There are no quick fixes, miracle cures or magic pills when it comes to weight loss, despite what the wellness industry might have you believe: losing weight requires dedication to a plan that supports long-term healthy habits. 

The general recommendation for weight loss is a rate of one to two pounds per week, although initial weight loss might surpass that for people who are very overweight, and then slow down to the suggested one to two pounds per week. Studies have shown this to be an effective way to lose weight without losing too much water or lean tissue — and to avoid a rebound. 

There are several factors that can affect your efforts to lose weight. These include making changes to your diet, exercise, and lifestyle. There are tools and tips to keep you on track. In addition, you should know what not to do. Talk to your doctor before you begin a new plan, he can help you customize a program and safely monitor your progress. Even small changes can make a big difference in your health.

If you’ve been adhering to a strict diet and fitness plan for a while but are failing to see results, it may be time to rethink your weight loss strategy.

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From dieting blunders to physical factors, any of these reasons could be why you’re not losing weight.

Your diet is too extreme

Restricting yourself to fad diets or extreme dieting can be worse for the waistline that eating too much or too little, cutting out certain foods altogether or not sticking to a healthy diet regime can affect the rate of weight loss. The body performs most efficiently on a balanced diet, receiving all the needed nutrients and minerals it requires and so completely cutting certain areas from your diet will only hinder your progress as the body needs a variety of foods.

You’re not checking portion

If you’re eating low fat, healthy meals but still not losing weight, it may be worth looking at your portion sizes. While you may think that you’re only eating three meals a day, with the increasing portion sizes many of us consume, you could actually be eating the equivalent of six or more standard serving sizes each day. It is worth remembering that although the food you’re eating may be healthy, it should still be eaten in moderation, as eating too much of anything will cause you to gain weight.

You’re not drinking enough water

Water can affect weight for a number of reasons; firstly water is an effective tool in suppressing your appetite. Too often do our bodies misconstrue hunger for dehydration and so drinking a glass of water before a meal, snack or even when you feel hungry will help your body identify when it is actually hungry to deydrated. Cold water can even speed up the metabolism and help curb the cravings for sugar and fizzy beverages, typical issues in many people’s diets. 

Water also ensures the proper functioning of the kidneys and digestive system, as without enough water the body uses the liver as additional support, resulting in the storing instead of burning of fat. Water is important both for hydration in exercise but also the controlling of appetite and functioning of vital organs, aiding the process of weight loss. 

You don’t vary your workouts

If you’ve fallen into a rut with your exercise routine, you may no longer be getting the most out of your workouts. Doing the same workouts day after day can not only affect your motivation and excitement with exercise, but can put your body into a sedimentary regime, not producing the benefits exercise should be giving.

When you workout your body will improve in its fitness and ability of whatever you are training, but if you don’t push yourself, increase your intensity or change workouts, your body’s effort and improvement will plateau. Exercise will become ineffective and the results will slowly begin to dissolve. 

You’re not getting enough sleep

You may think that cutting back on sleep to make time for a workout is great for your health and fitness, however not getting enough sleep could actually minimize the benefits of exercise and cause you to gain weight. Not only can sleep deprivation affect exercise performance and endurance, but it slows down your metabolism, increases appetite and makes you more likely to give into cravings.


Many of us manage emotions with food. Food provides comfort, often gives us a sense of control and is a source of enjoyment. But those comfort calories add up. If you suspect that emotional eating is derailing your diet, consider healthy alternatives reduce stress. Take yoga, reach out to friends and family for support or find a behavioral health specialist who has expertise with food-related issues.