Seven Weight Loss Road Blocks

“I’ve tried EVERYTHING, and I still can’t seem to lose any weight!” 

My exasperated client was sitting in my office, on the verge of tears. We’d been working together once per week for about a month, and she was very frustrated. She’d been struggling with her weight for a few years and just felt like giving up.

She felt like something was “wrong with her.” 

Trust me, I get it. Weight loss plateaus are about as frustrating as being stuck in rush hour traffic.

With a screaming child in the backseat. And you REALLY have to pee.

Yeah, they’re no fun at all…

As it turns out, there was nothing wrong with my client. We just needed to make a few small “tweaks” to get her off the weight loss plateau superhighway and back into the fast lane. 
In my experience, there are seven common reasons why people don’t lose weight (and when I say “lose weight” I mean at a reasonable rate of 1-2 pounds per week). I am sharing those with you today. 
*Now, before I go on, a bit of a “disclaimer”: sometimes when weight loss stalls there is an underlying medical issue, so it never hurts to consult with a medical professional. I am not a medical professional, and I’ll be speaking today about otherwise healthy individuals*
Drumroll please…..

1). You’re not tracking your food intake

This change alone can make a tremendous impact on your results!

Calories are sneaky little things folks, and unless you’re keeping a food journal, it’s very easy to forget about the handful of M&Ms you snatched off your co- workers’ desk or those chicken nuggets your kids didn’t finish (and how many calories are in a frozen margarita anyway?)

I know, everybody hates the dreaded “J” word, but honestly, how in the heck are you supposed to ensure you’re eating the right amount for fat loss unless you’re tracking what you put in your mouth? And these days, it’s easier than ever. A free tool like My Fitness Pal allows you to track your daily intake. Paying attention throughout the day will allow you to adjust as the day goes on. Give it a shot for a week and see what happens!

2). You’re overestimating your activity level 

I hear from my clients all the time “ Oh, I am so busy all day! I’m always up running around, chasing my kids, walking between offices, etc.”

Unfortunately, most of us are a lot more sedentary during the day than we think. Wear a pedometer for a week or invest in a FitBit (I love mine!). You may be very surprised how difficult it really is to get the recommended 10,000 steps per day.

Similarly, if you’ve been exercising for any extended period of time, chances are it’s become a little easier than when you started. In order to continue to see results, you need to continually challenge yourself. Time to ramp up the intensity so that it feels like you’re really working again!


3). You’re not eating enough 

Yes, I know that sounds a little weird at first, but it happens more often that you may think.

Frequently clients cut calories too drastically when they decide enough is enough and it’s time to lose some weight. “I’ve had it!,” they exclaim, then proceed to attempt to exist on a flew sticks of celery and a hard boiled egg (ok, maybe it’s not that extreme, but I’ve seen some wacky stuff, folks!). And then they get light headed halfway through their workout because they’re running on fumes. Drastic measures do not lead to long term weight loss.

Start with a 20% reduction in overall calories, be consistent, then go from there. Small changes add up! 

4). You’re not being consistent

Yes, what you eat on Friday night through Sunday night can erase all of your diligence during the week. Your body counts weekend calories the same way it counts calories during the week!

Aim for a more balanced approach. If you feel the urge to binge on the weekends and go all out at happy hour, dinners out, concerts, barbecues, etc. chances are you’re being a bit too strict during the week. It may be better to build in a few small treats during the week ( that still fit within your daily allotted calories).

I know you’re busy, I know it’s summer and your social calendar is full. But keep this in mind: there will always be a reason to “cheat” on your diet. It’s up to you to decide when you will treat yourself, and when you will stick to your plan. If you have multiple events during the weekends, choose one opportunity to eat off plan, then stay on plan the rest of the time. Your results will improve.

5). You’re not eating enough protein 

Have you ever noticed that if you just eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast you’re hungry 20 minutes later, but if you eat an omelette your pretty full for a few hours? This is not your imagination.

Protein has many benefits, among them energy, muscle and cellular repair, and countless others, including this very crucial thing: it helps keep you full. Protein digests at a slower rate than carbohydrates. If you feel fuller, you may eat fewer calories throughout the day by default.

Protein should constitute anywhere from 15%-40% of your total daily calories. In my experience, most clients begin at or below the 15% range and I have to work to get them up. Try to consume protein with every meal or snack and you may begin to see you weight loss kick in again.

6). You’re not getting enough sleep 

I am convinced that, along with water, sleep is the secret to the universe. The magic key. Without adequate sleep, for lack of a better word, your hormones are going to be, well, jacked. Your hormones that control hunger and satiety, leptin and grehlin, will be all messed up. Cortisol levels will be elevated, and guess what, you’ll crave sugar because your brain is just try to do it’s job and get you through the day! Sleep deprivation signals a stress event to your body, and no way will you lose weight as efficiently as you could. Be. Aim for 7-8 hours each night. Breathe. Relax. Meditate. Find your Zen place. This is the right environment for weight loss.

7). You haven’t given the program enough time. 

No, you will probably not see a drastic change after three days of changing your caloric intake. You won’t see results after one workout. In fact, it may take 4-6 weeks for you to see any significant change….at all. Why? The human body is really good at staying the same. It likes the status quo ( the technical term for this is homeostasis). And, our default state is not “fat burn,” it’s “let’s store fat in case there’s a famine and we need to outrun a saber tooth tiger.” Human evolution has not caught up to our current abundance. In our DNA, we’re still cavemen (and women). We need to gently coax the body to lose fat. We must convince it that there’s NOT a famine and it’s ok to let go of a little excess.

This can be a frustrating and painfully slow process. 

Many clients are 100% on track for about five days, then when nothing happens, they think “ Screw it! It’s not working, where’s the pie?” No, it IS working, you just haven’t seen the physical results of it. Yet. Stay the course. Be consistent. Rome wasn’t build in a day, and neither are fit bodies.

If you feel like you’ve hit a weight loss plateau as of late, spend a little time really, honestly examining your habits. Where can you improve? Try tracking your food intake for a week. Move a little more. Be mindful of the weekends. Get to bed an hour earlier. Give it some time. Chances are there’s nothing “wrong” with you, it’s just that a few subtle changes need to be made.

Ready to take your fitness to the next level? Get started with your free 7 Day Jump Start Plan

Ready to take your fitness to the next level? Get started with your free 7 Day Jump Start Plan



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