Why Am I Not Losing Weight?
I work out five days a week and eat less than 1,400 calories a day but I'm not losing weight. What gives?
Submitted by FitnessEditor

Are you sure about that calorie count? "You'd be surprised how common it is to underestimate how much you're really eating," says Lisa Young, RD, PhD, author of The Portion Teller (Doubleday Books, 2005).

Count 'Em Up: Write down everything that goes into your mouth for a week, then calculate the calories using a standardized nutritional database like ars.usda.gov/foodsearch.

If you really are getting fewer than 1,400 calories per day, you may actually need to increase your intake. "Skimping can slow your metabolism," says Elisa Zied, RD, author of So What Can I Eat?! (Wiley, 2006). Based on your high level of activity, you may require as many as 2,200 calories a day (so eat up, girlfriend!).

"To safely lose a pound a week, subtract 500 from that for a total intake of 1,700 per day," recommends Zied.

Answered by FitnessEditor
Community Answers (23)

i'm doing 2 1 hour sessions of hot yoga weekly, plus 1 hour weight training...though I haven't written down my exact calorie intake (I don't eat sugar, no caffeine, limit carb intake ...have gained 5 lbs instead of losing weight. my next strategy is to increase to daily workout (currently it's MWF...with a rest day)...by adding Pilates and walking....knees are bad so can't run long periods - any advice as to what's happening? thanks
Submitted by childrenfirst1007

I agree, you need to eat more so your body doesn't think it's starving. Especially true with the level you are working out.
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Submitted by stevejoseph425

I have the same issue so I went to my doctor and asked her for advice. She told me to increase my caloric intake to 1,800 a day since I do Yoga three times a week for 30 min and do Cardio for the same amount of time each week. She also emphasized increasing my protein intake as that helps you rebuild the muscles you tear when working out and helps burn more fat. I haven't lost and pounds yet but I have lost an inch around my waist which I think is far better than counting the pounds.
Submitted by nicoleadkins1

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Submitted by web.revolt4

Check any medications you may be taking. Most of them disrupt your system. I used to take Remeron also known as Mirtazipine and I gained 28lbs in a year. My friend took zoloft and she gained alot of weight. Many side effects on medications are weight gain. Also, synthetic foods make you gain weight too. So anything with aspartame, stevia, splendor etc etc will disrupt your system. Hope this helps
Submitted by peacock0513

Check your medications. Anti Depressants are known to cause trouble in this regard for some people (doctors don't know why). If that doesn't work do what the expert poster said and try eating a bit more but make that additional bit you eat a handful of nuts or Avacado or other food full of healthy fat. You would be shocked what that can do for your body if you are deficient.
Submitted by jimk10001

I'm having this problem too! I'm also not seeing any change in inches, i drink lots of water, i eat well and monitor my calories on myfitnesspal.com, I do 45 minutes of turbo jam or turbo fire 5 days a week and i was also doing 30 minute chalean extreme after but stopped that because someone suggested i may be doing too much.. eat 1200-1500 calories a day and yes i do have cheat and rest days...i went from 240 pounds down to 153 then stopped for awhile and gained back about 16 pounds..cant lose!
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Submitted by markostewart

There are lot of factors to consider why one person is not really losing weight. It's not a one size fits all here. I was on the same boat, doing cardio 30mins a day, lifting weights, yoga and pilates for at least 3-5x every week with 1500 cal/day. I reached plateau and what worked for me is that I added variety in my workout (like exploring the bosu and dipping exercises, and taking pole dancing and kangoo, PLUS I became mindful of my pre-post workout food (increase protein intake). :)
Submitted by Glam_Aiye_NYC

Keep hydrated. Despite x4 weekly Cardio and resistance work outs and a clean diet, my weight refused to go down and I saw no change in my clothing either. I bought a body fat monitor and noticed I was often dehydrated. I upped the water and lost half a kg in a few days. Even in a mild state of hydration your body will store extra fat cells as they hold a lot of water. Get your 8x 8oz cups a day and add an extra 8oz for every 20 mins your work out, it'll flush those toxins and hopeully move some stubborn fat.
Submitted by bexym

Food for thought: most people have bits of undigested food in their gut- sometimes as much as 3 pounds, regardless of the healthiness of their diet. If your body isn't digesting or releasing everything, not only does it add those few pounds, it can release toxins back into your body, and you may not be getting the nutrition you need for your body to work efficiently.
Submitted by beccasnecca

I've tried all of these tips except one and none of them worked. I still gained 8-10 pounds per year. I worked out 6-12 hours per week doing cardio and resistance training and eating between 1600-2200 calories per day. Now I am taking amino acids to help with fat burning and increased my protein. My eating habits are pretty clean 80% clean 20% cheat. I workout 30-45 mminutes 3-4 times per day since working out any more than this did not slow down the weight gain and caused major exhaustion.
Submitted by aleatha11

All great ideas, but make sure to have your thyroid checked too. There are several health issues: Chronic stress. Cushing's syndrome. Hypothyroidism. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).Syndrome X. Depression. Hormonal changes in women. (See http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/why-arent-you-losing-weight). I am making an appointment with an Endocrinologist today. While my Primary Care Doctor says there is nothing wrong with my thyroid, I would feel more comfortable ruling it out with a spec.
Submitted by ddrose02191

Muscle doesn't weigh more than fat, after all a pound is a pound is a pound. However, muscle is more compact, so you may not see the scale move but your clothes may become looser.
Submitted by m.skogerson

A lot of people have a tendency to forget that, when you work out and build muscle, you have to remember: muscle weighs more than fat. I have noticed when working out, I may not be losing pounds, but there are significant changes in my body, including the addition of new muscle. That being said, don't be so hard on yourself. Be proud that you're taking the steps to change your life :)
Submitted by tkimmel060907

Try eating within 30 minutes of working out...lean protiens are key. Working out forces your metabolism to rise; eating sooner than later after a workout allows for a easy digestion, higher natural burn, and the body is more apt to take better advantage of the nutritional elements of the meal/snack. Plus, it is IMPORTANT to maintain a balanced sugar level; your body needs it every an intense work out.
Submitted by crawfordme2

Your body needs rest too. Be careful not to overwork yourself. Try increasing your weights and resistance training and lowering your cardio. Ladies, you don't get 'big muscles' with weights training, in fact, it burns more calories than cardio (during and after workout) and it gives you a nice toned shape too! I found that cutting out sugar rather than fat was good for me, fat is a great source of energy, i.e. avocado's, nuts, butter (don't go overboard though!) Good Luck!
Submitted by alicefaantaasti

Rather than relying on the scale, monitor your body fat and measurements. I'm in the same boat- I've been working out five days a week for six weeks and monitoring my food intake closely- but I haven't lost a pound. I have lost several inches in my waist and improved my allover muscle tone, though. It may help to add some variety to your diet/workouts. If nothing else, focus on the fact that you are taking steps to improve your health!
Submitted by tinkyouall

One thing most people overlook are medications that can cause weight gain. Anti-depressants are notorious for this.
Submitted by newsq

Preservatives and High Fructose Corn Syrup are added to foods to help preserve them. Guess what those items do inside your body? They sit! As much as possible, stay away from those items. Read the labels. If you're buying dried fruit or frozen veggies, check the labels! Dried fruit is naturally preserved and is naturally sweet. Don't buy dried fruit w/ added sugar & preservatives. Same with frozen fruits/veggies. Make sure you're getting your protein (energy) too! See if that helps!
Submitted by audidog