10 (Reversible) Reasons You’re Struggling To Lose Weight
Generally, when someone decides they want to lose weight, they immediately paint a perceived mental horror story of eating less and exercising more. And although this combination of decreased calories and increased metabolism can help shed the pounds, it very rarely results in long term success.
Instead, this often leads to a type of yo-yo affect where any amount of successful weight loss is followed almost immediately by the undesired and ever dreaded weight gain.
After years of this up and down roller coaster, many people begin to feel discouraged and start to believe that they are ‘stuck’ being overweight.
Fortunately, this very often isn’t the case. The key with losing weight is identifying the underlying reason you’re struggling to lose weight in the first place. Until this is done, you’ll be ‘stuck’ in an endless cycle of weight loss and weight gain.
So what are some common reasons people have for struggling to lose weight? Great question! And I’ve got you covered.
The following is a list of ten common, yet often overlooked, reasons people have trouble shedding those excess pounds and what you can do to overcome them.
10 (Reversible) Reasons You’re Struggling To Lose Weight
Reason #1: You Have A ‘Sluggish’ Thyroid
Your thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland at the front of your neck just below the Adam’s apple. Although it serves many purposes, it’s main function is in the regulation of your metabolism, or the rate your body breaks food down to energy.
It does this by releasing T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones) that influence the metabolism of every cell in your body. When functioning properly, the thyroid releases just enough thyroid hormone to keep your metabolism running at a healthy rate.
Without adequate levels of iodine, however, our thyroid gland begins to become “sluggish”, and stops producing the necessary amounts of thyroid hormone to keep us healthy and our weight down.
How do you know if you have a sluggish thyroid? One of the easiest ways is by assessing your metabolism.
If diet and exercise no longer seem to be helping to control your weight, and if simply looking at food adds ten pounds to your midsection, you’re very likely suffering from an underactive thyroid. Other symptoms may include constant fatigue, being constipated, general aches and pains, feeling cold all the time, having dry skin, thinning “lifeless” hair, having a puffy looking face, impaired memory, and a feeling of overall depression.
Fortunately, you can very often reverse this trend by simply supplementing with iodine. A kelp supplement such as this one, contains high concentrations of natural iodine, and is a great way to restore proper thyroid functioning and shed those stubborn pounds.
I personally used this method to lose 30 lbs in just six months by changing nothing but supplementing with kelp. Check out how I did it here.
Reason #2: You’re Not Controlling Your Eating
‘Think I’ll have just one cookie.’ (Two minutes later…) ‘Ah, what the heck. Two more cookies won’t hurt anything.’ (Six cookies later…) ‘Whatever, I’ll just start eating healthy tomorrow.’
Sound at least a little familiar?
Uncontrolled eating will significantly hinder anyone’s ability to lose weight, especially when it consists of eating the wrong types of foods.
Fortunately, you can combat uncontrolled eating by planning ahead. Try packing your next day’s meals the night before. This will give you a chance to measure out portion sizes and keep your food choices healthier.
By bringing your lunch and snacks with you, you’ll be less tempted to grab food on the fly and keep your food choices much healthier.
Reason #3: You’re Eating The Wrong Foods
This is a play off reason #2 above but if you constantly find yourself eating the wrong foods (i.e. snacks and sweets) then losing weight and keeping it off will become a never ending challenge.
What are the ‘wrong’ foods? It’s really not that hard to figure out. Watch, I’ll show you with a little game I call, ‘Which is Healthier?’.
OK, so tell me which is healthier…An apple or a pop-tart? A salad or pizza? Water or a Starbucks frappuccino?
If you guessed; apple, salad, and water…you win!
Now, don’t worry. You don’t have to be a saint when it comes to eating to lose weight. The trick, as stated in reason #2 above, is to prepare your next day’s meals the day before. This will allow you to practice portion control with your ‘wrong’ foods before the urge to eat them overcomes your ability to say no.
Try it. If cookies are your kryptonite, put a couple in your lunch the day before along with some other healthy foods. You’ll find it’s much easier to eat ‘right’ when you prep in advance.
Interested in learning about some healthier food options? Click here!
Reason #4: You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
A consistent lack of sleep is a double whammy when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.
Not only does not getting enough sleep make it hard to be active each day, it also increases cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in the body which encourages eating. Obviously, the combination of not being active with eating more does not bode well when it comes to losing weight.
According to ‘experts’, most of us should aim for between seven to eight hours of sleep a night. This is enough time for your body to recover and keep stress levels down.
For those that have trouble getting to or staying asleep, taking a natural supplement like valerian root can often do wonders.
Interested in learning about more ways to improve your sleep? Click here!
Reason #5: You’re Too Stressed Out
Want a bigger mid-section and luscious love handles? Great! Just live in a constant state of stress and you should be there in no time.
This is because stress stimulates the secretion of cortisol (the stress hormone) which ups your appetite, stimulates cravings, and encourages your body to store belly fat. All bad things if you’re trying to fit into that new pair of skinny jeans.
Constant stress also leads to fatigue. One, because it can interfere with how well you sleep (see Reason #4 above), and two, because it’s just a constant drain on your system. This makes it hard to be active on a regular basis and get those ever so important workouts in.
The fix? Finding ways to de-stress. Although this is often easier said than done, it’s extremely important for your longterm health that you do.
Check out some of our articles on ‘Stress Relief‘ to find ways to do just that.
Reason #6: You’ve Set Unrealistic Expectations
Nothing kills motivation faster than not seeing the results you expect to see. And the same is true for weight loss.
If you expect to lose 60 lbs in 30 days, you’re pretty much setting yourself up for failure. And even if you ended up losing just ten lbs in that same 30 days, you’d still see yourself as failing and very quickly revert back to your old unhealthy habits.
Instead, it’s best to first evaluate your situation and set your expectations accordingly. Try asking yourself the following questions:
– How many days per week do you realistically expect to get a workout in?
– Have you ever started a workout program before and do you know what to do?
– How motivated are you to lose the weight, really?
– How much weight do you really want to lose?
– Are you trying to look like a super model or just want to fit into an old pair of pants?
– And probably the most important question of all…Do you have the support of your friends and loved ones?
The answers to these questions, as well as others, will have a dramatic impact on your ability to lose weight and keep it off. So before you embark on your next weight loss journey, take a few minutes to evaluate your situation, and set your expectations accordingly.
By the way, if you need any exercise help or advice, make sure to check out our health and fitness eBooks here.
Reason #7: You’re Eating Too Many (Of The Wrong) Carbs
Reason #7 is basically a spin off reason #3 but it’s important to note. Eating too many refined carbohydrates such as cookies, breads, pastas, etc, is a sure fire way to put on a few pounds, especially when paired with inactivity.
This is because consuming refined carbohydrates (especially in high quantities) causes your blood sugar levels to spike. When this happens, excess insulin is secreted into your blood stream to bring your sugar levels back down to safe levels.
Unfortunately, this excess insulin results in the sugar being stored as fat. When repeated day after day, year after year, not only will you gain a few pounds, you’ll also greatly increase your risk for developing insulin resistance (or type II diabetes).
What should you do then? One of the best methods I’ve found for avoiding these types of foods is not keeping them in the house. Seriously! If it’s not kept in the house you can’t eat it.
Make it a goal to only keep foods in the house that are healthy for you. And if you absolutely need something to satisfy that sweet tooth, try something relatively low in carbohydrates like dark chocolate. This will keep you from over indulging on those things you really shouldn’t be eating anyways.
Reason #8: You Don’t Have A Strong Enough Why
Sorry, but “I want to lose 20 lbs and keep it off forever.” is not a strong enough ‘why’ to ensure long lasting success. You really need something much stronger than that to keep you from caving at the first whiff of hamburgers and french fries.
Instead, you need something that will keep you going long after you’re initial excitement has faded. So what makes a good ‘why’?
Well, if you have kids, your ‘why’ might be that you want to be around and healthy for their wedding or graduation day. Or maybe you want to be there for your grand-kids whenever that happens.
Or maybe your ‘why’ could be so that you can travel the world after retirement. Or maybe it’s that you want to be able to enjoy life to it’s fullest for as long as you possibly can.
If you noticed, none of the above ‘why’s’ mentioned anything about weight loss. Instead, they all focused on doing things that required you to be healthier. Weight loss becomes just a desirable side affect of becoming more healthy.
Reason #9: You’re Relying On Exercise Alone
It’s stinks but it’s true. Exercise alone is not often enough to lose weight. Yes, it is part of the equation. But it’s definitely not the whole equation.
Unless you spend your entire day exercising, you most likely aren’t going to be burning enough calories to compensate for a bad diet.
Think about it. The average person burns between 250 and 300 calories during a 20 minute run. Compare this to 260 calories in a Grande Frappuccino Blended Coffee with no whipped cream and you can see how easy it is to gain back those calories.
The trick? Focus on improving both your diet too. This will often give you the one-two punch needed to drop those stubborn pounds.
Reason #10: You’re Not Being Consistent
Consistent action is the key to achieving any goal. And if you’re not consistently taking action steps to lose weight, then guess what, you won’t. It’s that simple.
As you may know, losing weight and keeping it off isn’t easy. If it was we’d all be walking around with chiseled six packs right now.
What is easy though is grabbing that extra piece of cake. What’s easy is saying that being overweight is in your genes. What’s easy is saying that you’ll workout tomorrow because today you just don’t ‘feel good’.
If you really want to lose weight and keep it off you have to be consistent. There is no getting around this one. Regardless of whatever other reason you identify with above you have to be consistent about it.
If you have a sluggish thyroid then you’d better consistently take action steps to take in more iodine. If you’re too stressed out then you’d better consistently take action steps to de-stress your life.
Remember, losing weight won’t be easy. But it is worthwhile.
Have you had success losing weight and keeping it off? Let us know how you did it below!
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