I have several auto-immune diseases, including thyroid disease. What am I told - not only by SP, but by society at large, that it's my fault. For some reason when it comes to weight, we are told constantly that it's all our fault for being overweight. It's why there is little research on metabolic disorders and diseases. Health issues are a factor and dismissing them with "it doesn't hurt to see a doctor" is insulting. SP, place health issues as important as "calories out/calories in" and stop dismissing it as an excuse. - 5/26/2015   1:39:45 PM
    I suggest everyone read two books by Gary Taubes. Why we get fat and what to do about it. And Good Calories, Bad Calories. It is all about the carbs. Carbs make you fat. He describes the whole history of the medical professsion"s dealing with obesity and the problems is that still people are told the wrong thing to lose weight, and then we don't lose weight. Basically an Atkins diet is the way to go - no sugar, no starch for starters. There are some youTube lectures for a quick view of what he has to say. Also Dr. Eric Westman of the Duke university weight loss program. Eat as much as you want of protein and fat and you are not hungry and all my numbers from blood work are wonderful. It makes me angry that we are still being told the wrong things - and what people think are "healthy" really is NOT healthy. PLEASE READ - and start with watching the lectures on YouTube. - 5/26/2015   10:56:28 AM
  • 137
    Great article Nicole
    After reading the comments There is no mention about the bacteria that is in out gut.After doing extensive research into why some people don't loss weight and slowly gain. I found that those people with this problem probably have an imbalance in the probiotic and pathogenic bacteria in there gut. According to research the balance is supposed to be 85% probiotic 15% pathogenic. Untill that balance is restored there are many people that just can't seem to loss there weight no matter what they try.It's about the right food to eat to get the balance back in place.There are certain foods that promote porbiotic and certain foods that promote pathogenic. It's about what to eat to get the balance back in place.I don't want to say any more on this, I'm afraid I might get it wrong. I don't want to mislead anyone.If anyone is interested in this research here's the link to the article fixyourgutbacteria.info The presentation is in video ( I almost clicked off cause it is a bit long but I encourage to watch it, alot of good info). I hope this helps some of you. To your health. Dalebee - 4/18/2015   9:42:48 AM
    Typo: At the end of the paragraph following the bold text "You're not being consistent enough," it should be 'off' rather than 'of' in "fall of the wagon." - 3/3/2015   5:16:34 PM
    Oakley1962, I absolutely have the same issues you're experiencing. I did the Fast Metabolism route too for 28-days and lost 4lbs, it was truly a lot of work in my opinion. I did like the food I was eating and felt very satisfied and will probably, at some point give it another try, but it has to be when I have a lot of time to prepare and cook. I could be audrey1961...53 and I've hit the wall. It happens about when I turned 51-52...not happy, walking 3+ miles a day, weight training at the local Y 4 times a week...worked with a personal trainer for 12-weeks and zero loss and no discernible difference in the wat my clothes fit. Very hard to keep my chin up, but I have to say it was good for me to read that someone in my age group was experiencing the same thing. Thank you very much for the post and good luck on your continued healthcare routine. - 3/1/2015   9:33:43 AM
  • OAKLEY1962
    I turned 52 and all hell broke loose! Tendonitis, hot flashes and an added 15 lbs. I have never been on a diet in my life. Partially, b/c I have good genes but also b/c I've always been crazy active. Now, I've put on lbs and inches, esp. in my thighs. I'm eating healthier than I ever did. In fact, prior to menopause, I ate a lot of bad carbs: fried foods, pastas, baked goods, etc. Then I turned to the Fast Metabolism Diet by Haley Pomroy, which I recommend to those my age b/c it discusses how to deal with the slower metabolism brought on by menopause by tricking it with different foods and different exercises. I now eat very healthy and have mixed up my fitness regimen more than ever before. I'm also using a personal trainer. With all that I've said and done, I've lost no weight and no inches. I feel so depressed! - 2/24/2015   4:55:31 PM
    I also want to mention HOLLEYCNH's remark:

    "I can gain weight overnight, but I can't lose weight overnight."

    No truer words were ever written.

    I remember, one weekend, at the cottage, with my husband. We worked very hard, as we always do. We went out for dinner, the first night. I dutifully ordered a plate of greens with balsamic vinegar. My husband ordered wings, a beer, ate the bread...the full deal. When I got back to the cottage, I probably ate a walnut or two, as I always like to add a teeny bit of protein to my fruit or veggies. The next day, I ate maybe an apple and 4 almonds, plus some spicy hummus with celery sticks. My husband ate an entire bag of Oreo cookies, himself, in addition to ribs, soda, etc.

    We'd weighed ourselves before leaving, as we were both attempting to lose weight (allegedly). Despite the massive physical labor I did both days, and eating almost nothing, I gained 2 pounds.

    My husband, with his chicken wings and bag of Oreos? Well...he LOST 3 pounds. (I almost NEVER cry, but my eyes welled-up for about 5 seconds, out of abject frustration.) - 2/20/2015   7:48:51 PM
    I just want to share my weight loss story.

    I OVERestimate the amounts I eat (and have been caught doing so, many times). (i.e. I say I eat 1 cup of soup, when it's really only 1/2 cup.)

    I exercise every day, but it is more in the moderate range. (I did HIIT for some time. Gained weight. I did 'Insanity', too. Gained weight.) I'm mature/logical enough to know that, to be sustainable, it has to be something I can do for the rest of my life.

    I DO eat VERY healthy, and have been doing so for well over a decade. (A typical, mostly organic, day: a green juice -juiced kale, collards, bok choy, etc.- and a spoonful of seeds in a.m. I might eat an apple with 1 or 2 almonds or walnuts. Maybe 1 cu. of lentil soup. A bowl of greens with balsamic vinegar, or some spicy hummus with celery sticks.)

    I don't care about food, and have, many times in my life, gotten to bedtime and realized I hadn't eaten anything. I don't seem to have much of a sense of hunger. But this makes it easy to stick to super-healthy food.

    I am well-aware that most people overestimate CALORIC BURN. I assume maybe 300 cal. for my 2-hr daily, morning workouts (mostly cardio -often 1 hr on treadmill, with some strength, and weights every other day).

    I was rail thin, naturally, nearly my whole life. I do have PCOS, though. While 95 percent of women don't have this excuse, it is UNDOUBTEDLY the cause of my inexplicable weight gain as I approached menopause, plus why it is sooo difficult to lose weight.

    THE NUMBERS: My BMR (factoring-in the effect PCOS has on metabolism) is about 800 cal/day. That means, if I do nothing, it would take 4 days of starvation to lose a single pound. I need to lose about 30lbs in total...or 120 DAYS WITHOUT FOOD. Since that's NOT plausible, I have to keep my calories down to nothing...just enough for adequate nutrition.

    I can't rely on generalizations about calories in/calories out, because (literally) years of experience has proved my PCOS, plus the related insulin resistance, combined with beginning peri-menopause, make those generalizations comical.

    I will...in fact I have, many times, gained weight eating even close to 1,100 cal/day...including daily exercise. I have lost 30lbs before. It was very hard, and I was only successful by eating almost nothing, and doing marathon daily workouts for months. The confounding thing is, I didn't lose an inch anywhere noticeable. Clothes were every bit as tight as usual. 30lbs!?!?

    Oh, and I want to say this: A person's appearance is the LEAST important thing about him/her. Yet, it seems to be the most important thing to most. And women are cruelly, instantly judged for our appearance, everywhere, all the time. Suggesting women should martyr themselves by not doing whatever it takes to minimize the negative judgement they WILL receive in the real world is...well..not helpful...at all. Society: "You're fat/unattractive." Helpful weight-loss 'experts': "You're superficial, and should be happy the way you are." Women can't win.

    I want to reiterate the numbers, though... My BMR is maybe 800. I burn maybe 300 additional cal/day (and have recently started working out twice a day, to augment that). 1 lb of fat is about 3,300 cal. If I eat 500 cal/day, I might lose 1 lb/week. ...EATING 500 CAL/DAY!!!!! If I eat 1.000cal/day, AND REMAIN PERFECT, WITH NO MISTAKES, NEVER MISSING A WORKOUT, I'll be lucky to lose 1lb/MONTH!!!!!

    THIS is why it is difficult for me to lose weight. :( I am on a knife's edge of calories in/calories out, healthy nutrition, and daily workouts. - 2/20/2015   6:39:34 PM
    All right, I'm going to give this thing a try....what do I have to lose? (except weight!) I am a mess, mind and body. I love all of your posts! - 10/19/2014   12:52:53 PM
  • 130
    The only thing I disagree with in this article is the calorie estimates given for a 3 mile walk-- according to SP, at the pace I walk and at my current weight, I burn 400+ calories in a 3 mile walk! I took a 8 mile walk last weekend and, according to SP calculating it with my weight, age, gender, and moderate (3.2-3.4mph) pace, I burned 1,000 calories. - 10/15/2014   1:58:00 PM
  • 129
    I agree, inflammation may be involved, but for me I think I can eat more, (mostly because the SP tracker tells me I can) but I choose alcohol, sugar, or processed foods instead picking a healthier choice. - 7/6/2014   2:39:31 PM
    Losing weight can be challenging at times. With all of the harsh diets, and the exhausting exercise, some people end up just giving up on achieving their ideal weight. There are thousands of methods a person can use to lose weight, but in all honesty, there is never going to be a better, faster, and safer method to lose weight than doing it through hypnosis. hypnosis provides people with the tools they need to keep a straight mind to help them stick to a healthy diet with ease. Hypnosis2change.com is an excellent website to go to if you are serious about loosing weight. Alisa Abdullaeva is an excellent hypnotherapist who according to her has "successfully helped over 1,000 people achieve their weight loss goals and most importantly help them make the weight loss permanent. Most of these clients came to me as a last resort after they have tried every other option only to be met with repeated failures and disappointments". dont try doing those harsh diets and exercises by yourself anymore, if you really want change then you have to go to Hypnosis2change.com and book a session with the wonderful therapist so that you can join the thousands of people who have already made the changes they want through the program. I did! Now I look and feel fantastic. Thanks to hypnotic therapy I am able to keep the weight off and feel confident. The best part about it is that you can lose the weight fast and you can keep it gone for good. - 5/29/2014   2:54:27 PM
    For me, I think Buffalobirdie's brutally honest comments are spot on. I have been doing my time in the gym, cycling classes, focusing on high intensity cardio, tracking my activity, and 3/4ths the time tracking calories. Since October 31 I have lost inches, and fit into clothing better, yet I have lost only 2 pounds. I can do better tracking my calorie intake and being more consistent. The words "annoying, it sucks" etc, in caps really do sum it up. Now I'm off to the gym for some cardio, more than I usually do. Thanks for the reality check! - 4/26/2014   8:59:05 AM
    Exercise is important, obviously, but weight loss will ALWAYS come down to your diet. Not only is exercise sneaky because it always makes us FEEL like we are allowed to 'reward' our efforts with high calorie fattening food, but also remember that the more you exercise, the more you are just going to ramp up your appetite. Your stomach is going to start growling extra and once again, you will likely end up eating more - potentially way more. The fact is, and this really does suck, that you are just going to have to deal with the disappointment of NOT being able to reward yourself with fattening high calorie meals because you worked out. After your workout, what can you eat? You get to have water and a grilled chicken salad. Period. Weight loss is all about suffering. Unfortunately you are really just going to have to accept that you will be annoyingly hungry while losing weight. You will feel left out while your friends and family order delicious food and have wonderful cocktails. You will have to suck it up and learn to either ignore those hunger pangs or learn to embrace them. Sorry folks. Losing weight and getting in shape SUCKS. You think you should be losing weight because you FEEL like you are doing all the right things, when the truth is NO, YOU AREN'T. You are doing SOME things right, but obviously not enough - and not long enough to make the difference. Honestly, you have to get militant with yourself. Get fierce about it. When a waitress brings over that bread basket, grab it and throw it against the wall! (just kidding, of course, but that should be your attitude.) Sorry, but NO - You cannot have beer or wine or cocktails with your friends. Sorry but NO, you cannot order that plate of lasagna 'just this once." NO, you can't go have that vanilla milkshake with your family. NO you cannot skip today's workout just because you "worked out yesterday and I'm tired today." It is so frustrating, I know, but you have to know that as hard as you think you are trying, and as miserable as you already are, you simply aren't trying hard enough and the fact is an increase in misery is on the menu if you wish to reach that goal. And how much more lovely achieving that goal will be! - 4/13/2014   8:00:04 PM
    Also keep in mind that not all calories are the same. Your body will digest and turn 300 calories worth of sugar into fat in no time flat but will treat 300 calories worth of steamed veggies differently. I think some people are staying in their caloric allowance but not actually changing *what* they eat. The body will hit a plateau and store fat because it will think it's in famine if it doesn't get nutrition and that's no matter how little or great the caloric consumption is. - 3/13/2014   9:53:44 PM
  • BBJPO15
    I think one reason people do not lose weight is because, as stated in the article, people think they can eat more because they exercised. The problem is that Spark People, by linking the nutrition tracker and the fitness/activity trackers, is encouraging this way of thinking. When my workout minutes are calculated, my calories range on my nutrition tracker increases; and, there is a message saying "the more you exercise, the more calories you can eat." This is encouraging negative behavior. - 1/16/2014   4:40:54 PM

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