Top 3 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

Hello beautiful people! A big CONGRATS to all of you who completed the Summer Shape Up Series 4-Week Workout Challenge! If you are one of those ladies, I would love to hear your feedback about your results, what you liked about the challenge, and what you struggled with. If you don’t feel comfortable commenting below, you can shoot me an email at or post in the Private Facebook Group :).

Why You Can't Lose Weight

As a personal trainer, I hear it a lot, “I’m doing everything I should be doing but I just can’t seem to lose weight.”  My trainer/fittie/health guru/fitness friend alarms go off when I hear this. This is a huge turning point where someone decides to make a change or to give up. My heart breaks when I see someone choose the latter. For one, weight loss should never be the only goal you have for working out and eating right. Hello! We should all want to live a long, healthy, and mobile life too, am I right?!  I get it though. If you want to lose weight, build muscle, and change your physique, who wants to put in all this time and effort planning meals, fitting in workouts, and busting your butt in the gym when you don’t see results?

If this is you, there are a couple of details I want you to take a closer look at.

1. Your Diet

Now, I don’t mean “diet” in the same way as “fad diet.” Your diet is defined as, literally, what you eat. Sometimes we think we are eating healthy but we may be eating too much, too little, or the incorrect ratio of macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fats). Take 3 to 5 days to write out what you’re eating. I love using MyFitnessPal. It’s an App on your phone where you can plug in the food you ate that day and the app does the rest of the work for you! It’ll show you your total calories, carbs, proteins, and fats. If you’re unsure how much of anything you should be getting, you can use an online macro calculator. Just remember, these calculators will give you a baseline assessment, but only time, tweaking, and testing will tell what macronutrient ratio will work for your unique, beautiful body!

If you need extra assistance, I offer online Nutritional Coaching! Just email me at for more information. 🙂

Why You Can't Lose Weight

2. Your Workout

Have you been doing the same workout routine for over 6-weeks? Your body is a smart little thing. When she senses stress, she’ll do whatever it takes to adapt. When you start a new workout program, your body will deliberately use less and less energy (aka calories burned) to complete the routine.

This is why it’s so important to mix it up and use a combination of cardio (both steady state and interval training) and weight training. Both of them must be progressed as well by changing at least one of the following variables every 4 to 6 weeks – intensity, time/duration, weight, exercise type (the actual exercises themselves), rest (how much time spent resting during your workout), reps, or sets! If you’ve been doing solely cardio, or the same cardio routine forever, your body will stop burning as much fat. If you’re strength training with same number of reps, sets, and weight eventually you will stop building muscle and utilizing as much energy. Keep it fresh to keep seeing results!

Why You Can't Lose Weight

3. Your Stress

This is a biggy that everyone likes to try and ignore. We all have stress in our lives, it’s just a matter of how we cope with it. Stress management can be even more daunting than working out. We like to throw it under the rug and just figure it’s a part of life we can’t control. Oh do we have it wrong!!

My dad said something to me in high school that stuck with me (and stuck to the wall of my high school college counsellor’s classroom). He said, “Emily, stress is optional.” At the time I ignored him. I mean, I was under stress and the last thing I wanted to hear was that I was inflicting this on myself. It only took a couple of days though for the phrase to stick. It’s so true! The hardships, deadlines, relational issues, etc. we deal with on a daily basis will always be there. And they aren’t always in our control. What is in our control is the way we react, including our emotional reaction, or stress!

So why is stress so important for your fitness goals? Well, lady, stress creates a hormone we all love to hate, cortisol. Cortisol is the triple threat against weight loss. This hormone increases our appetite, our cravings for food, and holds on to belly fat. Ummm, no thank you!

Why You Can't Lose Weight

So how do we decrease stress? Two simple things you can start doing TODAY to decrease cortisol are – get enough sleep (7-8 hours a night) and practice breathing techniques. One of my favorite breathing techniques is to inhale for 3 to 4 counts and then exhale for twice as long, 6 to 8 counts. Do this five to ten times. Make sure you find a quiet place to do this, sit up tall with good posture or even lay down on your back, legs long, hands by your side, and palms facing up.

If you want to know more stress management tips let me know in the comment box below and I can write a full blog post on it! 🙂

Health and happiness,


Hi and welcome to Life in Spandex! I'm Emily, a personal trainer who believes there should be no secrets standing in your way to getting fit. I am sharing my knowledge here on this blog in order to help you reach your goals. Fitness should be fun, eating healthy should taste good, and feeling your absolute best is the ultimate goal. Let's get fit together!
  1. Yes, totally agree with all these reasons.

  2. I always forget that I need to consistently shake up my workout routine, I get into a comfortable mode of doing certain things and I need to try new exercises!

    La Belle Sirene

    1. Well now you know a place you can find some workouts to shake it up!! Right? 🙂

  3. Totally agree with these reasons. Stress is such a huge factor for today’s society. I make it a non-negotiable to prioritise me-time to help keep my stress levels in check.

    1. Love that Bree! 🙂

  4. I know that all of these reasons are the reasons I can’t loose weight

  5. My diet and my stress definitely factor in, in fact that kind of fuel each other. The more stressed I am, the more comfort food I want. Even though I hit the gym two to three times a week and walk on the weekend, it won’t keep up with I’m in a high stress point of my life.

    1. Exactly!! They are so linked it’s annoying haha

      1. Right!!!

  6. Diets the hardest for me but it’s slowly happening!

    1. You have to think of it as making choices versus “restricting.” You always have the choice to eat a cheeseburger but you may make a choice that day to have a turkey wrap instead! a healthy diet is forever, not just for a few days, weeks, months, etc. don’t put the pressure on being perfect. Just make healthy choices one meal at a time 🙂

  7. Stress plays a big part in my life, I guess breathing would be the important one for me.

    1. Yes definitely! And even just taking little moments throughout the day to be still.

    2. Definitely!! So important to take those moments to recenter. I could use it myself too!

  8. My fitnesspal is so great. I’ll be debating what to eat and when I check to see how many calories it will cost me I’ll be like “nevermind” haha I really need to get better on the stress part.
    Love these tips.

    1. Haha love it Dia! Let me know how working on stress helps you!

  9. Agree, agree, agree, agree, agree! My mom sounds like your clients. But when I ask her about what she eats and whether or not she’ll be joining me for Boxing (usually no), the answers are always not good. She thinks I’m on some diet, when really I’ve had to start eating a certain way because I don’t react well anymore to processed foods. And for me, it wasn’t what I was eating, but the fact that I wasn’t moving very much.

    1. That must be frustrating for you :(. So many people resist change because they feel like it won’t work. What they don’t realize is real change takes time and hard work. And staying away from processed foods is not “some diet” it’s the way we were designed to eat. And eating in a way that makes you feel your absolute best is what’s it’s all about in the end right? Keep it up, girl! You’re doing great 🙂

  10. I’m good with getting enough sleep, but I definitely need to work on some of the breathing you mentioned. Stress does make me eat more, ugh!

    1. It’s annoying!! Let me know when you test it out 🙂

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