10 reasons you’re not losing weight (even after cutting carbs)

Losing weight is a slow and frustrating process at times. In the beginning the weight seems to melt off but after a while, weight loss seems to slow down or cease completely – this is called a plateau.

There are many reasons why you might be facing a plateau in your weight loss. Below we discuss the top ten reasons why you aren’t losing weight – and what you can do to get the scale moving again!

10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

1. You’re eating too many fruits

Sweet berries and other fruits make for a great snack and help to curb sugar cravings.

Though many fruits are incredibly beneficial in terms of supplying vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they also contain a lot of fructose which can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels.

When you are looking to break through a weight loss plateau, make sure to check your fruit intake and reduce it if it’s excessive.

2. You aren’t eating real food

Many people mistake processed granola bars and protein bars as a healthy alternative to real food.

Though these foods may be beneficial in certain cases, they should not be relied upon and should instead be a part of a well-rounded and balanced diet.

Instead of turning to processed foods, whether they be snacks or meal replacements, look first to real, wholesome foods.

3. You are too stressed

Weight loss is about more than just the perfect diet or consistent exercise regimen. Stress also plays a big part in weight loss, or rather the lack thereof.

When you are stressed, the body is in a constant imbalance – it doesn’t know how to respond and stress hormones like cortisol are elevated.

Elevated levels of cortisol can lead to cravings and even false hunger, which are both counterproductive to weight loss. Cut back on stress by trying meditation techniques or deep breathing exercises.

4. You’re not sleeping enough

Similar to stress, the body does not function properly when it is lacking proper rest.

Sleep is the time in which the body repairs itself, which is why an efficient amount of sleep each night is needed for the body to function optimally.

A lack of sleep not only leads to cravings and false hunger but it also makes us feel less motivated to cook a healthy meal or exercise.

Simple tips to improve your sleep:

  • Avoid caffeine after 2 p.m.
  • Avoid alcohol before bed
  • Do something relaxing before bed, such as read a book or take a bath
  • Try to go to bed at the same time each night

5. You’re eating too many nuts

Nuts offer healthy fatty acids that are essential as well as beneficial to the body. Though nuts are rich in healthy fats they are also very caloric and easy to overeat, which can lead to unwanted extra calories each day.

When enjoying nuts and nut butters make sure you are only eating a portion size and try not to overuse them for snacks and such. Opt instead for another healthy snack choice that is lower in fat and calories.

6. You aren’t exercising enough (or at all!)

A healthy diet is an essential part to weight loss but if you have hit a plateau, it could be because of the time you are spending (or not spending!) in the gym.

All too often people rely on only cardio machines for their workouts, performing the same workout each and every time they go to the gym in hopes of improving their performance.

While this technique might work at first, the body eventually adapts to this effort and it no longer becomes an efficient way to burn calories.

Instead try incorporating interval training as well as strength training into your workout routine to build lean muscle and increase your overall calorie burn.

7. You’re eating too many artificial sweeteners

Despite artificial sweeteners having no calories, they do in fact cause adverse reactions to the body.

While this depends on the individual, studies have shown that consumption of artificial sweeteners can lead people to eat more calories overall as well as lead to weight gain in the long term.

If you have hit a plateau and find that you use artificial sweeteners frequently, this may be the cause.

8. You have too many “cheat meals”

For those who can control themselves, having a cheat meal or day every now and then isn’t a big deal. The issue is when these cheat meals become a daily thing, which can drastically set you back in your weight loss goals.

While we would never suggest for you to completely cut certain foods from your diet, if you have a tendency to overdo it on certain foods, it may be best to stay away from them until you have your cravings and responses to them under control.

9. You are eating too many calories

At the end of the day, weight loss is a result of burning off more calories than you are consuming. If you find that you have hit a weight loss plateau, it might be time to count your daily calorie intake to see where you are at.

Once you have a set number of calories that you have been eating consistently, try to cut that number down by 500 per day. Since 3,500 calories equate to one pound, ideally you should lose 1 pound per week by cutting 500 calories per day.

10. You have unrealistic expectations

Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. If you are expecting to lose 30 pounds in a month or drop 4 dress sizes in two weeks, you may need to recalculate your goals and expectations.

Instead of focusing on the bigger picture all the time, try to set small goals for yourself that you can reach quicker. Achieving these small goals will keep you motivated and on the right track!


Losing weight isn’t easy. If you are struggling in your weight loss journey and are stuck at a plateau, one of the above reasons could be why!

Rachel Skinner

Rachel Skinner has been a health and fitness writer since 2006. Rachel Skinner is a huge advocate of healthy living and when she's not writing for her health blog, you will probably find her at the gym!