Why Am I Not Losing Weight? Expert Advice on Why the Scale Isn’t Budging

Article posted in: South Beach Diet
why am I not losing weight

You’ll have lots of questions when you begin your weight loss journey. What foods are off limits? How many Proteins should I eat each day? What do I eat if I’m still hungry? I hate water; what can I drink instead? But ” why am I not losing weight ” is one of those frequently asked questions South Beach Diet expert Stephanie Johnson says deserves special attention, because there’s no simple answer. Moving past a weight loss plateau usually requires a combination of efforts. However, Johnson says dieters should take comfort in the fact that plateaus are very common—especially when nearing your goal weight. And, it is possible to get past them.

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Here’s what Stephanie recommends when you’re left wondering “why am I not losing weight?”:


why am I not losing weight

Can you lose weight on the South Beach Diet without exercising? Yes. Reducing the amount of carbs in your diet (and eliminating refined carbs altogether) forces your body to burn fat, not carbohydrates, as fuel. And, because you burn calories when you sleep, drive to work, grocery shop and more, you’ll burn fat doing everyday things. However, exercise accelerates weight loss. “If you’re not exercising, start,” Johnson says. Try walking, biking or climbing several flights of stairs a few times each day. “If you’re already exercising, increase the duration and/or intensity,” she says. An exercise class, exercise app or timer, or personal trainer can help immensely.

Up the Protein

why am I not losing weight

“Choosing higher-protein Proteins may also help,” Johnson says. “On the South Beach Diet, Protein servings can range from seven to 17 grams so the majority of add-ins should be at or above 17 grams to help get past a plateau.” So what kinds of foods have more than 17 grams of protein? Beef, chicken, pork and seafood. A three-ounce chicken breast contains 26 grams; a three-ounce salmon filet contains 21 grams; a three-ounce serving of beef has 22 grams; and a three-ounce portion of pork tenderloin has 22 grams of protein. Eggs and deli meats aren’t as high.

Step Away from the Scale

why am I not losing weight

According to Harvard Health, even with consistent dietary intake and physical activity, weight fluctuates day-to-day due to changes in the weight of bone, fluid, muscle and fat. When you’re dieting and exercising regularly, these factors are changing all the time. Scales (even smart scales) can’t calculate all of these changes with 100% effectiveness, so Johnson suggests dieters do weekly weigh-ins. “And, take your measurements weekly since you may be losing inches even if the scale says you’re not losing any weight,” she says. To measure your waist, use a tape measure around your midsection being sure to cover the belly button. For measuring the hips, position the tape measure around your buttocks at the largest spot.

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Keep Food Journaling

a woman happily writing down her low-carb meal plan in a notebook

Still wondering ” why am I not losing weight ?”. This one is easy to forget, isn’t it? Once you get the hang of South Beach Diet (and that doesn’t take long), it’s easy to feel confident when making food choices and selecting portions. You think…I eat this every day, I know what three ounces looks like. But…we’re busy. And our brains have A LOT to process and remember.

By consistently recording what you eat in a food journal, you can double your chances at weight loss success, according to a 2008 study, published in Science Daily Journal. Just the process of reflecting on what you eat—whether you write on paper or type it in your phone notes—seems to promote self-awareness and success.

Be Realistic

why am I not losing weight

“Everyone’s body has natural set point,” Johnson says. “When you go below that point, both appetite and metabolism adjust to try to return to your set point.” Metabolism slows. The body tries to conserve energy thinking it’s in starvation mode. And, every calorie you consume will try to be used more effectively. “I try to encourage members to set realistic weight loss goals based on their age, height and weight,” Johnson says. If you are too ambitious with your goal, no healthy amount of diet or exercise can adjust your body composition. But for every day you eat nutritious foods and exercise, you’re managing your diabetes. You’re lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease. You’re reversing cognitive decline and improving mood. You’re extending your life. Those are big achievements. “Focus on the positive,” Johnson says.