Let me guess- you’re eating healthier but you aren’t seeing the results. Been there, done that. Although rare- maybe there’s an underlying medical condition impacting the way the scale moves or doesn’t move (and if you feel there might be, please see your doctor!). From my own personal weight loss experience, I know how discouraging that can be. For some, they are closer to their goal weight and the scale isn’t budging. For others, they’ve completely hit a plateau and their weight loss journey has just begun.
Here’s a list of reasons you may not be losing weight, inspired by my own weight loss and what I’ve come across in my profession as a registered dietitian.
- You aren’t keeping track of what you’re eating. Do you think about what you’ve already eaten before your next next meal/snack? If not, maybe you should. With how hectic life can be, it’s easy to forget what you had for breakfast. It’s important to be mindful of what you eat so that you don’t splurge or make unhealthy decisions throughout the day. One way to make you more aware of what you’re eating is to plan your meals/snacks in advance. If planning meals in advance isn’t for you, try keeping a food diary. I use MyFitnessPal (a free and easy to use app) to log my intake to help me keep track of what I’m eating.
- You don’t count the little things. I’m talking about the salad dressing, condiments, the sugar/cream you put in your coffee, the alcoholic beverages; these things can really add up. Finding healthier replacements for these foods or eliminating them completely can help cut out a lot of unnecessary calories. For example, instead of using a gravy or cream sauce to make chicken or meat more tasty, try experimenting with different spices/herbs.
- Lack of exercise. Sometimes eating less isn’t enough to put yourself in a calorie deficit, especially as you get closer to your goal weight. Try to make time to incorporate exercise into your everyday routine. This may mean parking further from your job, taking the stairs, or getting a gym membership (and actually using it). Plus, studies have shown that those who engage in exercise are more successful with maintaining weight loss.
- Portion control. Even if you’re eating fruits and vegetables, it’s still important to be aware of your portion sizes. When I first started paying attention to calories/portions, I couldn’t believe that a yam (1 cup) was approximately 177 calories! It’s not a bad idea to indulge in veggies at meal time (and I bet you never met someone who said they gained weight from eating too many carrots), but just be mindful that they still contain calories, especially those that are starchy. One suggestion is to use a salad plate for meals to trick your eyes into thinking there’s more on the plate than there really is.
- Emotional eating. This includes, but is not limited to eating out of boredom, eating because you’re upset, or eating just to eat. Figuring out the root cause of your emotional eating is the key to preventing it from happening. It’s important to remember that the only problem food is going to cure is hunger. I believe that eating foods high in carbohydrates (like ice cream) can make you feel better temporarily, but it won’t change the fact that he/she broke up with you.
Best of luck to you on your weight loss journey!