5 surprising reasons you're not losing weight

Too many of us have been there: You’ve been dieting for some time now. Day after day, you say no to the cookie and yes to the salad, even visiting the gym now and again. You step on the scale and leave despondent and disappointed every time.

Why am I not losing weight?

Maybe it’s something I’m doing wrong, you think. Hopeless and searching for answers that will hopefully give you your life back, you scour the internet and receive more mixed messages. It becomes hard to remain optimistic when you can’t for the life of you figure out what you’re supposed to do. Cut carbs to lose weight, one article instructs. Eat more carbs and lose weight, you read five minutes later.

All these promises and propositions for new diet rules and regimens become exhausting. You’ve tried everything. It must be something wrong with you.

It’s not.

We promise that there are perfectly rational and reasonable causes for your stalled weight loss. We’re here to teach them to you, so that hopefully you’ll leave this internet article feeling more empowered instead of falling victim to the thought that caring for your health is pointless. There are so many reasons you might not be losing the weight — and you probably haven’t thought of any of them.

1. You don't drink enough water

Close up of a young man drinking water from a plastic bottle underneath a clear sky. He is listening to music from small white earphones and his eyes are closed. The sun is shining strong in the background.


Your body needs water to break down stores of fat. It’s a biological process, and it requires H2O. Breaking down fat is also not a vital process — so if your body’s short on its water supply, it will be one of the first things to stall. To encourage the breakdown of fats stored in your body, stay as hydrated as possible.

2. You don't eat enough fats

Toast with sliced avocado topping, basil leaf and seasoning.


Stop it with the low-fat yogurt already. Those yogurt cups will leave you unsatisfied and hungry, all the while packing on added sugar and preservatives. The time for fearing fat is over: Studies have shown that healthy fats are more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets. Why? Because you need fats to carry out your everyday bodily functions, and if you don’t eat enough of them you’ll be hungry and tired and crave junk. It’s simple, really — now go grab an avocado.

3. You don't actually need to lose weight

woman's feet on a domestic weight scale and measuring tape around them


It seems simple, but it’s the harsh truth. Societal ideals of weight are wavering around a BMI of 16 — a number the World Health Organization classifies as “severely thin.” Chances are, your ideal weight in terms of appearance isn’t your body’s ideal weight in terms of health, and you’re pushing it to be lower than the weight you healthfully need to be.

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4. You don't practice mindfulness

Adult caucasian woman practicing yoga exercise at home. Soft light, candles, brick wall in background


Mindfulness is defined by Time magazine as “the act of focusing attention on present-moment experiences.” Simply by taking the time to meditate, reflect, and be in the present moment, you can reduce stress and improve your overall health. Your hormone levels have been shown to balance, and you experience a drop in the amount of cortisol in your blood. Cortisol influences weight by encouraging your body to keep it on — when you’re mindful, that inhibition can float away.

5. You eat too much protein

A large group of food.  The assortment includes fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products.  The food is mostly sorted by type.  The dairy products are in the center, while the rest of the food is circled around the dairy products. Studio photo taken with DSRL Canon EOS 5D Mk II


When the body receives excess protein, it stores it as fat. We’re told over and over again that protein is an essential part of healthy eating and muscle building — and that’s completely true. However, you don’t need lean chicken breast, some eggs, a protein shake while you’re working out, and a protein bar later. Calm down with all the protein. If you’re eating chicken with dinner and eggs at breakfast, you’re already getting enough.

Read about even more reasons you're not losing weight.