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Not seeing the weight loss results you are looking for?

You are putting in the hours at the gym: going to cardio classes, lifting weights, and even going on extra walks between gym sessions. Heck, you are even eating right but yet the pounds just don’t seem to be coming off. What am I doing wrong? Other people are losing weight. Why aren’t I?

This can be super frustrating for people and can cause them to give up on their goals completely. Before you give up or lose all hope, let’s take a look at a couple things that could be happening and maybe one of them will resonate with you!

Feet in front of a scale
weight loss

In a general sense, weight loss can be a simple formula. Burn more calories than you consume. You need to have a calorie deficit to see weight loss. Now this isn’t just in one day it takes several days of a consistent calorie deficit. In fact it takes a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories to lose just 1 lb. If you burn 2,500 calories but only consume 2,000 calories every day for 7 days. You should lose 1 lb in those 7 days. This is ideal weight loss as it’s sustainable for the long run.

But is it really all that simple?

Your body doesn't want to lose weight

If you think about it from a primal caveman era way, we have fat stores in our body for when we have a lack of food and need energy because we can’t get it from food. So we store all that extra food in fat cells and use it when we need it (emergency backup supply). Your body wants to have those fat stores. So when you deplete it and then get to the point that you don’t need to use it (i.e. eating regularly again), your body says “hey we need to replenish my emergency back up supply” so you get all those hunger cues and cravings so you have that saved up energy. This is why we want to lose weight slowly. If we lose it fast, your body thinks there's a lack of food and will use your emergency back up. Great for the short term sure but then it wants to replenish its supply so hello weight gain. If we lose it slowly we are less likely to trigger those cues to your body.

So if you only see 1 lb of weight loss a week when you are working really hard, congratulations!!! You are doing it right! Celebrate your success! I know you want results quicker but think about how long it took you to put on the extra weight. It didn’t happen overnight. It took weeks and months. It takes just as long to take it off.

Things that affect weight loss

But what if you aren’t seeing any pounds come off. Not even 1…or heck even gaining a 1! Super frustrating! There’s a couple things that could be happening:

  • You aren’t getting that calorie deficit. Double check how many calories you are actually consuming vs burning. Calories can add up quickly and unfortunately ladies, we don’t burn as many calories as our male counterparts. (So not fair!)

  • Medications. Some medications actually cause weight gain or can just make it harder to lose weight. Some include birth control pills, beta blockers, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy, and more.

"Weight gain is a very troublesome -- and unpredictable -- side effect of certain medications," says Arthur Frank, MD, director of the George Washington University Weight Management Program. "You can experience a substantial weight gain if you're sensitive to that particular medication."
  • Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism can cause weight gain as well as insulin resistance or having high levels of insulin.

"Don't give up on getting fit. Although it is difficult to lose weight gained because of a medical condition or medication, it's not impossible" says Frank.
  • Stress can release too much cortisol which makes your body increase its fat stores (emergency backup supply) specifically around the waist.

  • Age and Hormonal changes - puberty, pregnancy and menopause all cause weight gain

No matter how hard you work, your results may not be what they were twenty years ago. Some body changes are inevitable after menopause. Appreciate your body for all it has done and focus on how you feel, not how you look in the mirror.
  • Too much alcohol. Alcohol, including beer and wine, is a refined carb similar to sugar and white flour. Besides adding calories, it can raise blood sugar and insulin levels which can lead to weight gain

Weight loss isn't quite so simple after all

So with all of this in mind, that simple formula can turn more complex real quick. In the end, if you are trying to lose weight and not seeing the results, take a look more closely at everything going on. Try to destress as much as possible, double check your calories in vs calories out, take a look at health conditions and/or medications that could be affecting your weight loss. Celebrate your wins and make small achievable goals. Losing 1lb a week is success! Lastly, get your butt moving! Exercise reduces stress and can help increase your calorie burn during the day. Sign up for a group class, 1:1 training or take my online classes or programs.

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