Due to it being a public holiday all appointments will be charged at $90

View public holiday pricing
Doctors On Demand

Five Possible Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

5 Possible Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

Are you finding it hard to lose weight, despite eating well and staying active? There may be more to it. We have rounded up five possible reasons for inhibited weight loss to help you pinpoint what may need further investigation.

You may have a hormonal imbalance

Our hormones are responsible for regulating important processes in our bodies.

They can affect our appetite, metabolism and fat distribution, so when they’re out of balance, it can be hard to maintain a healthy body fat percentage.

Some hormonal factors that may be influencing your attempts to lose weight include body fat percentage, aging and menopause.

If you have a high body fat percentage, it can be harder to lose weight because your body is trying to maintain its current state.

The aging process can also influence our hormones to carry more weight in our abdomen.

Post-menopausal women have a slower metabolism and less muscle density than pre-menopausal women.

However, the effects of these hormonal changes can be mitigated by an active lifestyle and hormonal treatments which may be prescribed by a doctor.

You may have poor sleep or a sleep disorder

Quality sleep is essential for preventing a range of conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Less than seven hours’ sleep can increase your risk of developing obesity as it affects the hormones that regulate your appetite and can lead to the reward-processing part of your brain to seek food as a reward.

Shift work can also impair the body’s ability to maintain a healthy body fat percentage, as changes to the body clock can increase food intake and impair blood sugar level regulation.

Food eaten at night is also less effectively metabolised by the body.

If you have or suspect you have a sleep disorder, this can also make it harder to reduce your body fat.

Obstructed breathing during sleep and sleep fragmentation is linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

If you have a suspected sleep disorder, or struggle with quality sleep each night, it’s best to speak with a doctor as soon as possible.

You may be chronically stressed

Stress has been widely reported to be linked to poor nutrition and weight gain.

Whether you are affected by work commitments, family stressors or health issues, you may struggle with sleep, lead a more sedentary lifestyle or drink more alcohol which can make it harder to lose weight.

Prolonged stress increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite and drive to eat (usually comfort food).

Food high in fat, sugar or salt can counteract the stress response, so you feel better when you have comfort food at the expense of your health.

If weight loss is eluding you despite a healthy and active lifestyle, stress may be to blame.

Your lifestyle may need tweaking

We all know the importance of a nutritious, balanced diet and active lifestyle to keep us well and maintain a healthy body fat percentage.

There are many ways to approach a diet and exercise routine that works for you, but here are some points that could explain why you find it hard to lose weight, despite your best efforts.

  • • You may not be eating enough protein
    • ○ Eating protein, especially with breakfast, can boost your metabolism and keep you fuller for longer
    • ○ It can also help prevent weight regain
  • • You may not consume enough whole foods
  • • You may not be drinking enough water
    • ○ You should aim for 2 litres of water daily, and more on days you exercise
    • ○ Try to drink 500mL of water 30 minutes before dinner
  • • You may follow a restrictive diet
    • ○ Fad diets are rarely backed by medical professionals and often require you to cut out entire food groups
    • ○ You may be missing out on key nutrients your body needs
  • • You may not be varying your exercise routine
    • ○ Try to incorporate high intensity workouts, strength and resistance training
    • ○ Resistance training (weight training) can help boost your metabolism and regular cardio can help burn fat around your abdomen

Underlying health condition

Pre-existing or underlying health conditions can also impede weight loss. Some medications can increase water retention, change your metabolism or alter your body’s ability to regulate appetite.

It is best to discuss your weight loss goals with your doctor for a holistic approach to your health.

The bottom line

Committing to a healthier version of ourselves takes time and effort. While we may feel we’re taking the right steps to improving our health, sometimes there are other factors at play. If you can tick off any of these obstacles to lasting weight loss, we recommend a video consult with a doctor to work out a gameplan.



Better Health, Australian Menopause Centre, Sleep Health Foundation & Harvard Health