Why Am I Struggling With Weight Loss Despite My Persistence With Diet And Exercise?

Anyone who has unsuccessfully tried to lose weight and keep it off can tell you that losing weight is not an exact science and works differently for each person. While we are told that losing weight involves our metabolism and creating a calorie deficit, many do not really understand what that means or how to do it.

Additionally, when they try to put what they think they know into practice, they wonder why they’re not losing weight despite all they are doing. Today, we are going to talk about some of the reasons why even the best efforts at losing weight can be unsuccessful and some options for overcoming these obstacles.

How Does Metabolism Influence Your Ability To Lose Weight?

We often hear the word metabolism mentioned in conjunction with maintaining a healthy weight, but many do not understand exactly what this is or how much influence it can have. It is always running behind the scenes, even when we are asleep or idle. Metabolism is the process our bodies use to convert the food that we eat into energy sources that keep it running and functioning efficiently. The energy harnessed by our metabolism runs all our body’s vital functions like breathing, circulation, cell growth, etc., but only a certain amount of energy is needed each day. Any excess is stored for later use in the form of fat.

Everyone’s metabolism is specific to that person and influenced by characteristics such as genetics, age, medical conditions, hormones, body composition, lifestyle, etc. The speed and efficiency of an individual’s metabolism can make a significant difference in their ability to lose or manage their weight.

Why Am I Not Losing Weight? Ask Dr. Batash

Dr. Batash, a board-certified gastroenterologist and the world’s leading expert on non-surgical weight loss, discusses the effective strategy to lose weight and covers the common mistakes his patient make.

What Does It Mean To Create A Calorie Deficit?

Accomplishing a calorie deficit simply means that your body is burning more calories than you are consuming each day. According to the WHO and the CDC, this is the only way to shed excess pounds, but it is not always as simple as that sounds. In fact, a person would have to burn somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,500 calories to lose one pound. The average woman burns between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day, and the average man burns between 2,000 and 3,000. Creating the substantial deficit needed to drop a pound will require consuming fewer calories and participating in some type of physical activity to increase the number of calories being burned.

I Am Watching What I Eat To Create A Calorie Deficit, So Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

This is one of the most common questions we get from prospective patients during their consultation, and there is no simple answer. The short answer is that everyone’s genetic makeup and body composition are different, and so they respond to weight loss efforts in different ways. What may work great for your best friend may not help you lose any weight at all.

What many do not comprehend is that while it is true that a calorie deficit is needed to lose weight, many things can keep you from reaching that deficit. These hindrances are not the same for everyone and can be choices you are making, responses your body is having to your weight loss initiatives, or one of many other reasons. If you are having issues losing weight, one or more of these issues could be hindering your progress.

Your Body Has Entered Survival Mode

When we cut way back on calories, our bodies have an instinct to adjust the speed of our metabolism. Our body thinks we do not have access to food, so it does all it can to conserve the energy we have. It does this by slowing your metabolism’s speed down to a snail’s pace and storing up fat to be used for energy later. It can be very frustrating to have your body work against you when you are trying so hard to limit your calorie intake, but sometimes reducing it too much actually makes losing weight more challenging.

You’re Not Keeping An Accurate Record Of Your Calories

Tracking the calories you are eating can be tricky, and often people underestimate their number. Often, they forget to count snacks and the calories that come from beverages. Using a phone app that helps you keep track or keeping a food journal may be helpful.

You Have An Underlying Condition Inhibiting Your Efforts

There are several things that can be going on under the surface that are impacting your ability to lose weight, including

  • Hormone imbalances;
  • Certain medical conditions (thyroid, diabetes, etc.);
  • Some medications can cause weight gain;
  • PCOS;
  • Changes associated with menopause.

You Are Not Eating The Right Foods

Following your diet plan and eating foods that are high in fiber and protein while avoiding sugar and excess fat will help you burn more calories than you take in. These foods will help you stay full for a longer time while also providing your body with the nutrients and vitamins it needs to function at its best.

You Are Forgetting That Alcohol Has Calories

Many people like their nightly cocktail or glass of wine but forget that these contain calories, and they do not include them when calculating their daily intake. A 5-ounce glass of white wine contains 120 calories, and the same amount of red wine contains 125 calories. A typical beer contains around 150 calories, while a mixed drink such as a Long Island iced tea has 780 calories, a margarita 740, a mai tai 350, and a 4-ounce Cosmopolitan 219.

You Are Not Adequately Managing Your Stress Levels

Too much stress can sabotage even the best weight loss efforts. Our body dumps a hormone into our bodies when we become overstressed which causes the body to retain fat, making it very difficult to lose weight. It is important to find ways to relieve your stress because research has also shown that chronic stress can also contribute to a host of medical conditions.

I Am Exercising, So Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

It can be frustrating when you are doing all you can to try to boost your metabolism and have started incorporating physical activity (exercise) into your routine, but you are not losing any weight. You may wonder why this is happening, and it could be due to many different reasons, including:

You Are Not Doing The Right Kind Of Exercise

Getting some physical activity every day is key to losing weight, but you need to choose the right combination of exercise if your goal is to see the number on the scale decline. Everyone is different, and so is their weight distribution, so not everyone will respond to the same types of exercise. Experts recommend doing a combination of cardio and strength training while incorporating some HIT intervals to get the best results. Working with a professional can help you choose the best options for you and your circumstances.

You Are Overeating To Compensate

Many individuals hit the gym and work out for a few hours, then go straight to the fast food place, thinking they earned it and that they worked so hard that these calories won’t count. Guess what? They do count, and these people usually eat much more than the number of calories they burn off during their workout.

You Are Gaining Muscle

If you have been working hard to incorporate exercise into your daily life but you are not seeing your efforts pay off in lost pounds, it may be that the weight has been re-distributed. Muscle weighs more than fat, so when you exercise, you lose fat and maybe replacing that fat with muscle. While you may not see the numbers on the scale, you need to take note of inches lost, feeling stronger, and other positive progress.

You May Be Pushing Your Body Too Much

It may sound crazy, but it is possible to exercise too much. If you do not allow yourself adequate rest time and make sure to eat enough calories for your level of training, you can find yourself with constant fatigue, becoming injured, an increase in anxiety, feeling depressed, etc.

You May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep

There are many things that have to be aligned in order for your weight loss efforts to be effective. If you are not getting enough sleep, you will find it much harder to reach your ideal weight. Research has shown that a lack of sleep increases your appetite and triggers cravings for unhealthy foods and sweets. Also, when you are overtired, it can trigger stress, which will also hinder your efforts at weight loss.

You Could Be Obsessing Over Numbers

It can be frustrating when you are working hard but you think you are seeing no results. If you are obsessing over the numbers on the scale and weighing yourself every day, you may be getting an unreliable picture of what is going on. Experts recommend that you only weigh yourself once a week at the same time every week, and even then, you may not get a precisely accurate weight. It is normal for body weight to fluctuate during the day or even during the week. Some of the reasons this may happen include;

  • Water weight: The body can retain a large amount of water from day to day based on factors such as hormone fluctuations, consuming sodium during meals, dietary changes, etc. If you weigh yourself several times a day or a week, it may drive you crazy;
  • You have just eaten: If you weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you eat, the scale may read lower than it does a few hours after you get up and have eaten. The scale can fluctuate quite a lot depending on what you eat and drink. Carbohydrates and foods high in salt can cause spikes in weight and may send you into a panic;
  • You have or have not used the bathroom: If you weigh yourself first thing in the morning and then use the bathroom, you may think you have lost a pound or more, but using the bathroom does not actually cause you to lose real weight, so it is important to keep that in mind when setting your weigh-in schedule;
  • You are inconsistent: Maintaining consistency when you are checking your weight can help you obtain more accurate results. Experts suggest choosing a time only once a week or once every other week to get on the scale and monitor your progress. In fact, they say that watching the scale bounce around every day can become discouraging and can zap your motivation.

Losing Weight Takes Patience

Perseverance, dedication, and being consistent are keys to losing and maintaining a healthy weight. If you are overweight and are honest with yourself, you will understand that you did not become overweight in just a few short days; it happened gradually over time. Losing weight is the same way and requires patience, but there are many benefits to gain.

If you consistently make healthier choices in your lifestyle, such as eating healthy and exercising, you will begin to notice other improvements besides weight reduction. It is not only about the numbers on the scale, you also need to think about how you are feeling. Have you noticed any changes in the way your clothes fit? Are you feeling more energetic, have more strength, or have some of your fat been replaced with muscle?

Losing weight has multiple health benefits, from boosting your immune system to lowering your risk of developing a serious condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, coronary disease, etc. Many patients who already suffer from these conditions experienced vast improvements in their health after losing weight. Some have even been able to cut back on or eliminate medications they were taking to manage their condition.

When Should I Contact A Doctor?

If you have tried conventional methods and they are not working for you, it is time to contact a professional like Dr. Steven Batash. As we discussed in this article, there are many things that can thwart weight loss efforts, and it can be tough to navigate through these challenges on your own.

  1. You may not know what is standing in the way of you reaching your goals for weight loss;
  2. You may have no idea how to overcome these issues;
  3. You may not understand how your body responds to different weight loss strategies.

At Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center, we are trained experts who understand the complex disease of obesity. We will help identify what, if any, underlying issues are holding back your progress and will craft a personalized plan to help you overcome these issues. You will have the complete support of an entire team who will help you with making healthy dietary choices, menus, guidance on physical activity, and strategies that you can apply every day to help you stay on track.

We also offer non-surgical weight loss procedures that reduce your stomach size and help with controlling your food portions. We offer Suture Sculpt endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, the Orbera and Spatz3 intragastric balloon procedures, and prescription weight loss medications to help those who have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight without medical intervention. You are not alone; we are here to help you every step of the way. Give Dr. Batash and his team a call today or make your appointment online and let us help you discover why you’re not losing weight and get you on the right track to improved health.

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