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8 Steps to Crushing Your First Gym Session

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Been Working Out But Haven't Lost Any Weight? Here's Why.

If you feel like you've been training hard for a while now but haven't managed to lose any weight, this article was written with you in mind.

Group of athletes doing cardio to lose weight and get leaner

Working out consistently and pouring your heart and soul into a fitness program without seeing any meaningful results is an extremely demotivating experience that many people seem to face all over the world.

It can feel like absolutely nothing is working, no matter how hard we try to perfect what we're doing and ensure that we're training hard.

Luckily, it's likely that there are some simple things you're missing, and it's more than likely that you'll be able to get back on the right path in a matter of weeks!

Now there are many reasons why you can't seem to lose weight, no matter how hard you try and work:

  • You could be tracking your calories wrong.

  • Sitting down all day.

  • You could actually not be eating enough.

  • Not getting enough sleep

  • You've lost fat, but not weight.

  • You might be getting older.

  • You might have less favorable genetics.

  • You have unrealistic expectations.

The trick is to carefully analyze everything that you do, and try to source the problem that's causing you not to see the results you're hoping to see.

You might also be able to discover a little more about yourself and discover that you have other goals in fitness aside from just weight loss!

Here's Why You Can't Seem to Lose Weight

Let's take a look at what each point means and see how you can use this knowledge to help yourself get back on your feet!

You Could Be Tracking Your Calories Incorrectly

One of the most common reasons that people fail to see the progress they're wanting to see with their weight loss goals comes down to the fact that they're simply tracking their calories wrong.

Many people think that they're tracking their calories well and are managing their food intake properly, when they're not in reality at all.

The problem is, it's extremely easy to make this mistake. I know I've made this exact mistake heaps of times before!

Whether this mistake happens due to being lazy and not bothering to record calories, not measuring food portions properly or another reason, it can happen without us having a single clue about it.

Now I'm not saying that you have to be pedantic about the calories that you eat and your food intake, but you can't be completely winging it either.

You need to make sure that the food portion sizes you're eating are controlled, and that every single thing you eat throughout the day is taken into account when measuring daily food intake.

That's right.

Every apple, slice of bread, liter of milk and even kitchen sauce serving needs to either be roughly recorded, or at least kept in the back of your head when you come to measure your calorie intake.

Overweight man tracking calories consumed in a donut via mobile app

Doing this is going to help you ensure that you're not missing or forgetting about the calories that you eat, and can hold yourself accountable for your food intake.

You're Sitting Down All Day

Even if you consistently spend an hour at the gym five days a week, you might still be living a pretty inactive lifestyle.

You see if you've got an office job, or a job that has you sitting down for multiple hours a day, those hours that you spend in the gym might not actually be enough to combat the time you spend sitting down each day.

Sitting burns very little calories, and this inactive lifestyle might actually be the reason why you're not losing weight when you think you should be.

Perhaps you think you're burning more calories than you really are, and that even though you've cut down your food intake, you're still eating more than you burn (or the same) on a daily basis.

A study conducted at The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that people who got up and stretched at least once an hour saw approximately a 13% increase in their metabolisms!

So if you've got one of those fitness trackers such as a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, don't ignore those notifications and reminders telling you to get up and do some exercise!

I know it's incredibly annoying, and you can't really be bothered to think too much of them, but once you realize just how much time out of the day you spend sitting down at a desk, you'll truly wish you had heeded those reminders.

And if you don't have anything or anyone to remind you, just get into the habit of getting up every 30 minutes or so to do some stretching and some quick exercise! Maybe go for a walk to refill your drink (hopefully water), or something like that.

Look for Small Ways to be More Active

Another way you could try to combat this lifestyle full of sitting would be to look for smaller ways to increase overall physical activity throughout the day.

For example, if you don't live too far away from your work you could actually consider walking or cycling to the office or work grounds instead of driving every day!

It's going to take a little longer to get to and from work, but it's going to force you to be a little more active during the day and also help you save some money. We all know what's going on with the gas prices at the moment.

Or perhaps instead of using the elevator to get up to your floor, you can go the old-fashioned way and take the stairs!

Office man walking down stairs instead of using elevator to stay more active and burn more calories for weight loss

Simple changes like this can go a long way in helping you stay that tiny bit more active during the day, and burn some extra calories alongside that.

You Might NOT Be Eating Enough

This one may come as a surprise and go against popular belief, but undereating can actually cause more harm than good when it comes to weight loss.

Sticking to extremely boring diets with highly restricted food intake can yield some fast initial losses in bodyweight, but is not sustainable at all and is incredibly tough to commit to.

Not even some of the most dedicated, goal-oriented people in the world could stick to something like this.

If you try to follow a diet plan like this, it's highly likely that you're going to end up back in square one, binge eating your favorite snacks in excessive amounts.

Then you'll feel guilty for not being able to stick to your goals and ruin the mood for the rest of the day.

The truth is, weight loss takes time.

And if you try to cut corners by excessively undereating, it's likely going to come back and bite you.

Even when you're trying to lose weight, you should be able to enjoy the foods that you're eating, and be eating enough so that you don't feel hungry all the time.

And of course, undereating is not healthy at all.

You're not going to be able to get the nutrition that your body needs to function properly, and it's going to have to look to source those nutrients from other places. This sometimes includes places such as your muscle mass.

Click here to learn all about creating your own diet plan, including everything you need to know about calories and eating for weight loss!

You're Not Sleeping Enough

Tired man sleeping to avoid sleep deprivation to increase ability to lose weight

People always think that sleeping makes you lazy, and that you should always try to sleep as little as possible.

However this is not the case with fitness and weight loss.

When you work out, your body experiences some damage in the muscles and tendons, which it needs time to recover from.

When this damage is repaired, the muscles and bones come back bigger and stronger so that the next time you do this exercise at that given intensity, it's not as difficult as the first time.

This is going to allow you to keep on increasing the intensities that you can train at, and keep on providing your body with a challenge to grow. This is known as progressive overload.

However if you're not sleeping at least 7 hours a night, you're likely not going to be giving your body enough time to rest and grow better.

You're not going to see as much long term progress in your fitness, and may even hit plateaus soon enough if you don't get your sleep schedule in check.

You won't build as much muscle, and likely won't be able to burn as many calories as you could be burning either.

All of this is going to have negative impacts on your ability to lose weight, and hinder your progress on the scale.

This study conducted by Christopher B Cooper concluded that "Individuals who regularly slept less than 7  hours per night were more likely to have higher average body mass indexes and develop obesity than those who slept more."

And other studies have found similar results as well.

So make sure that you're sleeping at least 7 hours a night, with as little disruptions as possible.

This is going to help you A LOT in the long run with your weight loss.

You've Lost Fat, But Not Weight

Now you might be asking: what could I possibly mean by this?

Yes, it does sound a little strange to lose fat without losing weight.

However you have to remember that there are other things that can cause you to be a little heavier on the scale other than just fat.

For example, building more muscle mass is going to cause you to be a little heavier, without looking or being fatter at all.

This is one of the biggest reasons why people struggle to lose weight. Because they literally aren't losing any weight!

And that's also why lots of coaches and trainers refer to this goal as 'fat loss' instead of 'weight loss'.

Because you can definitely lose fat without losing weight.

If you've noticed that you've gotten stronger on your strength training exercises recently but haven't lost any weight, you've probably just built more muscle mass.

Go take a look in the mirror!

You might notice that you're starting to look a little more defined, and that although you're not any lighter, you look and feel much more athletic.

Or if you're still relatively young, you could simply still be growing taller and bigger naturally.

You're not getting fatter, but you're naturally gaining more lean body mass by growing taller and/or growing bigger.

There are several reasons and ways that you could lose fat without losing weight, and this is why the weight scale actually isn't the best indicator of your fat loss journey.

Instead, simply take a look in the mirror.

Take progress pictures often, and you'll be able to see the differences in the way your body looks!

Even when you haven't lost any weight, it's likely that you'll have lost fat.

You Could Be Getting Older

Now this isn't really anything that you can change, but getting older is definitely going to have an impact on your ability to lose weight, just like it would if your primary goal was to build muscle mass and get stronger.

It's no secret that your physical capabilities drop as you age.

And with this, your metabolism (rate at which your body burns calories) also drops.

Your testosterone levels decrease, which make it harder for you to build muscle mass.

And if you've read some of our articles from the past, you'll know that build