Why Am I Not Losing Weight [11 Troubleshooting Steps]

Why am I not losing weight? If you have wondered this, you are not alone. Keep reading for troubleshooting tips.

why am i not losing weight

If you aren’t losing weight, you may find it hard to stay motivated. Let’s review the 11 troubleshooting steps you should follow if you aren’t losing weight.

Why Am I Not Losing Weight

If you aren’t losing weight, it’s typically a result of lack of sleep, not consuming enough water and high stress levels. If you want to lose weight, you need to be consistent and make sure your body is in fat-burning mode.

Why Am I Not Losing Weight – Troubleshooting Steps

Step 1: Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Sleep

Did you know that poor sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for obesity? According to PubMed, adults and children with poor sleep have a 55% and 89% greater risk for developing obesity. 

When we are tired, our bodies produce the hormones ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells you when to eat and leptin tells you to stop eating. When you are sleep deprived, our bodies produce more ghrelin and less leptin. This can result in weight gain. 

To avoid this, make sure you are getting enough quality sleep. You can ensure that you get a good night of sleep by avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and limiting your exposure to blue light before bed. 

It is recommended that the average adult gets 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you feel like you are doing all the right things and still not sleeping well, you may benefit from chatting with your doctor. 

Related: Expert Tips For Getting Better Sleep

Step 2: Make Sure You Are Focusing On Unpackaged, Whole Foods

When you start a weight loss journey, it can be tempting to jump on the latest dieting fad. We’ve all been there. 

But, rather than jumping on an unrealistic diet, I would encourage you to focus on unpackaged, whole foods. Also pay close attention to the ingredients in any food item that you eat. 

Most packaged foods are made with inflammatory oils, artificial flavors and other man-made chemicals that our bodies do not know how to process. 

If you currently eat a lot of packaged foods, you don’t have to eliminate them all at once. Start by slowly reducing your intake. After you slowly reduce your intake over time, you can then look for healthier swaps. 

The slower you make transitions to lose weight, the more likely you are to stick to it! 

It’s much more important to focus on what we are eating, rather than counting calories, macros or tracking anything else. 

Step 3: Make Sure You Are Drinking Enough Water

Did you know that hunger is often confused with dehydration? If you aren’t drinking enough water and staying hydrated, you could be thinking you are hungry, when you are actually thirsty! 

According to PubMed, in one 12-week weight loss study, people who drank 17 ounces of water 30 minutes before meals lost 44% more weight than those who did not. 

Additionally, drinking water has been proven to boost the number of calories burned by 24-30% over a period of 1.5 hours. 

Here are some helpful tips if you struggle to drink water:

  • Set reminders on your phone so you remember to drink water. 
  • Add fruit to your water for a little extra flavor.
  • Use an app to track your water consumption. 
  • Drink a glass of water before each meal. 

Bonus Tip: Choose water instead of other beverages! If you are struggling to lose weight, make sure you are not drinking your calories. Smoothies, kombucha, juices, etc all add up! 

Step 4: Make Sure Your Expectations Are Realistic

Make sure you have realistic expectations for your weight loss. If you are expecting a drastic result in a short window of time, you may need to reevaluate your expectations. 

According to the CDC, losing 1-2 pounds per week is average. However, your body may lose weight slower or faster than that. 

Keep in mind that weight loss is a slow process. Generally, the slower you lose weight, the more likely you are to keep it off! 

If it’s only been a few days and you haven’t lost weight, reevaluate your expectations and know that it may take time for your body to release weight. 

Step 5: Make Sure You Are Tracking Progress In A Variety Of Ways

You may not be losing weight on the scale, but it’s important to track progress in a variety of ways. If the scale isn’t moving, you may be losing inches, reducing inflammation and more. 

Here are a variety of different ways that you can track progress:

  • Track your weight on the scale. But don’t obsess over it. Use it as a tool. 
  • Take progress photos. If the scale isn’t moving, take a look at progress photos and see how far you have come. 
  • Take measurements. Take body measurements so you can measure the inches you have lost. 
  • Record your non-scale victories. Can you now walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded? Is it easier to sit on the floor with your kiddos? Has your acid reflux improved? Has your acne cleared up? Weight loss and getting healthier can improve so much in our lives beyond the scale. Keep track of your non-scale victories – they will add up!

Step 6: Make Sure You Are Being Honest With Yourself

If you are not losing weight, you need to make sure you are being honest with yourself. Are you tracking your food somehow? Are you focusing on healthier options? Are you cutting back on certain foods? Or are you eating an Oreo here and there thinking it doesn’t count? 

Every bite, lick and taste adds up! If you aren’t losing weight, commit to being honest with yourself and tracking everything you are consuming – including every secret Oreo and every bite, lick and taste. You don’t have to track what you are consuming forever, but tracking short-term can help you be honest with yourself. 

If you struggle to be honest with yourself you could consider finding an accountability partner. Find someone who will keep you honest and who you can check in with. Maybe you agree to send them your food diary daily and ask them to check in with you. 

Having an accountability partner can really keep you honest and on track! 

Step 7: Make Sure You Are Eating Enough

If you are stuck in a dieting mindset, you may not be eating enough. Eating too little can prevent you from losing weight. 

How does that happen? When you aren’t eating enough, your metabolism can stall. According to PubMed, low-calorie diets can decrease the number of calories the body burns by as much as 23%.

In fact, researchers believe a stalled metabolism may explain why more than 80% of people regain weight once they go off calorie-restricted diets.

Make sure you are eating enough and stop stressing over calories! Our ancestors never counted calories. They ate until they were satisfied and that was it! 

Here are a few signs that you may not be eating enough:

  • You have low energy levels.
  • You are having trouble sleeping.
  • You feel cold all the time. 
  • You are constipated. 
  • You’re easily irritable. 

If this sounds like you, you may need to be eating more! Increasing your food intake can help you see the numbers on the scale go down!! It sounds backwards, but your body is smart and needs to be fueled. 

Step 8: Make Sure You Don’t Have Any Underlying Medical Issues 

If you are being honest with yourself and you are still not losing weight, it may be time to make sure you don’t have any underlying medical issues. 

Some medical conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) can make it harder to lose weight. Knowing of any medical conditions could help you to better understand your body and why you aren’t able to lose weight. 

If there are medical conditions that run in your family or you are not releasing weight, it may be time to schedule a visit with your doctor to rule out any underlying medical issues. 

Step 9: Make Sure You Are Eliminating Stress

When your body is under a constant state of stress, you won’t lose weight – no matter how well you are following any type of diet.  

When your body is stressed, it releases certain hormones. First, it releases adrenaline, which warns you to fight or flee. At the same time, your body also releases cortisol which reminds you to replenish your food supply. 

Back in the day, our ancestors literally had to fight or flee from threats, like animals chasing them, so these hormones were helpful. However, most of our stress today is very different. Luckily, there are things we can do to lower our stress and reduce the surges of adrenaline and cortisol. 

Exercise is a great way to release stress! Pick an exercise option that you enjoy and look forward to. This could be as simple as going for a walk. Exercise produces endorphins, a hormone that releases happy feelings. This is a great way to combat stress. 

Another way to combat stress is to release the stress by journaling or talking to a friend/family member. Release those emotions so your body can get back to a state of rest! 

Step 10: Make Sure You Are Not On A Glucose Rollercoaster

What does glucose have to do with losing weight? Actually, just about everything. “When we focus on flattening our glucose curves, we reduce hunger, cravings and increase time spent in fat-burning mode,” according to Jessie Inchauspé.

“Studies show that when we flatten our glucose curves, we lose more weight, more easily, even if we eat more calories, than if we don’t take care of our glucose levels,” according to Inchauspé.

I think many of us are in the mindset that if we aren’t diabetic, we don’t have to worry about our glucose levels. This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Glucose can impact everything from our mood, our skin health, our weight and more. 

Here are a few tips from Jessie on how to flatten your glucose curves:

  • Eat a savory breakfast, not a sweet one.
  • Start every meal with a plate of veggies and fat. 
  • During a meal, eat your starches after your protein and veggies. 
  • Only have fruit whole, never juiced or dried.
  • Pair your starches with protein, fat or fiber. 
  • Go for a 10 minute walk after each meal. 
  • When you eat sugar, have it as a dessert after a meal, never on an empty stomach. 

Step 11: Make Sure Your Body Is Burning Fat

One of the best ways to lose weight is to make sure your body is burning fat. You can do this by intermittent fasting

I truly believe that intermittent fasting is the weight loss secret that everyone needs to know about! Fasting is free and has SO many health benefits. 

If you are eating three meals a day, plus snacks, your body never gets a chance to burn stored fat because it is burning the food you have eaten all day! 

By adding intermittent fasting, you can tap into your stored body fat and ensure your body is burning fat, not sugar. 

To get started with intermittent fasting, begin with a 16:8 window. This means 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating. For most people, this means skipping one meal per day. Many people choose to eat from 12pm-8pm, but you can choose any 8 hour window that works for you! 

To learn more about intermittent fasting, check out our ultimate guide to intermittent fasting

Additional Weight Loss Resources

Check out these additional weight loss resources to help you out. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I not losing weight even though I’m exercising and eating right?

When our bodies are constantly in a fed-state, our bodies never get the chance to tap into fat burning. You can tap into fat burning by implementing intermittent fasting into your routine. 
There are also many other factors at play, such as hunger hormones, portions that are too large, the chemicals and artificial ingredients in foods, etc. 

Why has my weight not gone down? 

There could be many reasons that your weight has not gone down. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, focusing on healthier food options and that you have no underlying medical conditions. It’s also important to be honest with yourself and make sure you are truly following a weight loss plan. 

Why am I not losing weight no matter what I do? 

If you are not losing weight no matter what you do, you may be dealing with a hormone imbalance or medical issue. It would be a good idea to chat with your doctor about what you have done to lose weight and see what testing he/she may suggest. 

Bottom Line

We hope these tips help you troubleshoot why you may not be losing weight. Hopefully with the tips we shared, you can start losing weight and seeing progress. Cheers to your health and weight loss journey!