Are you frustrated with your whole weight loss efforts? Do you stand on the scale, watch the number pop up, sigh, and throw up your hands saying, “It’s no use. No matter what I do, I cannot seem to lose weight.”
If you feel like this, you are certainly not alone. I had so many mornings of frustration when I stood on the scale hoping against hope that the needle would have nudged down even a bit. But sadly, morning after morning, week after week, and even month after month – nothing happened.
All that did happen was that I got more and more frustrated with my weight loss efforts and eventually gave up. I’d sigh to myself that I just couldn’t lose weight, no matter what I did.
Although there are medical conditions that make weight loss extremely difficult, medications that cause weight gain, and times of your life where losing weight is harder than others, it is possible for most people to lose weight successfully.
If you feel as though nothing you are doing is working, take a look at these 9 things to think about and decide whether any of them apply to your situation.
1. You Are Not Giving It Your All
This is a touchy subject, but there is a chance you are not losing weight because you are not really trying as hard as you can. You may find yourself slipping into a convenience store for a bag of chips or having an extra spoonful of frozen yogurt when no one is looking. You might also be avoiding exercise, justifying a lack of physical activity, or just be in denial.
2. You Are Too Scale Focused
Now, if you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that I am an advocate of weighing yourself daily. However, just focusing on the number on the scale can cause frustration, especially if you are regularly working out and building muscle. Instead of only using the scale to define success, use your body measurements, how you feel physically, your ability to exercise, and your increased awareness of the importance of a clean, healthy diet.
3. You Are Already at a Healthy Weight
If you are at a healthy weight, meaning you are neither obese nor overweight, you may not really need to lose anymore weight. It can be very frustrating to fight to lose the last 5 pounds. Analyze whether you need to lose any more weight or not and if you don’t really need to lose anymore, switch your focus to increasing your level of physical fitness and eating a healthier diet.
4. You Aren’t Eating Enough
Don’t starve yourself to lose weight. Even though it may seem counterintuitive, you have to eat to lose weight! I rarely went under 1,500 calories when I was successfully dieting. Monitor your calorie intake for a few days and make sure you are eating enough to sustain your body and your weight loss.
5. You Are Believing Food Labels
Some food labels are helpful and some are incredibly misleading. Don’t just believe that a food that has the word “healthy” on the label actually is. Read the ingredient list and pay attention to the calories and nutrients in the food. A food that says “fat-free” is not necessarily a healthy food for weight loss. It still has calories, sugar, and often a host of chemical additives you do not need.
6. You Avoid Healthy Fats
I’m a proponent of watching your fat intake, but not a proponent of no fat. Your body needs healthy fats in the right amount. Don’t be afraid of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
7. You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep
I did a post about the importance of sleep a few weeks ago, but suffice it to say that not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your weight loss efforts.
8. You Are Not Being Honest About Your Food Intake
It’s really easy to do. What is? Not be completely honest with yourself about how many calories you are eating and where those calories are coming from. Only you know if you are playing with the numbers or “forgetting” about that candy bar you snitched from your child’s candy bag. I’d encourage you to write down everything you’ve been eating for at least a week and analyze the healthfulness of your diet and how your caloric intake might be affecting your weight.
9. You Are Eating Your Exercise Calories
It is very tempting to give yourself permission to have a little more to eat because you exercised, but that strategy can backfire and result in you not losing weight. Why? Because you likely burn fewer calories through your exercise than you think unless you are running long distances or spending hours in the gym. If you walk for 30 minutes, you probably burn about 200 calories, which isn’t a whole lot.
I know that this weight loss process is not easy. Believe me, I do. But with concerted effort, a lot of honesty within yourself, and a willingness to go the extra mile for your own good, you can succeed. I know you can.
Have you ever been able to pinpoint what was causing your weight loss efforts to fail? Diane