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Common Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight


You are trying hard to lose weight. You have changed your eating habits, and you have been doing more physical activity than you used to. But a few weeks or even a few months have gone by, and the scale isn’t budging. Why?! What are you doing wrong?! What are the common reasons why you can’t lose weight?

You start by making small changes to your diet. You drink a green smoothie every day, and you stop eating dessert. You don’t lose weight! So you decide to do something drastic, and you order a bunch of expensive, chemical-laden weight loss drinks from the internet. Nothing happens!

You commit to counting every calorie that you put in your mouth. The scale doesn’t budge!

Body weight is regulated mainly by the number of calories consumed and the number of calories burned off. But there are a number of other things that influence weight, and some of them can make it difficult to lose weight. This article explores what some of these are and how to overcome them.


Keep in mind, too, that people come in different shapes and sizes. You don’t necessarily have to be “thin” to be healthy, but losing some excess fat can improve your health in a number of ways. Talk to your health-care team about your weight-loss goals and about what a healthy weight is for you.

 Frequent hypoglycemia

Frequent episodes of hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, contribute to overweight because of the calories needed to treat hypoglycemia. The general recommendation for treating hypoglycemia is to eat or drink something containing 15 grams of carbohydrate, wait 15 minutes, then check your blood glucose level again with a meter to see if it has risen. Sometimes another 15 grams of carbohydrate is needed, particularly if the blood glucose level was very low when hypoglycemia was detected.

Some common causes of hypoglycemia include taking too much insulin (of any type), taking too high a dose of an oral diabetes medicine, skipping or delaying a meal, increasing the amount of exercise done without decreasing the amount of diabetes medicine taken or increasing the number of calories consumed, and “insulin stacking,” or taking a second dose of insulin before the previous one has finished working.

If you are having frequent hypoglycemia, work with your health-care provider to adjust your diabetes treatment regimen. The potential consequences of frequent hypoglycemia include not just weight gain but also falls, accidents, and, in some people, hypoglycemia unawareness (the loss of early signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia). It’s important to work with your diabetes care team to find the reasons for frequent hypoglycemia and to fix them.