5 Surprising Reasons That May Prevent You From Losing Weight

2 Weeks to Health recently surveyed 226 people who have attempted to lose weight. Of the 226 people, 38% claimed they reached their weight goal and were able to keep the weight off for at least a year. The other 62% were unable to reach their goals and keep the weight off. 2 Weeks to Health analyzed the differences between those who were and were not successful and found 5 surprising methods that actually hurt your chances of reaching your weight loss goals. All of these methods have worked for many people under certain conditions, but based on our survey doing any one of these make you at least 10% less likely to achieve your weight loss goals.

1. Signing up for a gym membership

percentage-of-successful-weight-losers-that-had-a-gym-membership
Only 29% of people who successfully reached their weight goals had a gym membership.

We all know that there are tremendous benefits to buying a gym membership. However, our survey showed that you are 10% less likely to reach your weight loss goal if you have a gym membership. Only 29% of people who achieved their weight loss goals had a gym membership. Why is this? Usually one of the first things people will do when they decide to lose weight is to purchase a gym membership. Whether or not the gym membership is used is a different story. By just owning a gym membership, statistically you are less likely to lose weight, but consistently using what the gym has to offer will inevitably help your weight loss goals.

2. Going on a low-carb diet

Percentage-of-people-who-sucessfully-lost-weight-on-a-low-carb-diet
Out of everyone who successfully kept their weight off for a year, only 18% claimed to have lost weight using a low carbohydrate diet.

Besides purchasing a gym membership, when someone decides to lose weight they usually choose 1 of 2 diets, the low-carb diet or the low-calorie diet. The low-carb diet has become popularized by diets such as the Adkins diet, and are also on par with most ketogenic diets. While low-carb diets have been proven to help people lose weight, a crash low-carb diet is never sustainable. Our bodies and minds need energy from carbohydrates to function normally, which means people who lose weight on a low-carb diet are usually unable to keep it off for a full year. While many people would benefit from a reduction in how many carbs they eat, a strict low or no carb diet is usually unnecessary.

3. Going on a low-calorie diet

percentage-of-people-who-used-a-low-carlorie-diet
44% of people who were successful in losing weight used a low-calorie diet, while 55% of people who were unsuccessful used the same technique.

This is the one that surprised me the most. Out of everyone who attempted a low-calorie diet to lose weight, a higher percentage of the unsuccessful people tried this diet than the successful people. Overall, roughly half of people on a weight loss mission try this, but out of everyone who was successful, only 44% of the success stories incorporated a low-calorie diet. But how? Calories in, calories out, right? Well, yes, the basics of weight loss are that you must use more calories per day than you consume to lose weight, but you don’t particularly need to go on a strict low-calorie diet to achieve this. Instead of going on a low-calorie diet, you can try exercising more often and promising yourself that you remove soda and/or dessert from your diet. You can set a standard for yourself to eat only whole foods with plenty of lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. It appears that most people who successfully lose weight and keep it off for a year don’t specify a low-calorie diet, but focus on eating good foods and exercising, which in return leads to a calorie deficit that leads to weight loss.

4. Being a woman

percentage-of-men-and-women-who-sucessfully-lost-weight
According to our recent survey, 62% of males achieve their weight loss goals and keep the weight off for a year while only 38% of women achieve their goals.

Almost 2 out of every 3 men who attempted to lose weight reported they were able to achieve their weight goal and keep their weight off for a year. Meanwhile, only 1 in every 3 women reported they were able to do the same. Unfortunately for women, human physiology makes it easier for men to lose weight than women. The average man has less body fat and more muscle than the average woman. This means the man’s metabolism is going to run faster than the woman’s, and the man will burn more calories. Men can naturally eat more and burn more calories than women, which means if you are a woman, you are automatically 33% less likely to reach your weight goals as compared to men.

 

5. Adopting a diet that requires a strict program such as Weight Watchers

Success-rate-of-weight-watchers

Compared to the successful group, the unsuccessful group was 10% more likely to attempt Weight Watchers to lose weight. Of those who tried Weight Watchers, only 19% were successful. Taking on a strict and quantitative meal and exercise plan like weight watchers may work for some, but the majority were unable to reach their weight loss goals using this plan.

 

These 5 reasons that may prevent you from losing weight can all be very useful for certain people in certain conditions and when used correctly. Next time you set a weight loss goal, ask yourself “does this work for me”. If the answer is no, then you have 2 options, change yourself or change your methods. While changing yourself by increasing your discipline and motivation is always a good option, it is even better to look at your methods for losing weight and ensure they are sustainable. Just because you bought a gym membership and put yourself on a diet does not mean you will see results, and based on statistics you are less likely to reach your goals. You must always put in the work and adapt your strategies to fit your needs.

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Weight Loss FAQ

I get a lot of questions about weight loss. Some are more legitimate than others as you will soon see, but I want to share with you some of my favorite and most common questions I receive. These questions are based on energy consumption and energy use. The human body is amazingly complex and I receive a lot of questions about very specific diets or foods and their physiological effects.

What is the Best Diet Plan to Lose Weight?

The best diet plan for anyone to lose weight is to simply count calories! The only way to lose body fat is to have a sustained calorie deficit, meaning you consume fewer calories or burn more calories than your body needs for the day. You can start figuring out your diet plan by using this calculator to estimate how many calories you should be eating Calorie Calculator

When you calculate your calorie values, pay attention to the Calories/day to maintain your weight, Calories/day to lose 1 lb per week, and Calories/day to lose 2 lb per week. The Calories/day to maintain weight is just that, the calculators estimate for if you eat more than that amount of calories for a day, then you will begin to store fat and gain weight. Notice that to lose 1 lb per week all the calculator did was subtract 500 calories from the amount you need to maintain weight. To lose 2 lb per week it subtracted 1000 calories. This is based on the 3500 calorie rule. It’s estimated that it takes a calorie deficit of 3500 calories to burn 1 pound of fat. This divides out to be 500 calories per day to lose 1 pound of fat per week, or 1000 calories per day to lose 2 pounds of fat per week.

So why doesn’t it list 3 pounds of fat per week? Anything more than 2 pounds lost per week begins to become an unhealthy amount of weight loss. This is about when you begin to have a calorie deficit lower than your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories you need for your body to function if you were sleeping all day. Having a deficit below your BMR will make your body run inefficiently and cause you to feel weak and your mind cloudy. So the best diet plan is simply having a calorie deficit of about 500–1000 calories per day.

This deficit can come from either eating less, exercising more, or both. If your body needs 2000 calories to maintain weight, then to get a 500 calorie deficit, you can consume 1800 calories and burn 300 calories. Or you can consume 2000 calories and burn 500 calories. Or not exercise and just consume 1500 calories. It doesn’t matter how you get to your goal calorie deficit as long as you get there.

Weight loss is all about calorie deficit, so the actual foods you eat to get there doesn’t matter much for weight loss, friend.you but does matter for your overall health. So on your path to a sustained calorie deficit resulting in fat loss thus weight loss, try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, limit your fatty meat consumption, and keep in mind that carbs are not what causes weight gain, so whole grains are your friend.

What is the Best way to Lose 30 Pounds in 60 Days?

The easiest way to lose 30 pounds in 60 days is to amputate your least favorite appendages. Other than that it is nearly impossible and here’s why:

The rule of thumb is in order to lose 1 pound, you must have a 3500 hundred calorie deficit. So to burn 30 pounds, you need to burn or not consume 105,000 calories over those 60 days. You will need to have a calorie deficit of about 1750 calories per day to lose 30 pounds in 60 days. Considering the average male needs to eat about 2500 calories per day to maintain weight, and the average female needs 2000 calories, you will need to be eating in the 500–1000 calories range per day to lose weight that fast. Or you can eat 2000 calories and burn 1000 calories through exercise. Regardless the sum of what you eat and what you burn while exercising needs to be well below 1000 calories.

I would not recommend this. Your body needs a certain amount of energy through calories to properly function. Getting such little nutrition for 60 days is essentially anorexia, and is not healthy by any means. So, if you want to lose that much weight, you will need to lose it through other methods rather than just burning fat, of which none are healthy and I do not recommend them. However, high protein low carb diets can decrease your water weight and cause very quick weight loss, dieting pills on top of a diet may help (but you’re still essentially starving yourself), and of course there is liposuction.

TLDR: There is no fully healthy way to do this, but essentially the only way is to nearly starve yourself on a low-calorie diet.

What are some possible reasons as to why I’m gaining weight when I’m not even eating a lot, I’m on a low-carb diet, and I have a desk job?

A sedentary lifestyle, depending on your weight, age, and gender, can bring the amount of calories you need to consume to maintain weight down as low as 1300 calories per day. Even if you’re not eating a lot, you are still eating higher than what your body needs to maintain its weight. Also, a low carb diet isn’t helpful if you aren’t also watching your proteins and fats. All of them together make up your caloric intake, so focus on eating a low carb, low fat, and low protein diet. Choose foods that are filling but low calorie to eat, these will typically be fruits and vegetables.

If you are already eating lower than your recommended calorie intake, which can be calculated here Calorie Calculator , then you may have a thyroid issue which could be excessively be lowering your metabolic rate. If you think this is the case then contact your doctor.

How can I Count my Daily Calories Gained from Food? Is this Possible?

You can get pretty close to calculating your calorie intake by keep track of what you eat, how many servings you eat, and then referencing that with the nutrition facts on the packaging. Look for the label like this one:

Notice this label states that for every 172 grams you eat, then you gained about 200 calories. You can buy a scale to weigh your food, although most servings will have an easier measurement such as number of crackers, or 3 cookies, or something like that. If you keep track of everything you eat, just add up how many calories you consumed from each item that day, and you will know how many calories you gained from food for the day.

Follow up question: “Ya, but it is really a difficult one to weight your food & count while at the office. There is no app for it?”

If you go to Computational Knowledge Engine they have a really good database of pretty much every type of food that can offer nutritional estimates. Just search for the food you are eating and they will give estimates. But you will still need to do portion control, which will involve possibly measuring your food. I would suggest taking your lunch to the office and have it pre-made and measured so you can do all that at home.

Will Swallowing Glass Marbles Make me Less Hungry and Lose Weight?

Oh jeez no. In a similar Quora post I saw about someone asking what to do when swallowing a glass marble, some of my favorite answers were “unswallow the marble”, “it’ll pass and come out the other end”, and my favorite was a comparison how everything will be fine because the hungry hungry hippos do it all the time. But real talk, one glass marble should pass through your system, multiple glass marbles will win you a trip to the emergency room. The quote “play stupid games, win stupid prizes” comes to mind. Please refrain from eating any objects that aren’t food. If you want some real weight loss tips then ask me anything, just don’t swallow marbles.

You Won’t Believe what this Simple Nutritional Change will do for Your Health

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Both of these plates may look almost the same, but the plate on the right has 30% more calories, 50% more fat, and 850% more sodium. This shows us the importance of making good decisions about sauces, seasoning, and alternatives.

You have a dilemma. After a long day at work, you come home to discover the two plates shown on your table ready to eat. You would love to just dig in, but you also realize you’ve been watching your health and need to be careful about what you eat. Both plates look nearly identical. Each has 2 servings of meat, 2 servings of rice, 3 servings of vegetables, 1.5 servings of fruit, and a serving of dairy. But upon further inspection, you realize something is literally a bit salty about one of these dishes. You realize that the meal on the right has 30% more calories, 50% more fat, and 850% more sodium. You decide to eat the meal on the left. But how do two nearly identical meals have such different nutritional contents? Also, why should you care?

The differences between the two meals are as listed: pork vs chicken, light vs regular yogurt, not salted vs salted for taste, “reduced sodium” soy sauce vs no soy sauce, added sugar to sweeten the smoothie vs no added sugar, processed and packaged white rice vs whole brown rice, and boiled rice vs stir fried rice. If there is one thing I want you to learn from this article is that when it comes to food, there is always a “versus”. You always have options for adding an additional ingredient or substituting foods, and by substituting the right foods and using the right ingredients, the same meal can be significantly healthier for you. Let’s discuss each of these food showdowns.

Pork vs Chicken: Pork has about 25 more calories than chicken per serving, and about 3 times as much fat. By switching from pork or beer to fish or chicken, you can significantly decrease the amount of fat you are consuming.

Light vs Regular Yogurt: Both of the yogurts used in the two meals were very sweet, dessert tasting yogurts. However, the light yogurt had 90 calories per serving as opposed to 150 calories per serving, contained only 80 mg of sodium as opposed to 190 mg of sodium, and was fat-free compared to its counterpart which packed a couple grams of fat. Switching from normal to light yogurt is a good way to cut back on overall calories, fats, and sodium without eating less. We will discuss why you might want to do this later in this article.

Salted vs Not Salted for Taste: The meal on the right was lightly salted for taste. Just 1/4 teaspoons of salt contains 580 mg of sodium which is 25% of your recommended maximum daily sodium intake. A light salting of your food will more than likely skyrocket your sodium quota (and your blood pressure).

“Reduced Sodium” Soy Sauce vs No Soy Sauce: Many people enjoy eating their rice and vegetables with soy sauce and purchase a reduced sodium soy sauce thinking it is healthy. One tablespoon of reduced sodium soy sauce has 570 mg of sodium, almost as much as the 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Just two tablespoons spread out among your meal can put you at 50% of your daily max value for sodium.

Added Sugar to Sweeten the Smoothie vs No Added Sugar: When you go to a restaurant and order a smoothie, they will normally add simple syrup, a solution that is mostly just sugar and water. Most fruits already have enough natural sugars to make them sweet, so next time you make a smoothie at home, try making it with just fruit blended with water. This will help keep the calories down, and will still taste very good.

Processed and Packaged White Rice vs Whole Brown Rice: White rice is often fortified to have about the same benefits of brown rice, but the point to make here is if you take a food that you can but fresh and whole, and then package it, the company is almost always going to add sodium to increase the shelf life of that product. Choosing processed over whole foods will almost always increase your sodium intake.

Boiled Rice vs Stir Fried Rice: When you stir fry rice, you are adding additional oil, thus you are adding additional fat and calories into your diet. The extra oil in the right side meal saw a significant increase in calories just from the small amount of extra oil it took to stir-fry the rice. This doesn’t take into account any added ingredients that are usually added to rice such as egg and additional vegetables.

So why is increasing your calories, fat, and sodium bad for you? To keep it short, increased calories may lead to weight gain, increased fat may lead to heart disease, and increased sodium may lead to high blood pressure. By not eating an excessive amount of calories, fats, and sodium, you will likely stay free of illness, as well as look and feel better. That is why it’s important to be very cautious about how much you salt your foods, how much salt is in the foods you are purchasing, and that we look for alternatives to high-fat foods such as replacing pork with chicken. Also, be aware of what sauces and seasonings you are adding to your foods. Ketchup, BBQ sauce, steak sauce, and soy sauce are just a few examples of sauces that will add extra sodium and calories to your meal. This happens in restaurants all the time! What your eating may look and sound healthy. However, they may have added excess oil and salt to make it taste better.

The same meal with a few non-cosmetic changes can make or break your diet, always be on the lookout for hidden nutritional contents such as additional sodium, fat, and calories.

Author: Scott Van Hoy