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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow Why Can’t I Lose Weight No Matter What I Do? How to Shift Stubborn Fat

Why Can’t I Lose Weight No Matter What I Do? How to Shift Stubborn Fat

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 31, 2023
6 min read 2240 Views 0 Comments
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There are so many reasons why you might not be losing weight. So, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

why cant i lose weight no matter what i do

There’s nothing more frustrating than putting all your energy into something and getting nothing back. 

Many people have trouble losing weight, despite changing eating habits, counting calories, and hitting the gym. 

It’s a lot to take on when you switch up your lifestyle in a bid to lose extra weight. If the scale isn’t moving, it’s time to examine your efforts to determine what might be halting your weight loss efforts. 

The good news is there is always a way to change things. Here, we discuss the top reasons you may be struggling to lose weight and our tips to resolve the problem.

Why I’m Struggling to Lose Weight? 3 Reasons Behind It

If you’ve hit a plateau on your weight loss journey, you’re not alone! There are so many variables that impact weight loss. What works for a friend may not work for you, and that’s perfectly normal. 

From sleeping patterns to lack of exercise, there are a lot of factors to assess. In some cases, it can be something internal affecting your weight loss capacity that may require intervention from a medical professional.

Before giving up, consider the following obstacles that are notorious for weight loss resistance.  

#1 Health conditions

Some medical conditions or medications can promote weight gain or make weight loss incredibly difficult. 

Common health conditions include:


Hypothyroidism is the medical term for an underactive thyroid gland that doesn’t produce enough hormones. While weight loss is possible with this condition, it can make it more difficult to lose extra pounds as it slows down your metabolism. It may also cause you to gain weight with increased fat storage.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome affects the way that the ovaries work. The hormonal disorder can cause irregular periods, fertility problems, and unintentional weight gain due to hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance.

Sleep apnea

This condition causes the airways to relax and narrow while you sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep due to sleep apnea, it can affect your potential to lose weight. Poor sleep creates a hormonal imbalance that makes weight loss especially difficult. 


You might not know it, but too much stress can hinder weight loss efforts. Chronic stress is damaging to your physical and mental health. While some may experience rapid weight loss, others may gain weight and struggle to shift it due to elevated cortisol levels.

#2 Age

It’s possible to lose weight at any age, but it can become more complicated as you get older due to physiological changes. 

As you age, you begin to lose muscle mass. As muscle torches more calories than fat, a decline can make burning the calories you consume more difficult. You can end up with a slower metabolism that slows down your ability to burn calories. 

#3 Wrong diet

Finding the best diet to lose weight is part of the struggle. Yo-yo dieting is tempting as it promises quick results, but regular weight cycling can increase your body weight and make it much harder to lose weight than those following a consistent, healthy diet. We would recommend trying the ketogenic diet, to start going.

Why Can’t I Lose Weight No Matter What I Do?

To start making progress, try these 5 tips:

#1 Develop a healthy relationship with food

A diet should be positive. It should make you feel good, energized, and ready to take on the day. 

The best success from a weight loss program comes when you develop a healthy relationship with food. When you realize healthy food will serve you well, you can start focusing on nutrient-rich, whole foods that have a purpose, rather than binge eating junk food, fried foods, and processed foods.

You can eat healthy by eating protein, green vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats

#2 Talk with your doctor

There are always potential risks associated with weight loss programs. We always recommend that you consult your doctor before trying a new diet.

If it’s been a while and you do not see results, a doctor can help determine what might be wrong. They can also check for any underlying medical conditions.

#3 Try intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting can be a game-changer for some people. It focuses on a schedule that cycles between eating and fasting windows. 

When done correctly, it can help you consume fewer calories, burn more fat, and boost your metabolism.

It can be pretty hard-hitting at first, as you transition to long hours without food. However, there are various intermittent fasting plans you can experiment with to find the one that matches your lifestyle.

#4 Exercising helps

Even when you’ve perfected your diet, if you’re not getting enough physical activity, you’re going to struggle with fat loss. 

The science behind losing weight is to burn more calories than calories consumed. This is what we call a calorie deficit. So, if you’re not using up enough energy, you’re not going to see changes.  

You can increase your physical activity in multiple ways. If you’re not ready for gym training, try adding a 2-mile walk to your daily routine. If you’re committed to losing weight, get moving!

#5 Motivate yourself

Unsuccessful weight loss efforts can leave you feeling deflated, but the worst thing to do is give up.

Stay focused and make every effort to keep your motivation high. Whether you skipped dessert or took an extra-long walk yesterday, praise yourself for your efforts. 

When you’re motivated mentally, you can start forming lifelong habits that promote a healthier lifestyle.

Diets Don’t Work? Then Avoid These 5 Products

The sooner you realize that certain foods are off-limits to stay healthy and battle body fat, the better! Stop eating these 5 dietary products that won’t help you lose fat. They may even cause weight gain.

#1 Sugary drinks

These ultra-processed drinks are calorie-dense, packed with sugar, and closely linked to weight gain, obesity, and heart disease. They have no nutritional value and cause spikes in blood sugar, making you feel hungry sooner.

Once you kick your sugar habit, you might notice a difference in your waistline.

#2 Highly processed foods

Processed foods have no place in your diet if you plan on eating healthy. 

Processed foods tend to contain high levels of sugar, salt, and fat, as well as artificial sweeteners. They’re virtually stripped of all nutrition.

You can wind up eating too many calories without feeling satiated. 

#3 Starchy vegetables

While vegetables are your friend, starchy vegetables are high in carbohydrates, preventing you from reaching your goal weight. 

They mainly include root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, turnips, arrowroot, beets, and carrots

Low-carb diets are associated with faster weight loss, so try eating non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower. 

#4 Sweets

Sweets, like sodas, contain many calories and sugars and offer very little nutritional value. 

Too much sugar can prevent appetite control, affect your blood sugar, and reduce your “good” gut bacteria.

#5 Alcohol

Cutting out or reducing your alcohol consumption is an excellent way to reduce your calorie intake and lose that fat. 

People don’t always realize that alcoholic beverages are excessively high in calories. Regularly drinking alcohol can have a visible effect on your weight. 

A Word From Our RD

It’s an incredibly exasperating situation when you can’t lose weight no matter what you do. Try not to stress yourself, as this can contribute to weight loss resistance.

Focus your time and efforts on eating healthy foods that fill you up and give you energy without adhering to strict portion control. Limit processed foods, sleep well, move your body as much as possible, and be patient with yourself.

These are scientifically proven ways to break down fat, sustain weight loss, and mitigate the chances of regaining weight.

If the number on the scale still isn’t moving after a few weeks, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your doctor to go over your lifestyle changes to identify any potential problems.

Your doctor can also check your overall health for signs of underlying health conditions that may be interfering with your journey.


“Why can’t I lose weight no matter what I do?” you might ask yourself. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

There are several tricks to overcoming your weight loss battle. Try out our recommendations, and seek professional advice from your doctor.   

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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