Published on August 7, 2021
“Why am I not losing weight” is a question often blurted out by a client who claims to be doing “everything right.” I’ll then pick up a crystal ball that I have on my credenza (not kidding about that!) and do a Johnny Carson imitation of his Carnac the Magnificent (you’ll have to be old enough to remember that character he portrayed from time to time).
The inevitable stage at which absolutely nothing seems to be happening happens to almost every dieter. No matter how well they seem to be following a diet, no weight is coming off.
First, know this:
💥 𝐘𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐚 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐮 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐰𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐟𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞. 𝐀𝐧𝐲 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐥. 💥
There is no pat answer to the question of why a person stops losing. Every person has his or her own stumbling blocks, including health and medication issues or drifting off of their diet, many times without realizing it and others preferring not to acknowledge it.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐲 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐭.
If you’ve stalled, don’t try to find comfort in a pint of Haagen Dazs or in multiple slices of pizza and garlic knots. When you hit a wall, calmness and clear-headed thinking will get you moving faster than you might think.
The calm approach is to take inventory:
🤔 Have you started any new medications recently (including hormone therapy and birth control pills)?
🤔 Any recent lifestyle changes where perhaps your usual exercise and eating routines have been disrupted? (More stress at work? At home? Not enough sleep?)
🤔 Have you gone off your plan—even if you think you only “cheated” a little bit?
🤔 Have you slacked off on the amount of water you should be drinking?
🤔 Has more-than-usual salt crept back into your diet?
🤔 Have you eaten out more than you usually do (or would like to admit)? And “eating out” doesn’t only mean restaurants; “out” also means someone else’s home where you don’t have control over ingredients and portions.
🤔 Have you gone a little crazy with your herbs, spices, miscellaneous seasonings, condiments, salad dressings and artificial sweeteners?
If after an honest assessment (notice the emphasis on the word “honest”), none of the above applies, go back to the first, most rigorous phase of your diet. More often than not, and in my experience, many people find that this is the nudge they need to move off a plateau. And this is yet another reason why keeping your daily/weekly journals faithfully is the cornerstone of successful dieting . . . because doing so facilitates going back to what you did in the past and what worked!