Following Diets and No Weight Loss? Here’s Why!

The only thing worse than not losing weight is feeling like you’re doing everything right and still not losing weight, even when following diets.

The frustration is common: “I constantly have women asking me why they aren’t losing weight on their diets,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants and a nutrition expert for The answer is different for everyone, but chances are, yours comes down to one (or more!) of these top causes.

You’re Underestimating Your Caloric Intake

Sorry to break it to you, but you might not be following diets as well as you think you are, says Taub-Dix. Keep a food journal to track what and how many calories you’re taking in at each meal and snack. “It can be really eye-opening,” says Taub-Dix. “Portion sizes are often larger than you think and without journaling you may simply forget to count calories from alcoholic beverages, condiments, or that handful of popcorn you grabbed when walking past the office kitchen,” says board-certified internist Pat Salber, M.D., host of the “The Doctor Weighs In” podcast. Check out Fooducate or MyFitnessPal if an e-version would be easier for you, and make sure to log your eats immediately so you don’t forget to track them.

You’ve Lost Muscle

Even healthy weight loss comes with some muscle loss. “Since muscles consume seven times as much energy as fat, muscle loss during dieting can reduce the number of calories we need to continue to lose weight,” says Salber. Fight the urge to cut calories further (it will only make you burn more muscle), and start performing more strength workouts to help you get your muscle and metabolism back.


You’re Following Diets That Are Too Restrictive

Extreme diets will help you lose weight—but not for long. “When you follow a very restrictive diet, the body tries to preserve fat,” says Salber. Your body starts to burn more muscle than fat. It also slows its biological processes and your metabolism to preserve energy. Meanwhile, juice cleanses can keep your blood-sugar and insulin levels spiking to increase fat accumulation around your middle. When trying to lose weight, the average woman shouldn’t go below 1,200 calories per day, she says. If your diet restricts calories further, it’s dangerous.

You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

Apart from throwing hunger-regulating hormones out of whack, a lack of sleep can hurt your metabolism, says Taub-Dix. In fact, pulling a single all-nighter can cause your resting energy expenditure to drop. That is the number of calories you burn without moving. This is according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

You have an Underlying Health Condition

While this isn’t the most likely reason, it should be checked! You may be suffering from hypothyroidism. This is when your body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. This is associated with a slower metabolism and a tendency to store, instead of burn, fat, says Salber. And hormonal issues related to polycystic ovary syndrome can make losing weight far more difficult than it needs to be.

DISCLAIMER: Content provided on is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other healthcare professional.
While these testimonials are from real people based on real experiences, they should be considered anecdotal.

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