You've started a new diet and exercise program, determined to shed those extra pounds. But weeks pass by, and your weight is still the same. Sounds frustrating, right? Well, here are seven reasons why your scale isn't moving, and what to do about it:

1. You're not getting enough sleep

1. You're not getting enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is super important for weight loss, and lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain. Why? Because losing sleep makes you feel hungrier. It also affects the secretion of cortisol, which regulates appetite. When you're tired, you probably don't feel like making healthier choices and exercising.

The solution is to try to get 8-to-9 hours of sleep each night. You'll notice you feel healthier and happier.

2. You're super stressed out

2. You're super stressed out

Being stressed out can contribute to weight gain. Stress increases cortisol levels in the body, increasing your appetite and causing your body to store more fat. Stress also makes you crave food that's high in sugar and fat.

Deal with stress better by trying out deep breathing exercises, meditating, and working out on a regular basis.

3. You're eating too many calories

3. You're eating too many calories

One of the most critical factors in trying to lose weight is ensuring you're expending more calories than you're consuming. If you're eating too many calories unknowingly, you won't lose weight. It's easy to underestimate how many calories you're eating, especially if you're not keeping track of them.

Start tracking your calories by using an app like MyFitnessPal, and analyze your diet. This will help you to lose unwanted weight.

4. You don't exercise enough

4. You don't exercise enough

While dieting is 80% of losing weight, the other 20% is exercise. It's an efficient way to burn calories and build more muscle, helping to create a calorie deficit. For weight loss, you should exercise between 60 and 90 minutes a day.

In addition to exercising every day, you should try to be as active as possible. This means walking whenever possible.

5. You overindulge on weekends

5. You overindulge on weekends

It's okay to have a treat here and there, but overdoing it on the weekends could be hindering your weight loss efforts. Remember that, to lose one pound of fat per week, you need to reduce your current calories by 500 per day.

Make sure to plan your indulgences so that they don't affect your weight loss goals. This means if you want to eat a piece of pizza, you could maybe plan that for a day you're also hiking.

6. You're not giving yourself enough time

6. You're not giving yourself enough time

Just because the scale isn't moving quite yet, doesn't mean that you're not making progress toward your goals. Instead, see if you've lost inches, your clothes fit better, and parts of your body are starting to slim down. It can take three or more months to see significant changes.

If you're still experiencing issues getting the results you want, you should look into hiring a personal trainer.

7. You've plateaued

7. You've plateaued

Everyone reaches a weight loss plateau. This is because, as your body adapts, it becomes more efficient at burning calories. Reasons why you might plateau include doing the same workouts, not eating enough calories, and overexercising.

To help break a plateau, you can try different workouts, begin strength training, and try interval training.

Step it up a notch

Although it's frustrating when the scale doesn't budge, it might be an easier fix than you think. To get back on track with your weight loss goals, try getting more sleep, tracking what you eat, and switching up your workout routines. It might take some dedication and perseverance, but before you know it, you'll notice the scale going down.

References
  1. "10 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight," Verywellfit, June 11, 2018.
  2. "The Last 10 -- and How to Lose It," GQ, December 20, 2010.
  3. "Why the Scale Won't Go Down," Ideal Shape, n.d.

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