Top 4 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

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Here are four simple but effective ways to lose weight. According to Jessica Bartfield, M.D., an internal medicine doctor who specializes in nutrition and weight management at Loyola University Health System’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, the top four reasons people do not lose weight are as follows:

  1. People underestimate the number of calories they eat every day.
  2. People overestimate their activity levels and the calories burned.
  3. People do not space their meals out properly throughout the day.
  4. People do not get enough sleep.

If you’re looking for the best way to lose weight, whether it’s the best way to lose weight naturally, the best way to lose weight after a baby, the best way to lose weight for men or women, or whatever your situation, if you apply these four basic rules, you’ll likely start losing weight and keep it off.

Keep Track of Your Calories

For most people the bottom line is they need to eat fewer calories than they burn to lose weight. Many times, however, most people do not realize how many calories they’re actually eating each day. There is a lot of research that supports the idea that people eat a lot more than they think they do, and those who keep a record of what they eat lose twice as much weight compared to those who don’t.

According to Linda Knittel in the Natural Health article “Write Yourself Thin,” writing down everything you eat each day “practically guarantees weight-loss success.” Dieters who track what they eat every day drop double the number of pounds compared to those who don’t document what they’re eating every day, says Knittel. Keeping track of your calories during the day will also help you stay mindful about what you’re eating.

Keep Track of the Calories You Burn

As long as you’re tracking your calories, it’s not too much harder to keep a record of the calories you burn during exercise. Doing this will also help motivate you to exercise longer. Most health experts suggest getting at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day.

Eat Small Meals Throughout the Day

Health experts say that eating several small meals throughout the day rather than three large meals will help keep your blood levels more stable and help prevent you from binge eating. You’ll also prevent your metabolism from slowing down. Bartfield suggests eating breakfast within one hour of waking up and not going longer than five hours between meals.

Get Enough Sleep

It’s important to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Many studies have shown that getting fewer than six hours of sleep each night leads to an increased appetite because of the increase in the hormone ghrelin. An increase in ghrelin levels increases the desire to eat more foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. Not getting enough sleep also raises cortisol levels, which leads to weight gain.

Anyone who wants to lose weight should always talk with his or her doctor.


Knittel, Linda. “Write Yourself Thin.” Natural Health. May/June 2003, Vol. 33 Issue 4, p72.

“Top Four Reasons Why Many Dieters Fail to Lose Weight.” News Medical. February 15, 2012.

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