Can't Lose Weight? Follow These 8 Steps

cant lose weight

1. Start Tracking Your Calories

The 1st thing you want to do Starting tomorrow is…

To see if you're eating the right amount of calories to lose weight…

Select if you're male or female, Put in your height, weight, age & your activity level before starting this plan and then Click on the button that says "Tell Me How Much I Need To Eat To Lose Weight"

Female Male
Your height:   Feet: Inches
Your weight: pounds
     Your age: years
Activity level:

You should be eating -to- calories per day to lose weight

  • It does not matter WHAT or WHEN you eat. Only HOW MUCH you eat matters for weight loss (see why) so no matter how healthy or bad your current diet is…
  • If you're Eating MORE Than calories per day then you WILL Not lose weight.
  • Start eating -to- calories per day along with Step 5 and if you still can't lose weight after 3-to-10 days…

2. Double Check Your Calorie Counts

If you've been eating less than 2000 calories per day & you still can't lose weight…

  • Double check and make sure you counted your calories correctly by re-checking the serving sizes & amounts of the foods you eat & then…
  • Triple check your calorie counts by using 3 different calorie counting tools like myfitnesspal, loseit, my-calorie-counter & to see if they all give you just about the same results and finally…
  • Quadruple check your calorie counts by having someone else count your calories for you because usually…
  • Whenever you THINK you're eating less than 2000 calories and you still can't lose weight then you more than likely miscalculated your calorie intake because you must realize that…

If you're more than 20 pounds overweight then it is almost Impossible for you not to lose weight on a less than 2000 calorie diet (especially on a less than 1500 calorie diet) even without exercise because actually…

  • The more overweight you are = the higher your metabolism is meaning you have to eat a lot of calories just to maintain your high weight so for example…
  • Anyone over 200 pounds has a metabolism that burns at least 2000 calories a day meaning if they eat 2000 calories they will stay at 200 pounds or if they eat less than 2000 calories they will lose weight even without exercising.

So if you've double, triple & quadruple checked your calorie counts and you still cant lose weight then do steps 4-thru-8

3. Stubborn Fat?

You need to be more patient when you have stubborn fat or less than 10-to-20 lbs. left to lose where you'll have some weeks where you can't lose any weight at all or no more than 1 lb. a week because as you get closer to your weight loss goal… You'll lose weight at a slower pace because…

  • You burn less calories exercising. For example, at 200 lbs. you'll lose weight every week burning 800 calories doing a 60 minute weight loss workout vs. at 135 pounds it may take you more than a week to lose even ½ a pound burning only 250 calories doing the same workout
  • Even though you're doing the same workout you burn less calories & lose weight slower doing it because your body uses less energy or burns less calories to move a smaller body. 3 ways to burn more calories
  • Your metabolism gets slower as you lose weight because it doesn't take much energy or your metabolism doesn't have to burn so many calories to maintain a smaller body.
  • For example, at 200 lbs. you'll lose weight every week on a 1500 calorie diet because your metabolism burns at least 2000 calories per day vs. at 135 lbs. your metabolism may burn less than 1500 calories per day meaning you'll lose weight slower on a 1500 calorie diet.

So when you have less than 10-to-20 lbs. left to lose and can't lose weight then you need to be more patient, do steps 1, 2, 4-thru-8 and/or use these 19 tips to lose weight faster

4. Eat Less

If you're eating the right amount of calories, you've double checked everything and you still can't lose weight… Then you simply need to Eat at least 250 less calories but you should only to do this to lose stubborn fat or your last 5-to-15 pounds &/or…

5. Workout Correctly

If you're NOT working out due to laziness, injury or lack of time but still can't lose weight…

Also see How to Tell if You're Working Out Hard Enough to Lose Weight & DO NOT eat back the calories you burn exercising!

6. False Fat?

It's very possible that you could be gaining a lot of water weight or false fat preventing you from losing weight.

  • Drink at least 1 liter of water daily to prevent water weight gain.
  • Use a food journal to help you find out which foods may be causing you to retain water because of certain food allergies unique to you.
  • Avoid these salty & sugary foods as much as possible because they make you retain water.
  • See How to Get a Flatter Stomach in a Week for more on losing excess water weight.

7. Muscle Gain

muscle v fat

If you look slimmer, your clothes aren't as tight or your body fat percentage is lower but the scale says you haven't lost any weight then that means you have gained muscle weight.

Gaining muscle isn't a bad thing because it increases your fat burning metabolism & since 1 lb. of muscle takes up less space than 1 lb. of fat you'll see more results in the mirror than on the scale.

8. Medications

Are you on any Drugs that may cause you to gain weight?

  • Antidepressants, Steroids like Prednisone, Migraine Medications like Depakote, Antihistamines like Benadryl, Sleep medications & Birth Control can all make it tougher for you to lose weight.
  • See your doctor if you gain weight while on a new drug even though you know for sure you're eating right and staying active.

This all doesn't mean you should STOP taking the drugs you need to help your condition but at the same time… If you're trying to lose weight it's best to ask your doctor for alternative medications.

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1-60 of 286 Comments

Adrian, I have mental and physical illness that has made me unable to work anymore. I feel like I’m finally on the right mix of meds to be more active. In 2004 I weighed 350lbs, had the Bariatric surgery. Down to 140lbs. Now 225lbs . Couple years after surgery I later fell ill, diagnosed w/several chronic illness. 2010 was diagnosed with mental illness. Placed on a mood stabilizer(started weight gain). My treatment includes steroids sometimes (more weight gain). Any changes to mood meds weight gain. Now 225lbs. Recently changed diet. No carbs and no processed sugar. Calories of 1500-1700 w/Fruits/veggies and protein. I have been more active in the last 3 weeks then I have been in such a long time so should be burning more calories. Unable to get off meds. 17 pills daily. Not losing weight. I was diagnosed w/thyroiditis since childhood. Not on meds for that. I didn’t know if you have dealt with this before and was there any success?

June 29, 2018

Adrian Bryant

so are your current meds causing you to retain water weight? the 1500 cals ALONE will burn fat so dont worry about WHAT you eat just how much

July 01, 2018


Thanks Adrian for getting back with me. Water weight is a problem for me. I take a natural vegan water pill that doesn’t bother my IC. I have seen the dietitian at the bariatric center and they have no answers for me except pity. I’ve been to my primary doctor who says there is nothing that you can really do. My body is so effective by this meds that this past March I gained 22lbs in 2 weeks. I had an Upper GI that confirmed that my pouch is less then an inch wide, so I have not stretched my pouch out. I don’t want to be this heavy again. I have fought my whole life with my weight. I really can’t remember a time with me not being on a diet. My main goal is to not pin point a weight loss amount. I just want to be comfortable. I have a lot of loose skin that I’m sure makes me look bigger. But also to hopefully learn to control and manage my weight when my meds need to change. Any words of advice where I could start off?

July 02, 2018

Adrian Bryant

start with this diet and this workout

are you on any water restrictions? drinking more water usually flushes out the excess

July 02, 2018


I need help. I'm 14 years old and I'm trying to lose weight because I want an active life style. I do work out, outdoor biking, walking for hours every day, swimming. I have a pretty active life but it doesn't add up. I'm frustrated with my weight because I have tried everything and it's all for nothing. Everyone I eat something small like a sliver of cake I gain and gain. My friends tell me I need to let go and eat what I want but that's not what I want. I only eat around 600 to 700 calories a day and but about 3000 calories a day but it doesn't work if you have any tips or workouts for boosting metabolism and burning away stomach fat fast please tell me because I need some encouragement. Thankyou

June 17, 2018

Adrian Bryant

so are you eating just 700 calories a day? whats the 3000 aabout?

if the 700 is true then on that alone you'd lose weight superfast

how do you track calories

June 18, 2018


Man do I need help. since my last daughter, (four years ago)I've been trying to lose the roundness in my gut and lovehandles. I really don't weight any more than before I had her, but the lovehandles are definitely where they weren't before. I track on cronometer and I stick around 1300-1500. I am limited on doing HIIT and such because of injuries, what can I do or what am I doing wrong?

May 26, 2018


I'm 42 (female) and I gained 30 lbs in the last 2 years. I'm 5'3" and. Weigh 156. I yoyo with my weight every few years because I can't seem to maintain. But I always exercise 4 days a week with resistance training, and walk on incline treadmill while I read 30-40 min daily, or outside when it's nice. I have been tracking my calories on Fitbit for 5 days between 1350-1700 calories and weighed daily and my weight is EXACTLY the same. I'm worried because when I have done this before I always initially lose the first few lbs quickly. Do you think it could be my thyroid or something?

April 14, 2018

Adrian Bryant

since you're weight training, do you look slimmer althouhg the scale hasnt changed?

April 14, 2018


What a great article! I’ve stick to 1200 kcal daily for almost one month now and only lost 2 pounds, and that was the first week. I’ve double checked all my intake via both MyFitnessPal and Lifesum and they are the same. I have pcos and are following typical “pcos tips” regarding lower carbs, higher protein but nothing happens. I’m 5,2 and 213 lbs so I should be able to lose weight on 1200 kcal. Any advice?

April 10, 2018

Adrian Bryant

i would try eating different foods that add up to 1200 b/c off 1200 cals alomne you shluld lose weight

April 11, 2018


I'm 22, I weight 132 pounds and my height is 5'. My diet has been the same for the past two years, since I suffer from stomach issues. I only eat about 1200 or less a day and excerise, yet my weight won't go down. I don't know if it's because I only walk on the treadmill or that I mostly eat the same meals everyday, but I need advise.

April 09, 2018

Adrian Bryant

how are you tracking those calories

April 11, 2018


Hi, this is Gade. I am 219 pounds. My height is 5.6". Can I eat 1200 calorie diet in my four hours diet window in order to lose weight faster.

March 27, 2018

Adrian Bryant

you can but if you are eating 1200 the window isnt really needed since you'll lose lots of the 1200 alone

March 27, 2018


I am 21 5,4 and weight 205 I run at least 3 times a week and take care of what I eat what should I do it’s taking me a while to lose even a pound

February 28, 2018

Adrian Bryant

how much calories do you eat

February 28, 2018


Hey, my name is Jose and I am 15, 5'10 and weight 290 and i don't know how to lose weight, can u help me?

February 24, 2018


Hey, my name is Jose and I am 5'10 and weight 290 and i don't know how to lose weight, can u help me?

February 24, 2018


Hi, I'm 16, 5"6 and weigh 143.3lbs, I ride horses and do basic exercises (squats, sit-ups etc.) and I have quite a balanced diet. I've gained quad muscle which I wanted but my inner thigh, waist and belly fat seems to be super stubborn to leave. I would love to be able to wear my size 8 jeans again (uk sizing) yet nothing seems to be working. Please help!

February 20, 2018

Adrian Bryant

keep doing what you are doing b/c the stubborn belly and hip fat are the last to go

February 20, 2018


Hi :) i would like to hear your advice. Last year in April i started cycling, i did it 5 times a week, 1 hour long. ( It is quite intense i do it with a speed of 40km/h ). I was 190pound. Now i am 160pound. The problem is that i reached this till October. Since then i have'nt lost a single pound. I tried everything i could. I count the callories, I eat between 1800 and 2000 callories. Since december 3times i do the one hour cycling, and 2 times a week I visit the gym and spend there almost 2 hours. I do squats, many abs exercises, and run 40minutes with 9km/h. I did intervalls too for 3months, but even that didn't help. 4 months are gone, and i didnt lost a single pound. I am really disappointed now. I thouht i was loosing fat but gaining muscles, that's why i dont see the changes in pounds. But 2 months ago i wrote down all my measurements, and they are all the same. Thank you for your help! Have a nice day

February 19, 2018

Adrian Bryant

use these tips to lose weight again

I think the 2 main things you need to do is workout wise try new workouts and/or lower your calorie intake

February 19, 2018


Thank you :) do you think 1800callories are too much if my workouts are between 1.5 and 2hours? On relax days my intake is 1500cal. Should I reduce both?

February 20, 2018

Adrian Bryant

no. the less you eat = the faster you lose weight. with your activity, at 1500-1800 you should lose weight on that alone.

double check those numbers

February 20, 2018

Elaine lowe

Hi I am in same boat 200pounds 1300 calorie a day drink lots off water a day keep eating good food yet no lose been like this for 4 month can not lose inches or weight

February 14, 2018

Adrian Bryant

how are you tracking that

February 14, 2018


I need help I'm a 36 y.o. female I work out 5 days a week 1-2 hours those days, I do yoga/Pilates blend 2 days, high intensity cycling, body pump, Zumba, and if I can't get to class I lift weights. I've been doing this for 8 mths, initially I lost 12 inches and now have stopped losing or just fluctuating, I haved not been watching what I eat. I've tried calorie counting, Trim Healthy Momma, weight watchers, and after doing every one of these diets I get to about 10-15 lbs lost and just stop losing. Some back story is I had cancer 3 years ago but am currently cancer free and off meds, I had tube feeds that were very low fat I was only getting maybe 8-10 grams of fat a day for 3 mths, as soon as I was able to eat again I started gaining weight no matter what I did, I have gained 50 lbs in 3 years, I also have IBS-C so I can go days to a week where I won't normally move my bowels, I am on a probiotic which keeps me pretty regular but if my body decides to get weird then I have to take multi-enzymes in addition to the probiotic. I want to add a diet to my rigorous workout schedule but I'm so afraid I won't see results and will get so depressed, I have asked so many doctors for help and they don't seem to have any answers for me. I've also been tested for thyroid problems and everything was within normal limits. I'm currently 5'8 and 239 lbs. Help!

January 31, 2018

Adrian Bryant

all diets work because they someway limit your calories. do you know your current calorie intake

February 01, 2018


I am 64,female, need to lose last 14lbs.already lost 2st on my own.genuinely can't exercise due to vertigo attacks caused by raised blood pressure.(Doctors Orders!) have a spreadsheet on which i track calories, carbs, fat, protein).Under 1300 cals daily/trying to stay on 50 total carbs or under daily. keep going up and down the same 2 pounds.

January 30, 2018

Adrian Bryant

and have you triple check your calorie counts? what about your water intake? is simple walking not allowed

January 30, 2018


I can not lose any weight.i eat 1500 cal or under a day. I do 30 min of 9 round ( kickboxing) 5 days a week and i weigh 300 +. Some advice plz!!

January 24, 2018

Adrian Bryant

how are you tracking b/c at your weight the 1500 alone should cause weight loss

January 24, 2018


Thanks for the tips very helpful👍
In yes you do make 50 look good

January 16, 2018

Adrian Bryant

thank you

January 16, 2018


I was always exercising to keep shape and keeping my heath good but when I lost my parents do to my step brother shooting them in their sleep I got depressed and just stopped do everything cuz I lost my best friends do to a selfish and stupid act and now I'm trying to get myself back out there cuz I know my parents would be wanting me to and I need to go on stronger than I have been it's been over a year now and I need to do this for me it's hard cuz my parents were always there for me and not having them to help me I'm alone and trying to get it done on my own

January 11, 2018


Im 5’4, 19 year old female and currently weigh 127 I have tried many things for the past 1 year n ive stayed the same weight or i gained ... im currently just doing 2 hours of speed walking on the treadmill and burning 800 cals by puting my weight n age into the treadmill and eating around 1300-1500 and ive been trying to lose just 5 pounds for 1 year n i cant make it i tried weight training to high intensity workout for 2 months to going back to cardio cuz none of them have worked on me and then slow metabolism when im eating the right amout of calories and i dont know what im doing wrong ... why cant i lose just 5 pound

November 15, 2017


How to track calories on fresh fruits and veggies?

September 27, 2017

Adrian Bryant

with these tools

September 28, 2017


Im 21, 5ft 2, 10 stone 8, ive dieted since i was young because when i was 14 i was diagnosed with a mixed germ cell malignant brain tumour, had brain surgery chemo radiotherapy ect, anyway im on a TON of medication, i managed to get from 11stone to 9 stone at the at of 16-17, maintained a long long time, and now its just piling back on, ive been doing slimming world for 8 weeks and gained a total of 2.5lbs... ive done my fitness pal before and weight watchers, nothing seems to work, here are some medications im on, Hydrocortisone, lamotrigine, levothyroxine, desmopressin, sometimes propanolol, im on an eostregen mix also, in going out my mind, i hate myself and can't look at myself in tve mirror without being disgusted, i dont eat rubbish! Breakfast, bran flakes, lunch, omlette or a mugshot with veg, or salad dinner chicken or chops with brocoli or green beans or salad, snacks fruit yogurt where am i going wrong :(

August 31, 2017


Hi. I lost 30 pounds two years ago with weight watchers after I had a baby. I counted points and measured all my foods. I recently went through a very bad life experience and was not able to keep up with maintenance and gained the weight back. I'm now using MFP and counting calories and steps and doing light exercise/activity. I also cut out all liquid calories, which was a 500 calorie a night drinking habit (beer and wine about every night). I still measure all my food and I eat fresh fruits and veggies and protein daily. I thought I would lose a lot, but so far only three pounds in three weeks. I know they say that is what to aim for, but the drinking was a lot of calories and I haven't compensated by eating more (I don't eat candy and I didn't crave sweets). I'm starting to feel frustrated because I want to get back in my clothes. What is going on? Could this be a thyroid thing? Am I stuck being chunky now?

July 31, 2017

Adrian Bryant

not stuck at all. at least you are losing regulary but what is your total intake now and what about exercise? go here to speed things up

August 01, 2017


I'm getting really discouraged. I'm 5'2 and 230lbs and I've been burning 900-1000 calories during my strength and HIIT workouts and staying under 1200 calories eating wise but I can't lose anything. I've been doing this for a few months!! I'm losing my mind! I need help!

July 26, 2017

Adrian Bryant

so how are you tracking those calories

July 26, 2017


I'm in the same boat and it's really pissing me off! I'm so frustrated and it gets so discouraging.

September 01, 2017


I'm 54, 210, walk 10,000 - 13,000 steps at least 5 times a week, do Pilates at least twice a week, and attend a sweat house twice a week. I've tried everything: WW (online), Scarsdale, MyFitnessPal, Noom and nothing has worked. Basically, I yo-yo: lose 5 pounds and then gain 4.5 back, I lose 4.5 and gain it back. I weigh my food, and log every morsel. My doctor says my numbers are all in a great range .... I would just like to see the 190's again. Any suggestion that you can provide would be great - should I consider Ketogenic diet?

July 25, 2017

Adrian Bryant

so what is your calorie intake now? it sounds like you got the exercise/activity part covered

July 26, 2017


It varies. I use MyFitnessPal to log, with a goal of 1200. Over this past week calories and miles walked: 1112 (2.4 miles); 1269 (6.4 miles); 1140 (2.1 miles); 1465 (2.5 miles); 1958 (11 miles); 1164 (2.8 miles).

July 28, 2017

Adrian Bryant

(dont get frustrated when I suggest this but...) TRIPLE CHECK your calorie counts b/c on 1200 alone at your weight should be weight loss without the extra activity but...

if you are certain you are eating 1200 (which i find hard to see if you're not losing) then you must simply lower your calorie intake and/or increaseactivity

July 29, 2017


Thank you Adrian. It's been a month and I'm now down 10 pounds based on your suggestion of TRIPLE CHECKING. Thank You!!

August 28, 2017

Adrian Bryant


August 29, 2017


i am 5 foot 7 194 pounds housewife trying to loseweight through myfitnesspal going to a weight loss clinic since may 2017 have only lost 2 pounds.myfitnesspal has me on a 1450 calorie.please help.

July 11, 2017

Adrian Bryant

then you need to triple check your calorie counts b/c t 194 on 1450 cals you should steadily lose weight but how long did it take you to lose 2 pounds?

July 11, 2017

Meddie Eston

I'm 20, female, 5"7 and I weight about 7 stone. I want to lose about half a stone, I'm active and run several times a week and eat 1,000 calories a day or less, all healthy stuff. I just can't budge this last bit of weight I want to lose.

June 30, 2017

Adrian Bryant

at 7 stone you really dont have much fat to lose so its going to take longer for you to lose weight. expect only 1/2 pound or less per week with some weeks = no weight loss at all

July 03, 2017 en Espanol
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