Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

Losing weight is different for everyone - whilst some people may find shedding a few pounds easy, it can be a challenge for others. When we don’t see results quickly, it can be hard to stay motivated but the important thing to remember is that losing weight in a healthy, controlled way takes time and commitment. 

If you have been trying to lose weight and not noticed any changes, there may be a few explanations as to why. This article will highlight some of the most common reasons why you’re not losing weight and share some tips to get you on track on your road to weight loss.

Why am I not losing weight? Top 10 reasons why

There are a whole host of reasons why you might not be losing weight, including:

1. You’re drinking too much alcohol

Consuming alcohol may be making it more difficult for you to lose weight. People often forget that alcohol can contain lots of calories, in fact, the NHS states that alcohol can contain 7 calories per gram! 

It’s not just about the calories either. Alcohol can also contribute to weight gain in other ways, such as;

  • Dampening your motivation to exercise (attempting some cardio with a hangover is not something any of us want to do).
  • Encouraging unhealthy eating habits (i.e. snacking with a pint).
  • Disrupting your sleep - sleep deprivation can also lead to weight gain as it affects the hormones which control your appetite. 

Drinking less alcohol or cutting it out completely will not only help you to slim down, but also reduce your risk of developing health issues such as artery disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Not sure where to begin? Read our blog on how to start drinking less alcohol for some top tips!

2. You may have a medical condition

If you’re struggling with weight loss, it can be a good idea to speak to your GP and address any medical conditions you might have. The NHS lists several medical conditions that may lead to weight gain, including:

  • Stress, anxiety and depression - mental health can have a huge impact on our ability to lose weight. On one hand, stress, anxiety and depression can lead to weight loss as a result of eating less but some people will experience the exact opposite as we all cope differently. For example, if you are suffering from depression, you may comfort eat more to cope with your feelings. 
  • Hyperthyroidism - having an underactive thyroid can slow down your body’s metabolism which may lead to weight gain. 
  • Age - as you age, you become less active and lose muscle mass which can make losing weight trickier. 
  • Cushing’s syndrome - caused by a high level of cortisol in the body, cushing's syndrome is managed with steroids which can lead to weight gain. 
  • Diabetes - if you need to take insulin to control your diabetes, gaining weight could be a side effect as you may need to snack more often than others to manage your blood sugar levels.
  • Steroid treatments - These can affect your appetite and lead to you eating more than you need to. 

See the full NHS list of medical reasons for putting on weight here.

3. You’re not eating mindfully 

According to Harvard Health Publishing, mindful eating can help with weight loss. When you’re having a meal, you should practice eating smaller amounts, chewing each mouthful until the food is grinded down and taking your time. This method of food consumption allows you to really savour your meals and notice what you’re giving your body. Mindfulness is best described as what it isn’t - mindlessness; think clearly about what you're eating and when. Here are some ways you can eat mindfully:

  • Turn off the TV and eat in a distraction-free environment
  • Try to notice the different flavours, textures and smells of your food
  • Take your time when eating
  • Stop eating when you feel full 

4. You’re not sleeping enough

As we’ve mentioned, sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain as changes to hormones regulating your appetite can increase the likelihood of you eating more than you need to. 

In a study by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, USA, which looked at how sleep affects weight loss, it was found that people sleeping between six and eight hours a night had a better chance of reaching their end weight-loss goal than those sleeping either more or less than this. Therefore, it can be argued that getting the right amount of sleep alongside eating healthy and exercising can aid weight loss. 

5. You need to eat more protein

Protein is really important for losing weight as it helps to boost your metabolism and reduce your food cravings. Protein will also prevent you from losing muscle and help them to repair following exercise. Incorporating more protein in your breakfast is also beneficial - eggs, low-fat greek yogurt and protein pancakes are popular choices for mornings as they give you plenty of energy for the day. 

If you find yourself skipping breakfast, or any other meals for that matter, this is another potential reason as to why you’re not losing weight. According to the NHS, when you skip meals, you feel more tired, deprive yourself of essential nutrients and will be more likely to snack throughout the day. 

6. You’re not tracking your calorie intake

It’s possible that you’re not seeing the results you’re hoping for as you’re not tracking what you’re eating and drinking. It’s easy to nibble on snacks here and there without really paying attention to what we’re doing - especially when we are focused on something such as work or the TV. 

You can combat this by keeping a diary and tracking your food and drink intake as well as what exercise you have had. This will keep you on track and if you still don’t notice any weight loss, you can pay attention to other factors, such as your sleeping pattern or consult your GP.  

7. You’re eating unhealthy foods

You may well be eating less to lose weight - but are you eating the right foods? If you are eating unhealthy or processed foods which are high in sugar, salt and fat, you are less likely to shed the pounds. Try to avoid the following amongst other unhealthy snacks:

  • Sweetened tea and coffee
  • Ice cream
  • Takeaways such as pizza and fried foods
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Sausage rolls 
  • Crisps or chips

Processed food may well be easier to cook or grab on a lunch break but they can seriously harm your weight loss efforts and make you overeat according to Harvard Health Publishing

8. You may need to exercise more

Losing weight is much easier when you combine healthy eating with exercise. Cardiovascular exercise (cardio) is particularly effective for losing weight as it increases your heart rate. Types of cardio include:

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Skipping 
  • Swimming 

Learn more about the best exercises to lose weight here. 

9. You need to drink more water

According to the NHS, drinking more water may help you on your mission to lose weight. This is because water doesn’t contain calories like other beverages such as squash and may help you to manage your cravings. Regardless of weight loss benefits, you should drink plenty of water (6-8 glasses a day is recommended) to keep yourself hydrated, especially if you are exercising. Not drinking enough water can lead to fatigue, headaches and dry skin. 

10. You’re drinking too many sugary drinks

You may be tempted by fizzy drinks but it is important for you to remind yourself that these will only provide you with short bursts of energy and they may contain alarmingly high amounts of sugar. According to Diabetes.co.uk, half a litre of a sweetened drink is around 60% of the recommended maximum daily sugar intake. 

If you aren’t noticing weight loss, try cutting out sugary drinks such as cola and squash and note any changes. 

Looking to lose weight?

If you live in Dorset and you’re looking to improve your physical fitness and wellbeing by losing weight, we are here to help! Register or contact us today to find out how our friendly team of coaches and advisors can support you.



I drank too much alcohol and had unhealthy eating habits. Pastry is such a bad thing, it's all those pies, pasties and sausage rolls!

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