Why Can’t I Lose Weight?


Many people commit to losing weight at the start of the year. Whether the unwanted pounds sneak on between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve, or they’ve been around for years, you may find the pounds more stubborn than anticipated when you finally ask them to leave. Much like figuring out how to get the last guest to leave the party, you’ll need to pre-plan and consider all angles to help them gracefully exit! Here are a few reasons your scale might not be budging.

You think working out to lose weight is easier than cleaning up your eating habits!

Exercise and activity certainly help when you’re on a weight loss journey. But as the old adage goes, “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” Exercise burns calories, but depending on the activity, intensity, and duration, it might not result in a big enough caloric deficit to melt the pounds—or it could take much longer than you want. Not to mention, beginning an exercise routine or becoming more active can inadvertently lead to more calories being consumed, because you may experience an increased appetite. If you’re not considering the choices you’re making in the kitchen, simultaneously, you could be sabotaging your efforts!

Making better meal, snack, and beverages choices can easily reduce your overall caloric consumption, which will lead to weight loss. When you combine healthy eating with increased activity, weight loss accelerates.

Check out these 17 Awesome Healthy Eating Tips from Anytime Fitness Members

You think there are “good” foods and “bad” foods!

Instead of labeling foods as good or bad, try better or best. If you are intent on losing weight and keeping it off, thinking in black and white is dangerous, and can leave you craving. Basically, eliminating certain foods all-together and being super strict with your eating all the time has the potential to backfire. Rome was not built in a day, and permanent weight loss cannot be achieved by outlawing every sweet you see for the rest of your life!

It’s important to ease into healthy eating by analyzing the food choices you make and then start considering food swaps. Really…eating healthy isn’t half bad! You just need to become more aware about nutritional facts and fiction, and find some great recipes. Eating healthy doesn’t mean denying yourself occasional pleasurable foods or food experiences because you think they are “bad.” Everything in moderation—just don’t indulge in everything all the time.

Here’s how to Eat Healthy Even If You Don’t Think You Have The Time, plus 12 Surprisingly Healthy Meals. and 10 More Meals to Ease You In. If you have to eat out a lot, try these Healthy Options at Chain Restaurants.

You think cardio is king!

It makes sense: Cardio workouts burn calories. You see it, right there on the screen. It’s easy to monitor and makes you feel good about your journey. But cardio alone will not help you lose weight or keep it off. It’s important to invest in increasing your lean muscle mass by adding strength training sessions to your workout program.

Every year, you lose a bit of muscle mass. And when muscle mass goes, the number of calories you burn daily will go down too. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does whether at rest or when doing cardio. So, the more lean muscle mass you have, the more metabolic (faster burn) you become.

This doesn’t mean eliminate cardio. Your heart needs exercise and cardio is a great way to do it. Plus, it does burn calories! But, cardio alone will not speed up your weight loss progress. Combine cardio and strength training for best results.

Here are 5 Reasons to Try Strength TrainingAnd the basics about adding Strength Training into your routine.

You think you must go hard or go home!

You may be inclined to give it all you got now that you are on your way. That could mean long sweat sessions and high intensities, all the time. But it’s not helpful. “More” does not always equal “better” when you’re trying to get fit and lose weight.

Continuing to increase your workout duration, frequency, and intensity actually has consequences. You may see short-term gains, but in the long run you will be fatigued, and potentially, lose interest, as it’s impossible to continue to always up the ante. Not to mention, when your body doesn’t get the time it needs to recover, you may feel like you’re working hard, but are actually not burning as many calories as you think.

Aim to work your way toward 1-2 shorter, intense workout sessions each week. Then, include a couple of longer, less intense, workouts as well. And take days off! This doesn’t mean you can fall back into sloth ways and never leave your couch (though this is necessary from time to time!). Instead, be active, but enjoy activities that are fun, light, and easy, like a walk, family bike ride or dancing in your living room! Bottom line, you’re looking for new fitness habits. Find a balance that you can maintain, not a routine that makes you want to abandon ship all together.

Unsure of how to structure your program? Try our 30-Day Get Started Plan

You think there’s a quick fix!

If a true quick fix existed, weight loss wouldn’t be a struggle for so many. No, there are no magic pills, pieces of equipment, diets or workouts that will help you achieve the results you’re seeking in a super simple way and short period of time. The truth tis, accumulating pounds didn’t happen overnight, so it won’t go away overnight. While you may initially see this as a blow, take a deep breath and keep reading!

Weight loss is a journey, not a destination. It consists of small adjustments, decisions, and new habits that will occur day after day, week after week, and year after year. You will lose weight, the scale may not budge for a few days, and you may see your weight go up ever so often during your journey. But if you remain consistent, you will find the success you are after.

Ultimately: Avoid setting unrealistic goals. Avoid having unrealistic expectations. Simply do the work, day after day after day. Eventually, it won’t be work, it will simply be a way of life. You got this!

Looking for some inspiration? Read about people just like you, and their spectacular #MyAnytimeStory.

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Shannon Fable, 2013 IDEA and 2006 ACE Instructor of the Year, is the VP of Fitness Programming for the FIT4MOM® franchise. For more than two decades, she has helped impressive brands such as Anytime Fitness, Schwinn®, Power Systems, ACE, Silver Sneakers, and BOSU® as a fitness business and programming consultant. An experienced educator, freelance writer, and certified Book Yourself Solid® Business Coach, she helps fitness entrepreneurs navigate the industry and make more money. Fable serves as Vice Chair of the ACE Board of Directors and is the founder and co-owner of GroupEx PRO®, a cloud-based group fitness management tool.