We all know the very likely reasons that keep you from losing weight, but have you ever thought about those unlikely reasons you’re not losing weight?
Reasons beyond “stop eating processed food” or “reduce your salt intake” or “workout more”?
I mean, we’ve read every article, reduced every calorie, calculated every formula and when we expect a positive result on the scale, the results are always the same.
Oh, the tears I’ve cried.
When I gained 50 pounds, I knew very well how I gained it. That part was very easy to determine.
I was stressed, I ate too much, drank too much, and let my weight get away from me. Before I knew it, I was 50 pounds heavier than I was before!
Read: My Weight Gain Story.
To my complete horror, I turned into just another 40-year-old fat woman desperate to lose weight.
Sadly, it didn’t take me long to realize that losing weight in my 40s was very different than losing weight in my 20s and 30s.
Yes, those rumors are true. The body starts making changes that render weight loss more difficult once you turn 40, but there is good news!
You can still lose weight post 40! Or, at ANY age!
In this post, I will break down 4 unlikely reasons you’re not losing weight, how those reasons directly affected my weight loss success, and the changes I made to get the scale moving again.
Reason #1: Too many options.
When it became all too clear that my “go-to” method of losing weight post 40 was not going to work, I went on a search to find a program that would, not only work, but provide weight loss results in record time.
In my research, I found:
- diet programs,
- food lists,
- weight loss formulas,
- workout routines,
- nutrition counseling, and
- so many products.
And all of these programs were guaranteed weight loss success…if you have the money to pay for them.
Let’s break down why all of these options can lead to weight loss failures.
- They are costly.
Many diet and wellness products on the market today cost money. In some cases, a lot of it. If you don’t have the means to continue with a subscription service, nutrition counseling, or a food service, chances are without that support, you will slip back into old habits and start to gain your weight back.
- They are not sustainable.
To piggyback item #1, one of the main reasons that these programs and products don’t work is simply because they are not sustainable.
Think about it. If you pay into one of these programs and lose weight, chances are you will need to continue to pay into that program for the rest of your life to continue to see results and to continue to maintain your weight loss.
For example, this reminds me of the Weight Watchers lifetime program. For members who attend meetings and reach their goal weight, the program is free as long as you stay within a certain range of that goal weight. Sounds good, right? However, if you fall outside of those boundaries, you have to start to pay again. (Or, at least is how the program was structured when I was a WW member.)
In some way, shape, or form, these programs will cost you.
In my 20s and 30s, I relied on a few different programs to lose weight. However, in my 20s and 30s I was never in a position to lose 50 pounds. The most weight that I had to lose in my 20s was (maybe) 5-8 pounds, and the most weight that I had to lose in my 30s was 15 pounds and 25 pounds (baby weight from two pregnancies).
Programs that I used back in those days (late 1990s and early 2000s) were:
While each program helped me find weight loss success in my 20s and my 30s, neither one seemed sustainable for me in the long run.
The early 2000s version of South Beach made me super cranky and miserable. While I saw weight loss success, I quickly returned to carbs when my husband commented on my attitude.
Weight Watchers, while it’s a great program, did not work in the long run for me. Being a busy working mom of two, I quickly realized that I absolutely no longer wanted to track my points Every. Single. Day. My life was already in chaos, why would I want to add to that!
Is a certain program right for you?
If you are planning on paying into a plan, look at the long haul.
- How much will you need to pay?
- How long will you need to pay?
- Does the plan have an exit strategy? Will it prepare you for everyday life without it? Do you have to participate in the plan for LIFE for continued success?
While there are some really fantastic programs out there, there are just as many “empty guarantees”, guarantees that will start with weight loss success, but ultimately end in failure.
Do you research before.
Side Note: I have been intermittent fasting for over 2 years now. Intermittent fasting is free and it’s great for health and wellness. You can read my How I lost 30 Pounds post find out more.
#2: Conflicting Research.
I’ve been reading health and fitness magazines (and now online articles) since I was in my teens and, while the basic concepts of weight loss remain the same, the science that backs that weight loss constantly changes.
Just look at what happens when there is a scientific “breakthrough”.
The media takes hold, the experts weigh in, and we are suddenly ALL IN and adjust everything me are doing to keep up with that ever changing science.
Don’t eat that egg!
Remember the egg? Remember when we couldn’t eat one? Then remember when we could eat one, but not the yoke?
The great egg debate!
The final scientific result of the great egg debate? We can in fact eat the whole egg.
How about that? How many of you abstained from eating eggs because of that science. (Raises hand!)
The same idea holds true for weight loss. As our waistlines expand we are ever looking to science for the quickest and easiest way to lose our weight.
- Make changes to our diet?
- Workout more?
- Workout less?
- Drink more water?
- Eat more cucumbers?
- Drink more apple cider vinegar?
- Take more supplements?
Science PLEASE TELL US WHAT TO DO!! We want that magic pill!
Soon, as we go from one week to the next, changing our process to meet the requirement of that next weight loss epiphany, we soon get overwhelmed and lost in those changes and find that our weight is not decreasing, but slowly increasing.
Is this you?
I sure was me! And for a very long time!
So, what can we do. What can we do to better understand and use that science to help us lose weight?
Reduce the noise.
Maybe, just maybe, we need to start shutting it down and reduce the noise.
While I still enjoy reading about all the new science behind weight loss, I take everything that I read with a grain of salt.
Just because some random scientific study garned good results for their small group of participants does not mean that I will experience those same results.
If I find something that sounds promising, I stick a pin in it and save it for a rainy day.
If I find that I’m having difficulty breaking a plateau, or experiencing weight gain with my current weight loss protocols, I might go back and take a look at that science and see if their suggested changes might work for me.
Constantly making changes with the science never allows your body the chance to see if what you are currently doing is working. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.
Tune it out and tune it back in as you see fit.
Reason #3: Patience.
One very unlikely reason you’re not losing weight is patience.
Immediate satisfaction and weight loss do not go hand in hand. One area the experts get right is that we need to be patient when it comes to weight loss.
When I first started intermittent fasting, I lost 15 pounds in about 3 months. Then I plateaued.
Fortunately for me, a quick adjustment to my intermittent fasting schedule, and I lost another 15 pounds in about another 4 months.
It was great!
Losing 30 pounds in 7 months are great results! And I felt great, until I plateaued and gained 10 pounds.
I felt defeated.
However, instead of crying (again) about my weight gain, I decided to shift the way I view my weight loss. My old “berate and beat myself up” method of moving forward didn’t seem to be working, so I decided to change my thought process when it came to weight loss and weight gain.
I plan to live until I’m about 90 years old. That gives me about 45 more years of life on this earth. That means I have plenty of time to lose my extra weight.
Not that I plan to take THIS long, but I now have 45 years to slowly make adjustments to my daily plan that will result in weight loss success.
If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I gained 10 pounds while intermittent fasting during the COVID stay-at-home order. Just last month I implemented a plan that will help me learn more about myself, how the small changes that I’m implementing affect my weight loss, and what changes I can make that will result in weight loss success.
Read More: Intermittent Fasting Reset: Month One
My final weight loss results for Month One?
If this were my fad diet days, I’d be super bummed. However, if I track at 1.4 pounds per month for a year, that will garner me a 16.8 pound weight loss per year.
Right now, I need to lose 30 pounds. If I stay patient and keep on as I am, I will lose those 30 pounds in less than two years. And, since I plan to live until I’m 90, that will give me about 43 years at my goal weight.
If I stay on course, my patience will pay off in the long run. Sure, there will be set-backs, but I’m prepared for it.
#4: EveryBODY is different.
One very unlikely reason you’re not losing weight is that you don’t understand how YOUR body works.
If you’re in weight loss groups online or follow men and women on social media who have very “easily” and “successfully” lost weight, you may think that what worked for them SHOULD work for you.
You could not be more wrong.
You are an individual and what works for them may or may not work for you.
Look, I’ll admit that I get those pangs of jealousy when I see individuals following the same plan as I am lose weight in record time. They lose it so fast that I question if what I am doing is right!
It happens to me all the time.
Just recently, I decided to tune out, tune in and see what makes my body happy in terms of my success and what doesn’t work for ME when it comes to my weight loss.
Basically, I created a plan that was all about ME!
A plan that will age with me as my years tick by.
If you want to follow my plan, or get tips to create your OWN plan that’s all about YOU, be sure to follow my Intermittent Fasting Rest plan.
The sooner you take time to better understand YOU and how YOURE body works, the sooner you will start to see changes in your body and on the scale.
And, STOP comparing your success to others!
As I have learned all too well, losing weight is more of a mental game than a physical one. Once we take a step back and take our own birds-eye view of our OWN situation, we may be better able to determine what works best for us.
As you move forward in your journey and find yourself in that endless cycle of doubt, think of these unlikely reasons you’re not losing weight.
Tune out and tune into what will work for you.
- Read how I lost my first 30 pounds in my Intermittent Fasting Results: How I Lost 30 Pounds! post.
- Next, read How I gained 10 pounds WHILE intermittent fasting!
- Still stuck on your weight loss plateau? Read how Homeostasis & Set-Point Weight might be the reason why.