Exercising but Not Losing Weight? Six Reasons Why

For some people exercise produces immediate and highly noticeable changes to there physical appearance. However, others are not so lucky right off the bat and get stuck in the unenviable position of working out but not losing weight. Let me preface this preceding post by saying that if you are going simply by the number on the scale you may not get an accurate reflection of the changes taking place in your body. Sometimes, you’ll be holding more water and other times you may have added some muscle mass (though not generally enough to stagnate weight loss). Secondly, we have to define our goal which is to lose fat, regardless of how much the scale reads. For instance, there was a time I weighed in at 175 but had no muscle and was “skinny fat” and then at a later date was 185 but was cut. I say this just to show you that your actual weight doesn’t necessarily reflect the reality of the situation but since you are seeking answers as to why you aren’t getting the results you want let’s explore some of the potential causes.


1. Your Diet Sucks


I’m going to just come out and state that in almost every case you diet is the underlying cause as to why you are not seeing results in the long term. It’s discouraging to hear sometimes but it is true. Going to the gym is a necessity but you can make yourself think that you have burned more calories than you actually have which can than lead to poor food choices that get justified because “I’ve worked out today”. Consider this for a moment: If I pedal very vigorously on an exercise bike for 20 minutes at the gym I might burn 350 calories. 1 can of soda is roughly 160 calories, so about two cans worth of empty calories nearly negates my workout. The easiest place to cut out unnecessary calories is soft drinks, alcohol, and sports drinks basically anything that is sugar laden. Trust me it makes a huge difference, when I was a teenager I cut out soda and slimmed down dramatically within two months without adding any additional exercise.


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Also, be wary of food labels that promise low fat options or label themselves as ‘healthy’. Most of the time it is completely a marketing fabrication. That low fat option could have tons of sugar (which will be converted to fat in all likelihood) and the healthy meal option can have obscene amounts of sodium. Always read the label to look at the per serving content because often it will show a serving size that no normal person would be satisfied by but the numbers make it appear healthier than it is.


Take stock of what you are actually eating everyday and I bet there is some things that you could swap out for a better option. When I first started out changing my eating habits I kept it simple by avoiding processed foods, eating plenty of lean sources of protein, moderating carbohydrates, and eating as many nutrient dense foods like green vegetables as I wanted to.


2. Haven’t Given It Enough Time and are Looking for a Quick Fix


Getting ripped is hard. In theory it is a very simple process but the work you have to put in and the complete lifestyle changes you have to make causes most people to fail. You cannot go to the gym for a week or one month and expect to look like a fitness model because the process takes time. I know that it can be frustrating to be working hard and not see results but patience is key because fitness is something that must be worked on over a lifetime and not just in short intervals. I’ve gotten myself stuck on plateaus in my workouts before too and it seems like soon after I feel like giving up my body starts to respond to what I’m throwing at it and all my hard work pays off. Stick with it!



3. Lack Clear Goals

“I want to lose weight.” Is a goal. It is not however a specific goal. Simply going to workout and eating healthier is a great start but what is your final destination. This is where specific numbers come into play. For instance you might say you want to lose 2 pounds per week until you reach some ideal number. Now you may discover that you look fantastic before you ever hit your goal and that continuing to that weight isn’t necessary but it is nice to be able to keep your focus in the long run. You have to know where you want to go and have the ability to adapt to the changes your body goes through and tweak your diet along the way to reach the end.


4. Aren’t Following the Right Program

If you want to lose fat and get ripped then you are going to have to have the right tools at your disposal including diet and a proper workout program. There are too many people in the gym who either simply don’t know what they are doing or have some clue but are going about things in a completely haphazard way. The commercials you see about ten minute workouts that get you cut are complete rubbish. Those models using the exercise equipment didn’t get to look like that by following a ten minute program and you won’t either. If you aren’t getting results you might want to check out the routine you are following. Remember that hard work and consistency will get you to where you want to be not short cuts and an easy route.


5. You Aren’t Working Hard Enough While at the Gym

Like I said before training plateaus happen quite a bit. How often do you see people do a set then take long breaks to mess with their phone or talk while at the gym? If you are guilty of that then you might want to ramp up the intensity to start getting better results. Adding extra reps, doing circuit training, or shortening your rest periods between sets can all help to challenge yourself further.


6. Not Resting Enough

On the other hand there are those who have the problem of working out too much and exhausting themselves. Overtraining isn’t always a problem but it can happen and when it does your results will be dead in the water. Look for symptoms of a drop in the amount of weight you can lift or if you suddenly have problems with endurance work that you were able to do shortly before. I’ve been in a situation where I was overtraining and I recognized that I needed to take a break from the gym for a week or two to give my body a rest. Afterwards, I started to gain muscle and strength back very quickly and the difference in my energy levels was simply amazing. If you have been going hard for months with the lifting and cardio, consider this option and see if it helps.

These reasons may not be the only causes to you not losing weight even while exercising and dieting but they certainly are the usual suspects.  Try to keep in mind that a few weeks or months is not a very long time in the grand scheme of things and that you shouldn’t give up if you aren’t getting the results you desire. Everything can be fixed and if you keep chipping away at your goals I assure you that you will achieve them.

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