8 Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated Nov 19, 2022

    8 Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight

    Are you dieting and exercising but not losing weight? Weight loss is a result of a lengthy process. However, there are instances where you may try your best, but no matter what you do, you are still not losing weight. There are several reasons why this may occur.

    Why Am I Experiencing a Weight Loss Plateau?

    A weight-loss plateau is a phase in a person’s weight loss journey where it seems like there is no progress happening. It is frustrating to see the number on the weighing scale not move, no matter how hard you devote yourself to a healthy lifestyle.

    At some point, everyone experiences this, especially if you have done a little tweaking to your exercise and diet plan.

    What Are the Reasons for Not Losing Weight?

    The following might be the reason behind why you can’t seem to shed off the pounds.


    It is not unusual to find stress as a culprit as it has a lot of negative effects on the body. In weight loss, stress can result in a slower metabolism and weight gain.

    When you are stressed, your body releases stress hormones, cortisol and betatrophin, which increase abdominal fat.

    This is the key factor that causes slow metabolism and overeating. Stress can also affect a person’s drive to exercise and to commit to their weight loss journey.

    If you have been dealing with chronic stress, it is best to consult a professional so they can properly address your condition.

    Sleep deprivation

    Lack of sleep is also another reason why you have been dieting and exercising but not losing weight. When you are always losing sleep, the hormones in your body become erratic. The level of leptin decreases while ghrelin increases. The hormone leptin is responsible for regulating your energy and suppressing your appetite. But ghrelin, the hunger hormone, on the other hand, stimulates your appetite, causing you to eat more.

    Consuming too many calories

    Once you start losing weight, your body’s calorie requirement decreases. When the calories you burn equal the calories you eat, you reach a plateau. Now that you’re having trouble losing weight, maybe you need to reassess how many calories you’re consuming in a day, by how many calories you burn. It is better if you start tracking your calorie intake, especially when eating out, to prevent overeating.

    Loss of lean muscle mass

    A great amount of lean muscles helps the body burn calories quicker, which is a good thing if you are losing weight. Lean muscles use up calories even if they are at rest when compared to fats. If you are not losing weight even though you are dieting and exercising, then maybe the loss of lean mass is the reason.

    Loss of muscle mass happens due to aging or inactivity. Once you reach the age of 30, you may start losing 3% to 5% of muscle mass per decade. And if you suddenly discontinue working out and have no time to be active, then you are most likely to lose more muscle, which can ultimately affect weight.

    Doing the same exercises constantly

    Doing the same exercises over and over again will not help in losing weight since burning calories will be harder once your body adapts to the routine. It may be possible to sustain your weight loss by using the same strategy that initially worked, but it won’t result in further weight loss. This is why changing up your workouts is a great way to keep yourself motivated and to shed those pounds. You can train different muscle groups on certain days to bring diversity to your physical routines.

    Medical causes

    Most often, people who are dieting and exercising but are not losing weight are suffering from certain health problems. Some diseases like Cushing’s Syndrome and hypothyroidism slows down metabolism, which leads to not shedding extra pounds.

    Taking medications that promote weight gain can also affect the progress of someone who’s trying to lose weight. These medications include steroids, SSRIs, antidepressants, beta-blockers, antipsychotic and anticonvulsant drugs, as well as insulin and other diabetic medications.


    Genes can affect how you lose or gain weight. According to Harvard Health, some people’s genes can affect their weight by 25%, and others can be as much as 80%. You most probably have trouble losing weight if:

    • Both of your parents or blood relatives are overweight.
    • You have been overweight for most years of your life.
    • You’re unable to lose weight despite increasing the intensity and frequency of your workout and committing to a strict diet.

    Losing patience

    Weight loss is a long process, it might take you weeks, and even months before you can notice any physical changes in your body. You might notice that stepping on a scale does not show your improvements. You might not see it physically, but dieting and exercising have been doing wonders inside your body. Just always keep in mind that losing weight does is not the only measurement of health.

    Being impatient can negatively affect your drive for living a healthier lifestyle; and it can also increase the level of your stress.

    Key Takeaways

    Healthy weight loss is great to boost your confidence and self-esteem. However, if you are having a hard time achieving your goal, then maybe it is time for you to consult a professional to find out why you are not losing weight despite following a strict diet and exercise plan.

    Once you have found the root cause of your dilemma, then it becomes easier to address the challenge so you can continue on with your fitness journey. Consulting a professional, a doctor, or a dietitian is a great step to take in these instances.

    Learn more about Diet & Weight Loss, here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated Nov 19, 2022


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