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5 Reasons you aren’t losing weight

By on Mar 10, 2014 in Fitness | 6 comments

Do you think you're doing everything right but for some reason can't lose weight?  Are you getting discouraged that the number on the scale isn't moving?  Are you ready to quit?  Don't worry because you're not alone.  Hang in there and read on.  I bet one of these reasons is your problem.

Here are 5 little things you need to ask yourself when you feel like you're doing everything right but the weight isn't coming off....

5 Reasons you aren't losing weight

can't lose weight


1. You're not working out enough

How many days a week are you working out? It should be a minimum of  5-6 days a week 30 minutes a day. You take care of your teeth everyday why would exercise be any different?

2. You're just going through the motions 

How is the intensity? Are you able to read a magazine or book while working out? If the answer is yes you need to step it up and push yourself. If you're not feeling burning and discomfort you aren't working out. Push yourself harder!

3. You're doing the same workouts every day

If the answer is yes you need variety. Invest in yourself and talk to me about a program that fits your needs and goals. A ton of science goes into developing Beachbody programs and they are an amazing tool for your transformation. It's like having a word class trainer in your living room for the price of one personal trainer session. Every single TD Nation coach that won the Beachbody Challenge did so with a Beachbody program. We couldn't have done it on our own.  If you need help selecting the right program email me at Lance@tdnation.com

4. You aren't being honest about your nutrition.

This is a big one!  How often are you cheating? One cheat meal will set you back 3-4 days. Cheat 2-3 times a week and you're breaking even. Yes I know it sucks but it's true. So be honest about how good your nutrition really is. That means not leaving things off of your food log . Remember that not everything that goes into your mouth has to be a party! Food reps are just as important as the reps you do with weights. So before you say "I hit a plateau" or "things aren't working" you need to ask yourself "have I hit my calories and macros for at least 4 straight weeks with no cheating?" If you can honestly say yes and didn't lose weight or inches proceed to #5.  If you don't know what your calorie and macro goals should be keep reading and watch the video below.  

I know some of you are now thinking "screw this I'm not going to eat perfect the rest of my life".  LOL  I'm not telling you to.  What I'm telling you is that you will get much faster results the less you cheat while trying to get to your goal weight or body fat percentage.  The fact is most of you are cheating too much and just breaking even.  Once you get to that desired number it becomes much easier.  Most people can then eat healthy 85% of the time and maintain a healthy weight or body fat percentage.  If you're looking to be ripped (5-10% body fat) I'm sorry to tell you that your nutrition is going to have to be locked in almost all the time.  Some people however aren't looking to be crazy ripped though.  Some just want to be healthy and that's great too.

It's important to reiterate that we can all eat bad food occasionally.  How often you eat bad food depends on your individual goals.  We just have to eat it at our bodies ability to process it.  The reason obesity is so high in our Country is because we don't eat at our bodies ability to process it.  In fact I would bet that the majority of the country eats unhealthy 80-90% of the time.  It's no wonder we have such a problem.

5. Metabolic Damage

Here is the final piece to the puzzle. Ever known anyone to do the Atkins diet and restrict their carbs to almost nothing?  Ever known anyone who did HCG drops or severely restricted their calories?  What happened to them?  Did they lose weight?  Most of them probably did.  I bet the same number also felt horrible and started eating normally again after hitting a plateau.  The problem is their body, in an effort to survive, made adjustments for the lack of calories and carbs and didn't have time to adjust when they suddenly reintroduced them.  The result is metabolic damage and your bodies new ability at being very efficient at storing fat.  Thank you fad diet!  Most of, if not all, of these people you are now thinking of gained back more weight than when they started.  It's a vicious cycle.

So how do you know if you fit into this category?  If you're a male and you get down to 1800 calories a day or you're a female and get down to 1200 calories a day and you are working out 5-6 days a week, eating healthy, and not losing weight, you have bottomed out! You have what we call a damaged metabolism. Yes you can continue to cut calories at that point and lose weight but you will only further destroy your metabolism. I will never advise any male to go below 1800 and will never advise any female to go below 1200 a day. There are other shitty coaches and trainers out there that will but that doesn't fly here. If you hit this point it is my recommendation that you reverse diet and we begin to very slowly add calories and carbs back to your diet. If you hit this point we have a long road ahead but I promise reverse dieting will be a better option than continuing to destroy your metabolism. Send me a message if you're at #5 and we will develop a plan to help you repair your metabolism.

In the end don't let a couple weeks of no movement on the scale cause you to quit.  Re-evaluate and make adjustments but don't let it have the power to cause you to quit.  Also always take measurements or your body fat.  The scale often does not tell the whole story.  Take a step back, give yourself a pat on the back, and don't be too hard on yourself.  Be proud of the steps you are taking to be better than you were yesterday.  Lastly, remember why you're doing this.  Think about being around for your children and your spouse.  Think of how exercise helps your body function.  How it helps brain function.  How it helps reverse the aging process.  Think of all the positives and use the number on the scale as simply a tool.  Don't let it destroy everything you're working for.  The keys are exercising with variety and intensity, tracking what you eat, and eating healthy at least 85% of the time.


  1. I’d like to stay Thank You Lance for posting this I can’t seem eat enough calories a day really need to work on this I like the advice

    Laura Patterson

    March 13, 2014

    • You’re welcome Laura. You’re doing great!


      March 13, 2014

  2. Is it possible to be at number five when youve only been doing this strict diet and exercise for four weeks? I havent lost ANY weight and I eat 1,200 and exercise 7 days a week.


    April 22, 2014

    • Kristina if you are working out 5-6 days a week and eating 1200 calories a day and aren’t losing weight it’s very possible your metabolism is already damaged. See my response to Laura’s question on how to work towards repairing it and let me know if you have any other questions.


      May 22, 2014

  3. So if you fit the #5 category, what do you do? Increase your calorie intake?? I’ve been aiming for 1400-1500 cal/day – exercise daily, usually intense at least 30 minutes, with 45 min of less intense exercise. Can’t lose wt. I do have thyroid illness and am on meds that I believe are causing wt. gain.


    May 20, 2014

    • Laura great question and it differs from person to person. I have had clients that were on 800 calories a day and we simply raised them to 1400 and after two weeks they lost weight. Others it’s more difficult. Some will have to very slowly add calories and carbs back to your diet. I’m talking like 5 carbs a day for a week then another 5 a day the following week until your up to a healthy level. Once you get to a healthy level you can begin cutting back your calories again. It’s thought that it will take as long to repair your metabolism as the length of time you ruined it. So if you ran a severe calorie deficit for 3 months it may take that long to repair your metabolism. Hope that helps.


      May 22, 2014

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