Why can’t I lose weight on a diet? In most cas­es, excess weight and obe­si­ty are asso­ci­at­ed with a calo­rie imbal­ance. But some­times the rea­son for the inabil­i­ty to lose weight is ill­ness.

Dieti­cians and nutri­tion­ists often hear phras­es like “I eat almost noth­ing and don’t lose weight” or “I go on diets, but it doesn’t help.” As a rule, in these cas­es, peo­ple are rec­om­mend­ed to keep food diaries and count calo­ries, since the ener­gy not con­sumed by the body will nec­es­sar­i­ly be deposit­ed in fat cells.
Don’t self-med­icate! In our arti­cles, we col­lect the lat­est sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence and opin­ions from respect­ed health experts. But remem­ber: only a doc­tor can make a diag­no­sis and pre­scribe treat­ment.

But there are excep­tions when it is impos­si­ble to lose weight even while main­tain­ing a calo­rie deficit. We fig­ured out when this can real­ly hap­pen to a per­son.

What diseases prevent you from losing weight?

If you don’t under­stand why diet­ing doesn’t help you lose weight, you should con­sult a doc­tor. Often the prob­lem is not with you, but with con­comi­tant dis­eases that pre­vent you from effec­tive­ly get­ting rid of extra pounds.

Cushing’s syndrome

When the adren­al glands pro­duce too much cor­ti­sol, it leads to fat accu­mu­la­tion in the face, upper back and abdomen.


If your thy­roid gland is not active enough, it does not pro­duce enough hor­mones to help burn stored fat. As a result, your metab­o­lism slows down, and fat reserves are formed more active­ly than they are con­sumed.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

This dis­ease, which is the result of hor­mon­al imbal­ance, affects mil­lions of women. Com­mon symp­toms are:

  • irreg­u­lar cycle,
  • acne,
  • exces­sive facial hair,
  • hair thin­ning,
  • dif­fi­cul­ties with preg­nan­cy,
  • Weight gain not caused by overeat­ing.

Hyperinsulinemia (syndrome X)

This term refers to a group of health con­di­tions that are believed to be asso­ci­at­ed with insulin resis­tance. Peo­ple with this syn­drome have a whole bunch of meta­bol­ic dis­or­ders, result­ing in obe­si­ty.


It is com­mon­ly believed that depressed peo­ple refuse food, but this is not always the case. Often, those who are depressed turn to food to relieve their emo­tion­al dis­tress. Often they don’t even notice how much they eat.

In order not to get lost and always be in touch, read us in Yandex.Zene!

Why can’t you lose weight on a diet?

If the doc­tors said that you are healthy, but the ques­tion is: “Why am I not los­ing weight on a diet?” remains rel­e­vant, it is worth tak­ing a clos­er look at your­self, your lifestyle and the qual­i­ty of your diet. We espe­cial­ly rec­om­mend pay­ing atten­tion to the fol­low­ing aspects.

Excess weight does not go away not only due to failure to maintain a calorie deficit, but also for a number of other reasons.

Chronic stress

If you live in a state of anx­i­ety, stress, or grief, your body may pro­duce chem­i­cals, such as the hor­mone cor­ti­sol, that make you more like­ly to store fat, espe­cial­ly around your waist.

Hormonal changes in women

Some women may gain weight at times in their lives when there is a shift in their hormones—puberty, preg­nan­cy, and menopause.

Lack of sleep

Why do we diet and not lose weight? Maybe because we sleep only 5 hours a day instead of the required 7–8? Sleep is an impor­tant com­po­nent of health, and its lack makes itself felt in com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent areas of life.

This also affects your weight loss. For exam­ple, lack of sleep slows down testos­terone pro­duc­tion. But this is the main fat-burn­ing hor­mone. Also, the brain tries its best to com­pen­sate for the lack of ener­gy with food, so it active­ly pro­motes the pro­duc­tion of hunger hor­mones. And a bru­tal appetite pro­vokes break­downs that are dif­fi­cult to avoid.

Discreet Snacks

We have already writ­ten about the main mis­takes in diet­ing, but we will repeat it again: snack­ing is the ene­my of los­ing weight. They hard­ly sup­press the feel­ing of hunger, they seem insignif­i­cant, but they neu­tral­ize all the ben­e­fits of the diet.

Remember: every nut must be accounted for.  Only then can we say that you are fully following the diet.  In other cases, you are only doing imitation.

Too little time has passed

Why does­n’t my stom­ach lose weight when I diet? One rea­son: too lit­tle time has passed. Many peo­ple go on a diet and expect results with­in a month. They want to look like Olympian gods in the mir­ror. Alas, this is impos­si­ble.

One of the rea­sons why you diet and don’t lose weight is because you diet too lit­tle. Try to hold on for 2–3 months and only after that draw any con­clu­sions. If you don’t get frus­trat­ed and try to move a lot, you will def­i­nite­ly get results. And sig­nif­i­cant.

Wrong diet

Why am I not los­ing weight on the keto diet, but I have more health prob­lems? We often hear this too. The prob­lem is that the keta diet involves almost com­plete absti­nence from car­bo­hy­drates. And this is very harm­ful in the long run.

For­get about strict diets aimed at elim­i­nat­ing proteins/carbohydrates/fats. They harm the body. It’s bet­ter to be 10 kilo­grams more than you want­ed, but healthy.

Hard restrictions

A large calo­rie deficit does not help you lose weight faster. The body switch­es on ener­gy sav­ing mode, you feel bad, can­not work nor­mal­ly, the hor­mon­al sys­tem col­laps­es, but the weight does not go away.

Because sav­ing assumes that expens­es are min­i­mal. And if ener­gy expen­di­ture is min­i­mal, then you will not lose weight, no mat­ter how much you try. There­fore, stop forc­ing your­self with a calo­rie deficit of 30% of the dai­ly val­ue on a diet. The max­i­mum allow­able deficit is 15%.

How to understand that a diet is not working

What prevents you from losing weight?  Sometimes the diet itself, which was chosen without attention to the characteristics of your body.

Why don’t my legs lose weight on a diet? What about the abs? Hands? We will not con­sid­er these ques­tions, since they do not say any­thing about the effec­tive­ness of the diet. But what does he say? There are sev­er­al fac­tors that indi­cate that the diet is not work­ing:

  • weight has not changed with­in 2 months, or has changed slight­ly (0.5–1.5 kilo­grams);
  • the vol­umes remained the same (most like­ly just the mus­cles were gone, but the fat remained);
  • you began to feel weak and exhaust­ed;
  • you con­stant­ly feel hun­gry;
  • your strength lev­els have decreased;
  • you have prob­lems with the gas­troin­testi­nal tract;
  • fam­i­ly and friends notice that you have begun to look worse;
  • libido has dropped;
  • have dif­fi­cul­ty wak­ing up in the morn­ing.

If you notice sev­er­al of these fac­tors togeth­er, then you should thor­ough­ly recon­sid­er your diet. Bet­ter yet: find a com­pe­tent nutri­tion­ist and seek his help. We assure you: this is much more prof­itable than con­duct­ing exper­i­ments on your­self.

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