“Why am I not losing weight?!”


This has to be one of the most common questions I get asked on a frequent basis.


First and foremost, let me get one thing out of the way as soon as possible, I hate the phrase ‘weight loss’ and at ‘Gold Medal Lifestyle’ we would never promote that mantra either! It makes me think of someone who is sick or suffering from an unfortunate illness such as anorexia!


Taking the number that shows up on the scale as gospel is a very dangerous and quite frankly useless way to gauge your progress on a body transformation journey and there are a multitude of reasons why, the obvious ones being your fluctuating hydration levels and varied food intake throughout the day which can cause the scales to move in both directions quite alarmingly! Go ahead and weigh yourself three times in the same day at different times and see what numbers you are faced with! 


This is also the reason why it actually offends me when people are encouraged to shoot for a number as their end goal, which is what a lot of so-called ‘weight loss’ plans promote, without ever taking into consideration the changes that can occur in muscle mass and bone density (to name but two factors) along the way either! It can often lead to disheartenment and the feeling that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel when someone see’s the scale going up and down so sporadically!


Now, I will say one thing… The number on the scale CAN be of good use if you use it correctly, for the purpose of setting up your nutrition plan and as part of your progress checks, but only when used in conjunction with methods such as tape/caliper measurements or something even more elaborate like a DEXA scan.


For this purpose, I would advise you to weigh yourself at the same time on the same day each week to try to get as accurate results as possible, for example, every Monday morning upon waking without having eaten or drunk anything.


Combined with tape measurement or caliper readings, you can begin to get a rough idea of where your progress is being made and to help you tweak your training and nutrition to fit your ever changing body frame.


From now on, we will use ‘fat loss’ as our new goal terminology for people trying to lose weight as this is what the majority of people actually mean when they imagine their body in great shape!



Let’s move on to what I believe are the top five reasons you may not be losing the desired amount of fat you imagined, or indeed why your fat loss may have stalled altogether!


you’re eating too much?!


Well, it seems like the obvious answer and more often than not that can be the case…


Now, when I say you’re eating too much, this may not mean you’re eating lots of junk food and sinking gallons of beer, because let’s be real here… 99% of people are pretty clued up on the ‘types’ of foods they should be consuming to ensure they are promoting a healthy lifestyle and shooting for a successful transformation, but do you actually know how much is going into your body on a daily basis? Answer that question honestly…


For anyone starting out on a transformation journey, I would highly advise that you keep a diary of what you eat (and drink) every day for at least two to four weeks to figure out just how many calories and what split of macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) you are consuming! Only once you start doing this can you begin to get specific on your goals!


After a while and with a bit of experience you can relax a little and start ‘eyeballing’ your food as you will have a much clearer idea of what foods contain what amount of calories and the varying macronutrients in each portion!


you’re eating too little?!


Okay, well I guess you may not have been expecting me to say that right? WRONG! Let me get a little deep here… DO NOT under any circumstances think that by cutting your calorie and food intake to extreme levels is going to be of any long-term benefit to what you’re trying to achieve…


Yes, you may see rapid short-term weight loss (look, it’s our favorite phrase again!) results with this type of method, but believe me it’s not the type of weight you will be expecting and your body will only adjust to this new low-level of food intake and start fighting back!


Your metabolism will also completely crash, your hormones will be totally screwed, you will likely lose precious muscle tissue and as soon as you begin to eat ‘normally’ again, you will only gain all of that weight (and more!) straight back! The people who usually adopt this method of dieting are the ones who are shooting for the number on the scale as their goal which is why I’m so against this way of approaching things and any ‘professional’ or trainer who is advising their client to do this should be banned from giving nutrition advice and have their certifications ripped up!


Lack of sleep!


In my opinion, sufficient and good quality sleep is the number one most important thing for anyone on a fat loss (or muscle-building!) mission.


Sleep can never be a compromise and quite frankly if you’re not sleeping enough, or getting enough ‘quality’ sleep, then you need to address this now! When you are sleep deprived, your body will go into survival mode and start to slow your metabolism right down because it thinks it is in danger and it will do anything it can to hoard what it currently has!


Your hormones will likely be all over the place, boosting ghrelin levels in your body (which is the signal for hunger) and decreasing leptin (the signal for satiety). Along with this, your stress levels will undoubtably increase also, thus promoting the release of cortisol…


Now you have the perfect conditions for binge eating (remember the last time you were ‘stressed out’, what did you reach for? I’m guessing the tub of ice cream or a packet of chips rather than chicken breast or a bag of kale!?)


You must prioritize sleep and if this is something you suffer with, one tip I picked up many years ago was to turn your bedroom into a ‘bat-cave’  by making it as dark and as quiet as possible. Use ear plugs and window blinds or an eye mask if necessary to achieve this and if your problems still persist, seek medical advice and get some guidance on how to alleviate this problem.


You’re working out too much!


“But this whole industry is geared toward promoting high activity to help me lose fat!”


True, but sometimes, more is not always better! Just as with lack of sleep, when you workout your body is releasing the stress hormone, cortisol. Simply put, when cortisol levels are high, your body will not be in a fat burning state because it’s too busy trying to balance out your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.


Whilst I would always encourage people to ‘move’ every day, you do not have to go ‘hell for leather’ five, six or even seven days a week as some people do to achieve your goals… Rather, be smart with work, max your body out three to four times a week with focused and quality work and do something less strenuous on the other days like going for a long brisk walk or some active stretching/yoga routines and above all, get in plenty of rest in too!


You don’t drink enough water!


I imagine this to be an obvious reason, yet so many take it for granted!


Quite frankly, your body’s ability to burn fat in a dehydrated state is zero, so by staying hydrated, your metabolism will be higher at all times, your body will be consistently flushing out all of its toxins and you will also be less hungry more of the time as studies show that 90% of the time that you feel hungry, you guessed it, you’re actually just thirsty!


DRINK MORE WATER! I don’t like to promote figures, I won’t say, “you must drink four litres a day or you won’t lose fat”,


Just drink until you’re hydrated… Keep an eye on the color of your urine throughout the day, it’s the best indicator you have! The clearer it is, the more hydrated you are…


by james fox

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