Nutritionist: These are the eight reasons you're not losing weight

Nutritionist who spent 18 years yo-yo dieting before finally finding the ‘answer’ shares the eight reasons why you’re not losing weight

  • Weight loss nutritionist Angela Borges spent years trying to lose weight
  • Shared reasons that helped including eating more protein and not quitting 

A weight loss nutritionist who spent 18 years yo-yo dieting before she found sustainable weight loss has shared the eight reasons why the scales aren’t moving, and how you can change this for results.

Angela Borges, from Melbourne, said she first started putting weight on in her teenage years, and then spent years seeing different nutritionists who told her that the answer was to ‘cut carbs, eat mainly salads and do a few days’ cleanses’.

The nutritionist said she’d see results, before falling right off the wagon and ending up binge eating again.

Since then, Ang said she has discovered that weight loss isn’t as simple as ‘calories in versus calories out’.

‘Sustainable weight loss is achieved when you create healthy eating habits you can maintain and put on autopilot for permanent success,’ Ang wrote on Instagram. 

A weight loss nutritionist who spent 18 years yo-yo dieting before she found sustainable weight loss shared the eight reasons why the scales aren’t moving (Angela Borges pictured)

1. You’re eating healthy, but not eating healthy for fat loss

The first reason Ang said the numbers on the scales might not be moving is because you’re eating healthily, but not eating healthily for fat loss – as the ‘two are very different’.

‘You can follow a healthy diet, cook everything from scratch and have the healthiest snacks but you still need to create a calorie deficit in order to lose body fat whether your diet is healthy or not,’ Ang said.

Ideally, you calculate your body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) by using an online calculator to find out exactly how much you should be eating. 

Then, add or take away a little if you’re wanting to lose weight. 

Angela Borges , from Melbourne, said she first started putting weight on in her teenage years, and then spent years seeing different nutritionists (pictured before and after)

2. You’re eating too little

The second reason why you might not be losing weight is you’re eating too little.

While you may think you need to cut down in order to lose weight, in fact sometimes the opposite is true.

‘Not eating enough to fuel your body appropriately can cause your metabolism to slow down (adapt) and you will stop losing weight,’ Ang said.

‘Not eating enough can also lead you to overeat and ultimately gain weight.’

3. You’re not sleeping enough

Your sleep has a huge role to play in weight loss, and you need to ideally make sure you’re getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. 

‘Insufficient sleep can have a huge impact on two important hunger hormones,’ Ang said.

‘To be more specific, ghrelin (our hunger hormone) rises and leptin (our satiety hormone) lowers.’

When you’re tired, the nutritionist said you’re more likely to feel hungry and overeat. On the flipside, when you’re well-rested, you’ll more likely make good choices.

4. You eat like an influencer

While foods like acai bowls might look delicious and healthy, in fact eating like this regularly can have huge knock-on effects.

‘They can easily top 600 calories and that’s before you add any toppings,’ she said.

Instead, you’re far better off keeping your sugar consumption low – and sticking to a more basic diet.

Ang (pictured) said you shouldn’t give up too quickly, and should instead see weight loss as a ‘sprint not a marathon’

5. You give up too quickly

According to Ang, weight loss is ‘not a sprint, it’s a marathon’.

And you need to remember that losing weight is always going to take time.

‘Expect ups and downs, which are a totally normal part of the process,’ Ang said.

She said you also need to remember that progress is not linear, and so don’t worry if some weeks are better than others.

6. You’re stressed out

Like sleep, stress has a huge role to play in how happy and healthy we are, as chronic stress raises cortisol levels – which makes you feel hungrier.

‘Stress can also drive cravings for comfort foods, which is why managing stress plays a critical part of any weight-maintenance plan,’ Ang said.

Pay attention to how you feel both in the workplace and at home, and manage your stress levels either via meditation, gratitude, exercise or journalling. 

7. You may be over-relying on exercise

Ang said you can rely on exercise to some degree to help you lose weight.

But alone, it will never be enough – as diet is always most important. 

Finally, the most important nutrient group for weight loss is protein, Ang (pictured) said, because it ‘keeps you feeling full and satisfied, preventing overeating’

8. You are not eating enough protein 

Finally, the most important nutrient group for weight loss is protein.

‘Protein is essential for weight loss because it helps to keep you full and satisfied, preventing overeating,’ Ang said.

‘In the process of digesting protein, your metabolism also speeds up.’

Look to include good sources of protein like eggs, meat and oily fish like salmon. 

The three things Ang would never do as a weight loss nutritionist  

1. Skipping meals because you’re too busy: ‘When we don’t eat at our regular times, we get overly hungry and overeat later in the day, not because we lack willpower, but because our bodies are programmed to survive,’ Ang said. If you’re time poor, she recommends carrying ‘on the go/easy to eat snacks’ to allow herself to have some food.

2. Exercising to lose weight: Secondly, Ang said exercise is not required for fat loss. You should be exercising for your ‘mental, physical (strength) and heart health and because it makes you feel good’. If you want to lose weight, she recommends that you ‘optimise your nutrition first’ and what needs adjusting there.

3. Use the word ‘cheat’ to refer to food choices: By definition cheating means you’re breaking the rules, Ang said. ‘Food should provide nourishment and enjoyment. Some foods are indulgent and should be considered a sometimes food in the context of a healthy lifestyle. Treating them as a luxury or a treat increases your enjoyment of them, whereas treating them as a bad choice sucks all the joy out of those special occasions.’

Source: The Healthy Diary 

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