Something I've become more aware of as I've been taking on more weight loss clients, is how many people are eating healthy and not losing weight. Either they've been dieting for a long time and can't lose those last nagging 10 pounds, or they can't seem to lose any weight at all.
Since I see this problem a lot, I thought it would be helpful to share the common reasons for not losing weight so you know what to do when you're eating healthy and not losing weight.
What To Do When You're Eating Healthy & Not Losing Weight
Eating Too Much
"I'm eating healthy, but not losing weight." Almost always this is due to over eating. Most people overlook the fact that you can gain weight eating a healthy diet. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, hummus, tahini, guacamole, etc. are healthy foods, but still need to be eaten in moderation. Portioning foods controls how much you eat in one sitting.
Tracking food is a good way to bring awareness to how much you're eating and what foods are most calorie dense. It teaches you the appropriate portion sizes you can eat so you learn to better balance your food choices throughout the day.
Eating Too Often
If you're not tracking or portioning your food, you might be over eating. Eating too frequently also keeps blood sugar raised. I'm a firm believer in keeping blood sugar stable, but many times I see people eating smaller, less filling meals and snacking their way through the day because they're not satisfied from their meals. Instead of snacking, I'd rather see someone eat larger, more balanced meals with fewer snacks. It's good for the body to get a little "detox" in between meals. If you're balancing your meals properly, you won't be hungry in between meals. This is something I teach in my virtual coaching program!
Not Drinking Enough Water
Water is such an important factor in losing weight and many times people think they're drinking more than they really are. When I have my clients track their water intake, they're always surprised by the results. If you're eating healthy and not losing weight, check your water.
Tracking it with an app is one way to keep your water intake consistent. Also, setting out the number of bottles each morning you need to drink or filling a pitcher are good visual reminders throughout the day to drink the amount you need.
While exercise is important for overall health and great for mood, movement is the real key to losing weight. I talk in my free weight loss training about how exercise is only 10-30% of a person's total daily energy expenditure. That means exercise isn't that important and truthfully, if you're doing the wrong type of exercise it will make losing weight more difficult.
Dieting Too Long
The most common problem I see with my nutrition clients who are eating healthy & not losing weight is that they've been dieting too long.
Eating a low calorie diet below resting metabolism can slow metabolism and has a ripple effect on fat loss hormone function. Essentially, the body is protecting itself from starvation. Eating a 1200 calorie diet is dangerous.
Unfortunately, once hormone function is disrupted from extreme low calorie dieting it becomes very difficult for a person to lose weight. In fact, they will likely re-gain weight before losing weight.
Dieting below resting metabolism results in plateaus and is best handled working with a nutritionist. They can help you bring your calories back to a safe place so you can eat more, and lose weight.
Stress impacts hormones, which as I stated earlier effects you're ability to lose weight. In my weight loss training, I share how fat loss hormones impact weight loss. Stress also impacts these hormones (insulin, leptin and Ghrelin). If you're eating healthy and not losing weight, then these hormones may be affected by stress and stress can come from over exercising too. Reducing emotional, physical and psychological stress, sleeping more and decreasing caffeine intake can go a long way in seeing movement in the scale.
Since weight loss is highly integrated with hormone function, certain medical conditions like PCOS, hypothyroidism, or any type of hormone imbalance can make weight loss more difficult. A nutritionist can work with you to naturally balance your hormones and reduce inflammation. In the long term, this will help you manage your symptoms and help you move in the direction of losing weight.
Weight loss is not a fast process and you can't expect immediate results. I remind my clients of this when they're frustrated.
It took me over a year to lose my weight. It's long and slow process. Some weeks you'll lose, some you won't. Whatever you do, be consistent with how you eat, what you eat and what you do. Consistency leads to long-term results. Stick with it! More importantly, stay positive. A positive attitude has a tremendous effect on the outcome of your goals.
Are you a woman over 35 struggling to lose weight? Schedule a free weight loss breakthrough consult with me today and let's talk about your 20-50 or more pound weight loss.