5 Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight

There’s nothing more discouraging then forcefully pushing your body and mind to the limits every day without anything to show for it. Frustration quickly builds to the tipping point when there isn’t much change on your home scale after weeks of training and dieting.

Even though you may be following every last detail of your personal trainer’s weight loss program you should not be surprised if the scale doesn’t dramatically tip in your favor. It’ll be tempting to pair your lack of results with failure, but there very well could more reasons why you’re not getting the results you want.


The biggest reason beginner’s quit their fitness program is for the lack of progress. Of course, we all want to have extraordinary results in the fastest time possible. If your body isn’t responding the way you want then your motivation is going to fall deeper into the hole of despair.

Problems arise when we restrict ourselves from only using a single form of measurement for results tracking. Weighing yourself leads to problems simply because there are so many factors that can affect your weight.

why can't i lose weight

Your body is more likely benefiting from your training and dieting efforts even though the scale may not show it. This could be because you’re:

  • retaining water
  • gaining muscle
  • hormones are out of whack
  • pre-menstruating
  • wearing wooden shoes when you went barefoot the last time you weighed yourself

If you can’t lose weight then you should…

The best way to to gauge your progress is to use multiple forms of measurement so you can more accurately track your body’s transformation. In addition to your weight, you should also be tracking your body fat percentage, girth/circumference measurements and also a picture of your body every 4-6 weeks.

I use my app Chubbly to easily calculate my body fat and girth measurements. Naturally I’d recommend you try it too, but if you don’t it’s still essential to find an accurate and reliable why to track these measurements.

Reasons most of us never track all of these measurements is obvious. It’s not as easy hiring a fitness trainer to pinch our bodies with skin calipers as it is to plop ourselves on the bathroom scale. And after you’ve re-checked your weight every day for weeks without any significant progress your frustration will be tempting you to call it quits again.

can't lose weight

Even if you’re using multiple forms of measuring it won’t mean a thing without patience. Nobody should expect to undo years of bodily neglect in just a matter of weeks or even months. Set yourself reasonable goals you can accomplish in a pre-determined amount of time.

I wouldn’t expect a five year old to pick up a crayon and draw a work of art. It takes time to dramatically transform your body to the point you’re happy. Climb the stairs a step at a time instead of trying to leap frog to the top of them.

rome wasnt built in a day

Nobody likes working hard without anything to show for it. If you’re following the rules then your body is transforming right in front of your eyes. Just make sure you’re not looking at the scale instead.

About The Author → Josh Schlottman, CSCS, is an ACE certified Personal Trainer and he graduated from Sacramento State University with a degree in Nutrition. Josh takes pride in his commitment to his clients’ results by bringing out their maximum potential through positive motivation. You can reach him at www.TrainerJosh.com
  • Reply Steven Seidler April 5, 2013, 1:22 am

    I work the graveyard shift. I am torn between not eating at 3a.m. and eating. I eat healthy when I do but I know I am taking on calories. When I don’t eat I feel the hunger. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Reply Josh Schlottman May 15, 2013, 9:26 pm

      Hi Steven, I would recommend taking some branched chain amino acids which have zero calories and should help to hold you over. You can also take 2 tbsp of almond butter if you’re really hungry.

  • Reply Tino Paul April 5, 2013, 4:53 am

    Good article. Tell this to all my clients also. But they still can’t get their heads around not seeing weight go down…

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