11 Reasons You Just Can’t Lose Weight, No Matter What You Try

by | Feb 27, 2023 | Weight Loss

So you’re eating well and working out but that number on the scale still won’t budge. If you can’t lose weight, know this: a caloric deficit is the only way the number on the scale can drop. But sneaky lifestyle habits could be what’s getting between yourself and creating fewer calories in than calories out. We’ve rounded up a few of the ways you could be sabotaging your weight loss without knowing it.

1. You eat with your hands

A new study suggests that people who use tongs to serve themselves food actually eat about 30 per cent less of it. Even if you’re eating with cutlery, you may be eating too quickly for your body to slowly register satiety. Try eating with chopsticks – experts say it slows down your eating, allowing you to register fullness faster – before you wolf down all those noodles.

2. You’re drinking too much

Most people overlook liquid kilojoules entirely, says Felicia Stoler, registered dietician and author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes. So don’t expect to notice when a seemingly single-sized juice can or bottle actually contains two or three servings – and two to three times more kilojoules. Your best bet: Replace juice with water, and eat your kilojoules instead of drinking them, she says.

3. You eat fruity yoghurt

Most fruit-flavoured yoghurts – and plenty of other healthy-sounding foods – are sweetened with fructose. But unlike other sweeteners, this one doesn’t tell your brain you’re full, according to a new study. The result: You end up eating way more kilojoules than your body actually needs.

4. You hit up happy hour – A LOT

People don’t realise just how many kilojoules they drink, says Stoler. What’s more, the alcohol in your cocktail can reduce your inhibitions, so you hit the happy hour menu (hello, nachos!) even harder. To imbibe without overdoing it, switch to water after drinking one or two of them.

5. You’re overdoing it at breakfast

While the standard serving size for cereal is about two-thirds of a cup, breakfast bowls can hold much, much more. So when you fill yours to the brim with cereal and top it off with milk, you could be eating twice as many kilojoules as you think – or more, leading you to think you’re being conscious even though you feel you can’t lose weight.

6. You treat yourself a little TOO often

When you indulge in sweet or fatty foods like ice cream regularly, you end up craving larger portions to feel satisfied, says Stoler. Need a sweet treat every day? A new study published in the journal Food Quality and Preference found that a few bites really will satisfy you just as much as a larger serving.

7. You’re guzzling fizzy drinks

Drinking kilojoule-free sweeteners is like dumping water in your gas tank instead of petrol, says Stoler. (For non-mechanics: It fills you up, but doesn’t keep your motor running.) When hunger strikes, drink water instead, and fill up on wholesome foods to drive off hunger pangs later.

8. You’re depriving yourself

Often when we think we can’t lose weight, we tend to cut out whole food groups (like carbs or fat, for instance). When you do that, you set yourself up to binge eat them the next time you let yourself splurge. So instead of crossing them off your grocery list, entirely, learn how to manage your cravings.

9. You order the “regular” size

Think you’re in the clear because you downsized your large order of chips? Turns out, people actually consume more kilojoules when they order regular-sized menu items than when they order portions advertised as “double-sized”, according to a new study.

10. You’re staying up too late

People who hit the sack on the late side tend to eat more high-fat and high-kilojoule foods than those who tuck in earlier, according to a recent study. No wonder they also gain more weight.

11. You think working out gives you a “pass”

Exercising can make you want to eat more – but that doesn’t mean you should, says Stoler. And it doesn’t help that most people grossly overestimate the number of kilojoules they torch at the gym. The good news: picking up the pace might actually decrease food cravings, according to a new study.

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