3 Reasons Why You Are Struggling to Lose Weight

Weight loss can be a frustrating process.

Sometimes you feel like you’re doing all the right things, but the scale hasn’t changed in weeks. This can lead people to spiral into negativity thinking that all of their hard work is for nothing, or even worse that it’s “impossible for them to lose weight” (I promise it’s not).

Thankfully, the common issues that tend to hold back weight loss progress are easy fixes. You just need to know what the problem is in the first place. Here’s 3 reasons you may be struggling to lose weight.

1. You’re Not Tracking Calories

I know, I know. You’ve heard this from every trainer, coach, and internet fitness personality who’s ever lived.

Well…I’m here to beat you over the head with it once more.

I understand that tracking can be a frustrating task…nobody WANTS to do it. However, you need a reliable metric in your day to day life if you want to understand why you may or may not be losing weight. This is unfortunately the only true metric we have. We don’t have any magic scanners as of yet that tell you how many calories you are taking in all day, so you’re going to have to do that work yourself. It’s just how it is.

“I’m eating less” is NOT a reliable metric.

The number of times I’ve heard the phrase “I’m eating less” followed immediately by “I don’t know” when I ask how many calories per day the person is eating is alarming.

The total volume of food you consume per day has no say on whether or not you are going to lose weight. Only caloric intake matters. For example you could be “eating less” but if that “eating less” is a singular Cinnabon Cinnamon Bun vs. a whole bunch of lean protein and vegetables…you’re going to be in trouble. 

Before you go complain to your trainer why you can’t seem to lose weight…make sure you’ve done your due diligence and tracked your intake to the best of your abilities for a consistent period of time. We’ll not only greatly appreciate it, we’ll be better able to help address why you may not be losing weight.

2. You’re Underestimating Calories 

“I’m tracking all my calories, I’m in a deficit, I’m still not losing weight”.

Here’s some hard truth for you. If you aren’t losing weight, I promise you aren’t in a caloric deficit. Something is probably just screwing with your numbers and it needs to be addressed.

An extremely common issue you run into is once you get someone to actually start tracking is not many people know how many calories are actually in their food. This can lead to issues with your calorie tracking overtime.

In general, people tend to HIGHLY underestimate how many calories are in certain food items/meals. I mean by a lot. 

If you are consistently underestimating the calories in your tracking, you’re going to think you are doing really good, but the progress you see isn’t going to match up.

Now, I’m not saying your calorie tracking needs to be spot on perfect (it’s actually impossible for it to be) but it’s a good idea to start learning about the different calorie costs of certain foods so your tracking can become more realistic. Use all the resources you can nutrition labels, apps like MyFitnessPal, google it, everything you can do to get accurate results. The more you do this overtime the the easier your tracking becomes AND the more accurate you’ll be.

Additionally, there are some items people “forget” to track, usually smaller things like drinks and cooking oils. Problem is these items usually have quite a bit more calories than most think. Sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages, and cooking oils all need to be factored into your tracking. These are not just “free” calories that you can write off.

3. You Hate Your Diet

Finally, if you hate your diet or whatever process you are using to lose weight…it’s a bad process. Even if it’s currently working. 

Yes…there is a certain amount of “sacrifice” and dedication required for a weight loss goal (it’s not just going to be handed to you). However, this shouldn’t feel like an absolute chore every single day. 

If the method you are currently using to lose weight has you dreading waking up in the morning, it needs to be addressed.

Adherence is huge when it comes to weight loss. On an obvious level, if you hate something there’s a solid chance you are going to avoid actually doing it. This means your overall consistency week to week is going to be trash.

Additionally, if you do somehow willpower your way through and get yourself to lose a bunch of weight despite hating it…you’re just going to gain it all back once you stop.

When looking at your process keep consistency and sustainability in mind. Is this something you will do without question everyday, and is this something you can do for an extended period of time? If the answer to either of those questions is no your plan isn’t going to work.

Matt Molloy

Matt Molloy

I'm a graduate the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Exercise Science. I’m a local guy (North Penn) and athletics has dominated my life. I've led teams in basketball, baseball, soccer, golf and my passion, long distance running. I've been strength training for 6 years with a focus in power-lifting but have recently stretched to strongman since joining the pride here at the Den. When I’m not in the gym I enjoy, spending time with my friends, music, and relaxing and playing some video games.