Nutrition Articles

3 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight

Why Weight Loss is Harder for Some People than for Others

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By Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert         
Page 1 of 4
You've been sticking faithfully to your calorie range and exercise plans for awhile now, but you're not seeing the results you want on your scale. Meanwhile, your weight -loss buddy is happily watching the pounds melt away week after week. Not fair!

Or maybe you're losing weight but not from the areas where you really want to shed some fat. (Skinny feet are nice, but not so much when your muffin top is still as big as ever.) And then you have that other friend who can eat anything and everything without gaining a pound, while just watching him or her eat seems to make you gain weight.

What's going on here? Why don't your efforts seem to be paying off while weight loss seems so easy for other people? Is there anything you can do to get better results?

Sometimes there is a simple, general reason why one person loses weight faster than another. For example, men tend to lose weight more quickly than women, mainly because most men naturally have more lean muscle mass (thanks to their higher testosterone levels), and more muscle translates into a faster metabolism. Men and women also tend to store excess weight in different places—men in the abdominal area ("apple" body type), which is usually easier to lose; women in the hips and thighs ("pear" body type), which is usually harder to take off.

People who have more weight to lose may also drop the pounds more quickly in the beginning of a weight-loss program. This is because the more you weigh, the more calories you burn during any given activity. (Walking with an extra 50 pounds on your frame is harder than walking with 20 extra pounds of weight.) A person who weighs more can also cut more calories from his or her diet without jeopardizing the body's ability to function efficiently. If you weigh 300 pounds, you may need 3,500 calories per day or more to maintain that weight; cutting 1,000 calories from your diet (down to 2,500/day) will let you safely lose 2 pounds per week. But if you weigh 150 pounds, you may only need 1,800 calories to maintain your weight, and if you try to cut the 1,000 calories from your diet (down to 800/day), your body won't have enough fuel and your metabolism will slow down drastically, making fat loss harder, not easier. Therefore a person with less weight to lose needs to aim for a smaller calorie deficit, which will translate to a slower rate of weight loss.
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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

Member Comments

  • Yeah, it is not fair. You watch what you eat and spend time on workout and still do not lose weight like you have expected and yet your friend that eat everything that comes her way has an amazing lean body. I agree with the part that states that it easier for a man to lose weight more than a woman. I believe it is true and it is like that because of the female hormones. I came to know about this in the first weight loss guide that I have ever known that does not depend on diet for weight loss because reveals that it is not food or exercise that determines our staying slim, but our hormones-the estrogen, insulin, cortisol and thyroid. You can check it our here... https://www.myfit
    nesstipster.c
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    -will-it-work-for-me/ - 4/29/2016 10:41:21 PM
  • Hi, so I have been struggling with my weight throughout my life since grade school, I was always the tallest in my class and the heaviest, I never knew what was wrong with me, including my father was morbidly obese from excessive drinking of liquors,...I never gained an extreme amount of weight until I was separated from my first husband...then I hit rock bottom from not having a place to live to being incarcerated from anger problems, Last but not least I was put in a mental hospital for a couple of weeks and when I got there they ran a whole bunch of test's on me, then they weighed me, I had not weighed myself for some time, I didnt think much of it, but then I got on the scale and it said 350 pound's, I was only 24 at the time at 5'9...that doesn't seem right, so something in my mind had clicked,...I kept eating the hospital food even though it wasn't good for me, but by the time i got home I realized that all this bad association had to do with my eating habit's, I had no idea what the eating right for your blood type was until my weight stopped going down, because I had started the atkins diet after I had gotten out of the mental hospice, and decided i needed to lose weight fast, and had seen results from a friend who had lost a large amount of weight on the atkins diet, so I dropped 100pound's within half a year,...then I went back to my bad habit's eating grains, bread, fried everything, not know my blood type was against all these factors...so that's my story, I just recently lost 28 pounds this month, I'm down to around 200 pound's following my blood type o+ diet, try it, it really does work. - 2/1/2016 3:32:55 PM
  • LIZAF16
    @JMELE8
    Lol, you made my day with that time zone thing :) This verified forskolin you have mentioned really helped me. i lost like 35 pounds in three month and 100000 pounds to go, lol.
    Speaking about garcinia, donít even spend your money on that. I tried it 2 years go with literally 0 results.
    - 12/1/2015 9:03:29 PM
  • JMELE8
    I've been size 10 all my life without even trying a lot. Recently I hit my 40th birthday. And now i can see that iím starting to gain weight. Soon i will need my personal time zone. My metabolism is getting slower i guess. i hate working out so decided to give weight loss supplements a shot. But there are so manyÖ. My friend which is a dietitian said that verifiedforskolin
    .com is the best since it's verified by a lot of studies. Maybe somebody tried it? Or should i try garcinia?
    - 12/1/2015 8:52:11 PM
  • Reason #4) You have a pre-existing health condition which causes weight gain.

    Reason #5) Your doctor has you on a prescription which also causes weight gain. - 11/25/2015 6:36:03 AM
  • SPUNOUTMOM
    This article has been very helpful. I have PCOS & hypothyroidism. Which would explain why I can't get my weight down as quickly as I like. - 9/23/2015 9:42:22 AM
  • I agree with some of this article. I don't agree with eating the amount of calories that they say you need. I started out at 350 lb. , over a few months my calories were lowered to 1000 a day. I lost weight. I was under doctors supervision. Whenever I raised my calorie count I gained or stayed the same. I also had to workout a lot.
    I truly believe most people eat too much, they need to lower their calorie count and they will lose. Plus exercise.
    Even now to maintain my weight loss I stay at 1200 a day. Once in a while I go over but not often. And found I have to exercise. If I let up on the cardio, I gain whether I ate more or not.
    It's not easy staying in shape, but better than where I used to be. - 9/9/2015 5:17:05 PM
  • I agree with some of this article. I don't agree with eating the amount of calories that they say you need. I started out at 350 lb. , over a few months my calories were lowered to 1000 a day. I lost weight. I was under doctors supervision. Whenever I raised my calorie count I gained or stayed the same. I also had to workout a lot.
    I truly believe most people eat too much, they need to lower their calorie count and they will lose. Plus exercise.
    Even now to maintain my weight loss I stay at 1200 a day. Once in a while I go over but not often. And found I have to exercise. If I let up on the cardio, I gain whether I ate more or not.
    It's not easy staying in shape, but better than where I used to be. - 9/9/2015 5:17:05 PM
  • STSO888
    Great article and to know that you started at 50 is very inspirational to me! Congratulations on your weight loss. It gives me hope that I can do it to at 51! - 8/19/2015 12:44:31 PM
  • NANCYHAL
    This article was very helpful to intellectually understand the lack of success I am having; but it sure doesn't make it any less frustrating to know that age,medicine, and metabolism are fighting me every step of the way. I think changing my mindset to returning to a healthy daily diet needs to be my goal and hope, with time, weight loss will follow. - 7/28/2015 5:36:45 PM
  • MAMAKITTEH1
    Thanks so much for the great blog. I find so much interesting and helpful info here. I just wanted to mention again that hormones are definitely a huge factor in losing weight. Metabolism slows as we age and women are already at a disadvantage because their bodies are naturally hardwired to process hormones that control weight differently than men. It's not an even playing field, unfortunately. You can't change Mother Nature but it's manageable. There's an amazing women's weight loss program called The Venus Factor that's filled with tons of valuable info and advice on female metabolism and the effects of hormones on weight. It's definitely worth a look for any woman who's struggled with their weight and is looking for a real solution that works! I highly recommend checking it out. You can see the page here:
    http://www.gett
    inghealthywit
    hmary.com/Ven
    usFactor
    Or get more info here:
    https://www.you
    tube.com/watc
    h?v=bgmykC3yrkI - 7/2/2015 1:39:07 PM
  • LEXITV
    Thank you so much for the useful information! Each time I read a blog like this I already feel healthier! For those of you who are interested in beating the scale and really targeting weight loss please read below!
    I am casting for a new TV show with a nutritionist, looking for people who are trying really hard to eat well and maintain a healthy diet, but are having trouble losing weight or seeing dramatic changes on the scale. If you have friends and/or family members that might be interested in learning more about the casting, please email me at untitlednutrition
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    rtainment.net
    - 6/11/2015 10:25:28 AM
  • ATTANT
    This is amazing, but I really wish they went into more detail on what she did for her exercise. Dieting is very important, but to really be healthy you need to find that good balance between the two.

    This reminds me a lot of the diet I've been using and the same process of making slow changes instead of dramatic over night changes. You can find a thorough review of the diet that I used here http://wp.me/p5NI
    sT-k

    Weight loss isn't an over night thing, it's a lifestyle change that takes time, but is well worth it! I lost over 40 pounds doing this and both me and my husband love the new me! - 3/5/2015 6:26:26 AM
  • Another reason could be quite simply that you don't *need* to lose any more weight. If you have to struggle to lose that last 5 pounds just to reach a magical number on the scale, how easy will it be to maintain it? Our bodies know where they need to be. - 2/11/2015 4:04:27 PM
  • This article REALLY finally made certain aspects of weight loss make sense to me. I had noticed that with some people I work with that are attempting to lose weight and are quite heavy that they were able to lose a lot of weight in quite a short period of time while I struggle to get the scale to move even a pound. - 1/3/2015 2:55:55 AM

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