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Can't Lose Weight? The Secret Reasons Behind Why Some People Find It Harder Than Others.

Updated on February 25, 2013

The reason behind it might surprise you.

Weight loss is something that most people strive to attain probably on and off for years. In some cases maybe even most of their lives. We often hear about the frequent promises made for instant weight loss, all the lotions, potions, pills and seemingly endless products that are available on the market, all claiming quick, easy weight loss.

We also hear about numerous tips, tricks and techniques from people all the time who profess to know, the miracle of how you can lose ten pounds in a week or two stone in a month, unfortunately the majority of these allegations are empty, unrealistic and often even wildly exaggerated.

Yet we try them anyway, with all the best intentions and in the vain hope, that this time you may have found something, that might actually work.

However the sad truth is that although you stick to the diet rigidly, follow all the rules religiously, fully embrace the diet and follow it to the letter. Rather depressingly and inevitably it seems the second a morsel of food passes your lips, after the diet is over. Not only do you quickly gain the weight that took an eternity to lose, you also find yourself weighing more then you did before you started the diet in the first place, leaving you feeling that all your hard work and deprivation has gone to waste. It's all very depressing and frustrating.

If you can identify with this, you are in good company, it is not unusual and you are by no means alone in this experience with dieting. It is estimated that as many as 80% of people that diet regularly say this is true in their previous participation of diets and in their pursuit of weight loss.

You can lose weight.

Although there are a lot of unsubstantiated and unfounded dietary claims made, that's not to say that this is true in all cases.

Fortunately there are a lot of very good solutions to not only help you to lose weight but also to keep it off, for good. It's all about finding out what's right for you.

I have listed below a few of the more common reasons why people generally can't lose weight or find it difficult, and that might just be whats holding you back from discovering your ideal weight. You can acheive the body you want and be comfortable with the numbers on the scales.

Are you drinking enough water?

This is a very common inhibitor of weight loss, for a few reasons. One is that if you are dehydrated your body may trick you into thinking your hungry, so you eat. When in fact it's because your thirsty and needed a drink. If you feel hungry try drinking a glass of water first and wait to see if you still want to eat, you maybe surprised to find that most of the time you won't.

If you're dehydrated you will also feel tired and energy zapped. Again this will lead you wanting to reach for food, only this time you will crave something sweet, as your body will want for a quick energy fix, in the form of sugar.

Water also helps to expel toxins from your body and will improve the appearence of your skin.

So how much water should you drink? It's recommended that you drink, eight pint glasses or two litres a day.

Your bodies gone into starvation mode.

It's advised by the government and experts that for optimal weight loss, to eat little and often.

Most of us skip breakfast, which means we are running on empty right from the beginning of the day, this puts our bodies under added pressure and tricks your body into thinking it's in starvation mode.

When we leave lengthy amounts of time in between meals or snacks, are body thinks we are unable to obtain food, or it is in limited supply and prepares us for a famine. This means that it holds on to the fat reserves we have and slows our metabolism down. Making it increasingly difficult to lose weight later on.

Are you doing enough exercise?

It's an old cliche and something we hear a lot, but that's simply because it's so true.

Exercise is extremely beneficial in so many ways, not only is it good for the body, but also the mind and soul too. When participating in active pursuits, you're burning calories, toning muscle, increasing the production of happy hormones and gaining confidence. Leaving you looking and feeling great.

Twenty minuets a day is recommended in any form, weather it be walking your dog, cycling along the local bicycle route or taking up the latest celebrity fitness craze. What ever gets you moving and you enjoy.

Do you have food amnesia?

We live very busy lives, the consequences being that most of the time we don't know whether were coming or going. We are juggling more commitments and filling more roles then you can shake a stick at and on top of everything else you're on another diet. Trouble is your not entirely sure what time you're meeting is tomorrow, let alone remember what you have and haven't eaten all day.

The culmination of this means that you've either eaten very little and your bodies gone into starvation mode or you have eaten more then you think. A biscuit here, a piece of cake there, maybe a chocolate bar or two and then there was that double chocolate muffin you had with your coffee to go this morning, because you missed breakfast, again. All those calories soon add up.

You can help combat this by keeping a food diary and pre-packing your lunch. This way you are giving yourself more time to make informed decisions and noticing where all the extra calories are sneaking in from.

Are you overriding your bodies natural signals?

It takes up to twenty minutes before your brain registers that your stomach is full, if your eating fast or on the run, you may not notice that you've already eaten all you need. Your then expanding your stomach before your next meal or snack, which will mean it will than take more food to fill you up, the next time you eat.

By eating more slowly and conscientiously, you will be better aware of what your body is trying to tell you and you can then change your eating habits accordingly.

Food is meant to be enjoyed, if you can find time to eat as a pleasure and not just as a neccessity your body will thank you for it.

Do you have food ignorance?

When I started to take a closer look at my diet and exactly what I was eating on a daily basis. I was really shocked about some of the things I came to discover and that what you would assume is good for you, may well not be the case at all.

Products that are low in fat, are often high in sugar and similarly those low in sugar are often high in fat. Many products are packed with artificial colours, flavours and additives. Foods designed to aid weight loss are for the most part not so much healthier, just smaller and just because a product boasts that it is natural, does not technically make it so or at least not in the true sense of the word anyway. In short, it's always worth reading the label.

Fast food, take away meals and processed foods are also not the friend of a person trying to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle.

Are you getting enough sleep?

If you're bodies not resting and recuperating properly at night, you'll still be feeling drained and tired during the day, your then going to be filling up on snacks for energy to see you through the day. You will crave sugar for a quick fix and be less alert to noticing your bodies natural signs and increasing your chances of over riding them.

Eating late at night will also put added strain on the digestive system and will not allow you the time needed to burn off any access calories. Again it's about awareness and education, once you have mastered this you can acheive your weight goals with greater ease.

Is your diet varied enough?

The government advises that we eat at least five different fruit and vegetables a day. Most of us do not manage to reach this recomendation, are you one of them?

However did you know that drinking five glasses of orange juice a day is no more beneficial than drinking just the one? The emphasis is to keep the range of fruit and vegetables you eat varied, not to actually to eat as much as you can.

Try to include as many different coloured food as possible, as they all have different beneficial properties, including things like vitamins, minerals, iron and antioxidants.

Do you have an undiagnosed medical problem?

If after reading all the above suggestions, you still can't really figure out why you are struggling to lose weight, you may have an undiagnosed medical problem, like an under-active thyroid or depression, which maybe the cause. If you think this is the case, see your local GP and they will be able to assist you. The medical sector are implimenting many new ways to help people in the pursuit to shed some pounds and they will be more then happy to listen to your concerns and to try and assist you. The more we learn about the human body the more we discover about the way it functions, and what we can do to 'fix' it.

Are you restricting yourself too much?

When we hear the word diet, we associate it with deprivation and denial. We are told so often about all the things we can't have and very little about all the wonderful, foods we can have in abundance. Certain foods are branded as bad or sins and all the pleasure is taken out of food, therefore eating becomes yet another chore. This is detrimental in many ways, either temptation gets the better of us and we monumentally fall off the wagon, indulging in a long overdue binge.

We may also find that we don't end up eating enough and overriding our bodies signals by ignoring our hunger. This also tends to lead itself to resenting the diet, feeling it's really not worth it after all and subsequently quitting. If you feel like a cream bun or a portion of chips, then by all means treat yourself. It really won't hurt every now and again, as long as it's in moderation.

Are you being realistic?

Sustainable, long term weight loss takes time, there really is no two ways about it. The best and most successful dieters, are the one's that set realistic and achievable targets. Although 1 to 2 pounds a week does not sound like a lot, it will make a noticable differnce in the long run.

The healthiest way to lose weight is little and often, extreme weight loss that is acheived quickly is often followed by just an extreme and speedy weight gain. Don't think of it as a quick fix, view it as a long term lifestyle change.

What is your ultimate goal, are you expecting to much of yourself? By setting your goals to high you could be setting yourself up for failure, go easier on yourself and make the process of losing weight more obtainable.

Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to be happier and healthier, or is it because you think you should be supermodel skinny.

Everybody has a different body shape and sometimes the body you think you want is either extremely difficult to uphold or attain. Go easier on yourself and be realistic.

How many diets have you tried?

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    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for your comment Darren. :)

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for your comment Darren. :)

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      8 years ago from Minnesota

      Great hub and so full of great information. Yes, I am one of many who has been on every diet known to man. I did and do best with the Weight Watchers program because it's real. It teaches portion control along with exercise and drinking water etc...At one of my many times of losing weight, I became a life-time member because I lost 60 pounds. Thanks for all the great info here.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Some brilliant information here. I have grown up with Diets my entire life. My mother has been on some kind of diet or other for as long as i can remember and it is usually a different one every couple of weeks.

      There is nothing complicated about weight loss. Burn more calories than you put in and you will lose weight. Simple. But I do know from personal experience that most people want to believe in something and for it to work quick. I did an experiment to prove to myself and my mother that i could lose weight quicker than any diet she put me up against. Lost 12 and half pounds in 1 week.

      I have some pictures on my website....before and be fair most of the weight was around my thighs and bottom so I was pretty pleased with my results.

      Good nutrition and lifestyle is the best weight loss plan in the world and you can achieve the same as me if you take small steps.

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for your comment marieryan.

    • marieryan profile image

      Marie Ryan 

      8 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      I agree with your points, especially about 'starvation ' mode. I'm a real believer that the 'starvation' mode you mention is just soooo baaaad for you, as your body holds on to what it's got (the fat) even more, fearing it won't be fed for weeks! How counter-productive can that be?

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you MOW, it has done wonders you look great! :)

    • myownworld profile image


      8 years ago from uk

      Excellent points. Not enough exercise and going without a meal for too long sometimes has the worst effect on the body. After having my daughter, I had years of not being to lose those last few pounds , and I just didn't understand it. I tried everything, but then figured out I needed to have small healthy meals every 3 hours, and it worked wonders! Now, the first thing I do in the mornings is to eat 7 almonds and then head for exercise, and i work out better and have lost all extra weight. Anyway, great hub, really enjoyed it!

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for taking the time to comment. :)

    • jayjay40 profile image


      8 years ago from Bristol England

      I've bookmarked this hub so the next time my weight sticks, I can read this. Thanks for sharing

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for your comment Trish_M, your right it's not always easy to remember it all.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      8 years ago from The English Midlands

      I am really interested in nutrition, so I read about it quite a lot, but it's not always easy to remember it all.

      You have mentioned some things, here, Wrenfrost, that I either hadn't read, or had forgotten ~ food amnesia, for example. ('Amnesia' being very appropriate, I think :) )

      Thanks this could be very helpful

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you drej2522, good to see you and very much enjoying your work. :)

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you samboiam, like your new pic! :)

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for commenting again haaris_1. :)

    • drej2522 profile image


      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I think you highlight some important points dealing with dehydration and sleep deprivation. I believe everyone suffers from one of these 2 problems at some point in their lives. For me, I absolutely know I have some form of insomnia, which affects concentration and energy levels. As for hydration, I have a routine where I drink two-three pint glasses of water as soon as I wake up. Wow, I can ramble on and on about this...great work, Wren!

    • samboiam profile image


      8 years ago from Texas

      wrenfrost56, another great jobe. Well done. Can't wait for another one.

    • haaris_1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Wonderful, great hub Very informative..

    • profile image

      Pete Mauss 

      8 years ago

      Isn't it something other-than-else how the un-educated have such a chip on their shoulder (?) There's the solutions regarding either a). Comforting them -or- b). Putting them out of misery.

      Grip Youself!!

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you Amber, good to see you again. :)

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you TG, just read your latest hub, another good job and I thought it was brill!

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for commenting angela_michelle, it's funny how the simplist things are the ones we often forget.

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 

      8 years ago

      An extremely informative and well written hub full of sound advice. Keep them coming!


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This isn't just a great hub, this is without a doubt a Perfect Hub and deff the best you have written. This is an example of what a money earning hub should look like, you surpass yerself young lady, bloody masterpiece this one, well done !!!

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      8 years ago from United States

      It's funny how although you know the simple tips like get enough sleep, you need to be reminded of them. :)

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for your comment Tubbs Merouge, glad you found something that worked for you. :)

    • Tubbs Merouge profile image

      Tubbs Merouge 

      8 years ago from Louisiana

      Great hub wrenfrost56! I went on the Atkins diet and lost 105 pounds in 13 months.It worked well for me and I still follow the concept of high protein low carbs.

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for commenting fishtiger58, good to see you again. :)

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for commenting Sandyspider. :)

    • fishtiger58 profile image


      8 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      Great article, I read somewhere that when we do the same exercise everyday our muscles become used to the same old thing. Now the experts are saying to vary your exercise on a weekly basis to get the full benefit from said exercise. Interesting idea. Great hub.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Thanks for the tips.

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you Katiem2, very much enjoying your work also. :)

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for your comment C_Pinto.

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      Wrenfrost, GREAT HUB! Packed with very sound advice. Often it is the simplist things forgotten. WATER! That's a biggie! Love reading this it's a KEEPER! Peace :)

    • C_Pinto profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      I know for experience that one of the most important things that you can do is to eat little several times a day, just as you pointed out when talking about going on starvation mode.

      Great advise!


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