Why Am I Not Losing Weight In A Calorie Deficit? Why Am I Not Losing Weight In A Calorie Deficit?

Why Am I Not Losing Weight In A Calorie Deficit?

Losing weight can be challenging, and it's common to experience emotional frustration when your efforts don't yield the desired results. Below are some potential factors that could be hindering your weight loss progress.

Are you feeling frustrated despite making all the right choices but still can't seem to shed the extra pounds? This is because losing weight is a complex process.

Carrying excess weight can lead to chronic health issues, so if you're working towards a healthier weight, you're already taking positive steps for your well-being.

However, it's crucial to approach weight loss sustainably and acknowledge that numerous factors can affect your progress. This will help ensure you maintain a healthy weight and a positive mindset for the long haul.

What’s A Calorie Deficit?

A calorie deficit occurs when you expend more calories than you intake, and this is typically accomplished through:

  • A dietary regimen that limits calorie intake.

  • Physical activity increases calorie expenditure compared to a sedentary lifestyle.

While a calorie deficit is essential for weight loss, it's important to note that the process is not always straightforward. Several factors can play a role in achieving weight loss and sustaining a healthy body weight.

How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day?

The recommended daily calorie intake for women is 2,000, whereas for men it is 2,500. To achieve healthy and sustainable weight loss, drastically reducing your calorie intake is not advisable. Instead, it is best to maintain an active lifestyle while consuming slightly fewer calories. The key to success is finding balance.

10 Potential Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight In A Calorie Deficit

1. You’re Expecting Quick Results

Losing weight requires perseverance, consistency, and patience. If you're unsatisfied with your progress over a few months, it's essential to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. Is it worth dropping a dress size for a special occasion only to regain the weight soon after? Or would you instead take a healthy approach and maintain your weight loss in the long run?

Hasty weight loss can throw our bodies off balance and increase the likelihood of rebounding. To achieve sustainable weight loss, you must make gradual adjustments and focus on how you want to feel a year from now rather than next week. It's not just about shedding pounds; it's about making a lifestyle shift.


2. You’re Eating Less But Could Make Healthier Choices

Achieving weight loss solely through a calorie deficit is not a guaranteed solution. Consuming processed foods instead of healthy fats, protein, and fruits and vegetables while reducing calorie intake to 1,500 calories daily may not produce long-term outcomes. This approach may also negatively impact overall health.

Research indicates that modifying carbohydrate intake by reducing processed carbohydrates and incorporating complex carbs is more effective in achieving sustainable and lasting weight loss. This is due to the way sugary carbohydrates affect fat storage.

Foods rich in protein and fibre offer significant nutritional benefits and promote satiety for extended periods. Rather than focusing on quantity, prioritise the quality of calories consumed.

3. You’re Not Keeping Track

Many tend to congratulate themselves for eating healthy meals but overlook the less healthy food we consume on weekends. It may be surprising to discover that our calorie intake is higher than we think. For those who need structure, an app or journal can help track food intake.

Even if we opt for healthier food choices, we may consume more calories than expected if we eat larger portions. It is essential to be mindful of this, as boiled new potatoes, for example, are a better option than oven chips, but only if we eat less. If counting calories is not preferred, controlling portion sizes is still possible using a smaller bowl or plate.

4. You're Not Doing The Proper Exercise

If you've started a weight loss journey by exercising regularly, that's fantastic! However, your routine may not be aiding in your weight loss efforts. Determining the best course of action at the gym can be tricky since everyone is different, but consulting with a staff member, personal trainer, or doctor could assist you in determining if you're on the right path.

Even if you're not losing weight despite working out, it's essential to maintain your motivation since any physical activity has various other health benefits, and routine exercise is linked to improved mental health.

5. You’re Drinking Too Much Alcohol

While we often focus on the calories in solid foods, it's essential to acknowledge that beverages can significantly contribute to your calorie intake. A standard glass of wine contains 133 calories, and a pint of beer packs about 239 calories, roughly equivalent to the calorie content of a Mars bar. It's important to note that these calories are considered "empty" as they provide no nutritional value.

If you're keeping track of your calorie consumption, account for each drink you consume. Additionally, consider choosing lower-calorie alternatives such as white spirits with sugar-free mixers rather than wine or beer.

It's worth emphasising that reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption can positively impact your weight loss efforts and overall health.

6. You’re Simply Getting Older

As we age, losing weight becomes more difficult due to various body changes. In your 20s, cutting back on a few indulgences may have been enough to shed some pounds, but with decreased muscle mass, more effort is required to burn fat. In women, hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause, such as reduced oestrogen levels, increase fat storage.

If weight loss is challenging, focus on incorporating strength training into your routine—Utilise weights or resistance bands to build muscle mass and increase fat-burning efficiency.

7. You’re Under Stress

Weight loss progress can be hindered by stress, as it affects the body in various ways. Events like a breakup, divorce, mourning, or high stress at work can trigger weight gain. Maintaining a healthy weight loss regime and tracking what you eat becomes more challenging in times of high stress.

Not achieving your weight loss goals may further increase your stress. It's essential to avoid being too hard on yourself when you're not at your best and instead seek the help of a trusted friend or therapist.

8. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

Sleeping is crucial for weight loss, even in a calorie deficit. Studies have shown that individuals who sleep under 6 hours per night are more prone to obesity.

Sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in leptin levels, which is responsible for signalling your body to stop eating, and an increase in ghrelin, also known as the "hunger hormone."

In addition, a lack of sleep can lead to poor food choices, making high-calorie options much more alluring. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to optimise your body's performance.

9. There’s A Medical Reason You’re Struggling To Lose Weight

Several medical conditions, such as those impacting hormone levels, insulin function, or blood pressure, can pose challenges regarding weight loss. These conditions encompass:

  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

  • Diabetes

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

  • Heart disease

  • Menopause

  • Depression

Furthermore, difficulty in shedding pounds can also be an adverse effect of certain medications, including:

  • Beta-blockers, prescribed for heart and blood pressure issues

  • Specific types of contraception

  • Certain antidepressants

  • Medications used to manage type 2 diabetes

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Suppose you are experiencing weight-related difficulties but haven't received a formal diagnosis. In that case, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, as they can assess your symptoms and provide appropriate guidance.

10. You’re More Focused On Weight Loss Than Your Overall Health

By making healthier choices, you may notice improvements in your well-being. For instance, your skin may become clearer, you experience smoother digestion, or you could feel a boost in your confidence. Additionally, you may reduce your risk of developing severe health conditions in the future, even if it's not immediately visible.

Acknowledging the numerous advantages of a healthy lifestyle, not just the number on the scale is crucial. Changing habits takes a lot of bravery, but it will be worth it if you take the appropriate steps.

When Should I Speak To A Doctor?

If you have concerns about your weight or are considering embarking on a weight loss journey, seeking advice from a medical professional is wise. A doctor can assess your health, screen for any underlying medical conditions, and offer personalised guidance on adopting a healthy lifestyle that aligns with your needs and goals.


Mobi Doctor is here to assist you in this regard. Our team of medical experts can provide valuable support and guidance for your weight-related concerns, offering assessments, advice, and personalised strategies to help you on your weight-loss journey.


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