There are so many reasons why someone might want to lose weight. For aesthetics, to feel better about themselves, to reduce health risks, for a sport or competition… the list goes on. Everyone's journey is totally personal and you should never have to justify yourself to anyone. For some people, losing weight is easy and you’ll hear them talk about how the fat just ‘melts’ off them. But weight loss is dependant on a lot of factors such as age, height, genetics, current body weight, and past sporting background. You may find that the first few kilos go with ease, but then you hit a plateau. ‘Why aren’t I losing weight?’ is a question that can plague anyone, and if you feel like you’re trying your best to eat well and train hard but are not seeing the results you expect then it can be very demoralising. However, there are a lot of reasons why you might not be losing the weight that you expect.
It seems obvious, but the truth is that so long as your caloric expenditure is more than your intake, you will lose weight. Some people will try to go into detail about macro splits and nutrient timing, but it really does just come down to burning more than you eat. It’s important to calculate your BMR and TDEE before you begin any sort of weight loss journey. Your BMR will tell you how many calories your body would burn in a completely resting state, essentially if you were in a coma. Your TDEE then takes into account factors such as your activity level, age, height, current body weight, and will calculate how many calories you really burn on a daily basis. So long as your caloric intake is lower than your TDEE, you will lose weight. If you do not track your daily food and drink intake, there is a very high chance you are consuming more than you think which may well be the reason you are not losing weight.
For women especially, water weight can play a big part in your physique and your weight loss journey. Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle you may be retaining water more than usual and therefore appear to weigh more. Another reason why you may be retaining water is through excessive sodium consumption. Sodium is an important micronutrient for regulating blood pressure, but excessive intake from salty and/or processed foods will cause your body to retain fluids which will also make you appear to weigh more.
If you really are sticking to your diet religiously and training like a beast but still not seeing results, then there may be something more complicated at work. Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid and can have a number of negative side effects, including depression and weight gain. If you think you may have this condition, it is best to see a doctor who will be able to advise you on the best course of action. This condition can make training very difficult due to lethargy so it is best to listen to your body and rest up if your body feels like it’s working against you.
The Bottom Line
Losing weight should be a simple process, but that isn’t always the case. If you calculate your BMR and TDEE and track your intake, you should be well on your way to achieving the results that you want and deserve. We all know deep down that the number on the scale isn’t the most important thing, but it does help to know where you are on your fitness journey. Sometimes it’s hard to see what we truly look like in the mirror, and to notice small changes in our physique just by how we fit in our clothes. Try not to let it take over your life, take it one step at a time, and you’ll be there in no time.