Why You’re Exercising but Not Losing Weight

Do you exercise often and still feel like you’re not losing weight? Weight loss results from more than simply exercising, as it requires a combination of physical activity and a healthy diet. Here are some common reasons you may be exercising but not losing weight:



5 Reasons Why You Are Exercising and Not Losing Weight 


    1. You are overestimating how many calories you burn while exercising

Many individuals overestimate the calories they burn while exercising, with many fitness watches and apps contributing to this phenomenon.  As a result, if you track what you eat and burn through exercise, this overestimation is likely problematic for your weight loss goals. An important factor in weight loss is consuming fewer calories than you burn, so if you take in more calories than you are burning, it will prevent weight loss.


    1. You reward yourself with food after a workout 

Do you find yourself using food as a reward for completing a tough workout? While this is fine to do on occasion after a big event, such as a marathon or milestone race, if it becomes a habit it can lead to overconsumption of unhealthy or highly caloric foods in large portions. Rather than react to your impulsive desire to treat yourself with food, take a moment to respond to your emotions and think carefully through your decisions. In the moment, you may want to eat an entire pint of ice cream, but how will you feel about this decision later?

We recommend treating yourself with alternative rewards that do not involve food, such as a relaxing bath or watching your favorite movie.


    1. You’re not consuming nutritious foods 

If your goal in working out is to lose weight, you may be neglecting what you are fueling your body with since you are hyper-focused on burning off calories.  Aim to consume mostly whole foods with minimal ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean protein sources, nuts, seeds, and minimally processed whole grains. It is important to prioritize the quality of foods you consume, so your meals and snacks leave you feeling satisfied. Stick to the basics and focus on filling 50% of your plate with fruits and vegetables, 25% with protein, and 25% with fats. Focus on building balanced plates full of minimally processed foods from each food group for sustainable results.


    1. You are cutting out carbohydrates 

Low-carbohydrate diets have become an increasingly popular way to lose weight. By eliminating an entire macronutrient from your diet, you cut out your body’s main source of energy, leaving you feeling deprived and ultimately, leading to binging. It is vital to eat a balanced diet including foods from each food group. We recommend prioritizing complex carbohydrates, such as beans, brown rice, quinoa, oats, sweet potatoes, and whole grain bread instead of simple carbohydrates such as white bread, pastries, or processed foods. When selecting carbohydrates, choose whole foods rich in fiber. Fiber contains few calories and adds bulk to food, which contributes to fullness and aids in digestion.  Good sources of fiber include whole grains, legumes, and beans.


    1. You’re only doing cardio

Many believe doing cardio 5-6 days a week is the only way to lose weight. However, only exercising with cardiovascular activities may explain why you are not losing weight. Oftentimes, individuals who engage in only cardiovascular exercises overestimate calories, experience greater levels of hunger, and reward themselves more after going to the gym. Strength training increases the amount of lean muscle in the body, which speeds up your metabolism and increases the number of calories you burn at rest.  Incorporating strength training into your exercise with cardio may be the missing piece to achieving your weight loss goals.