The Causes of an Inability to Lose Weight may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Weight loss requires more than just diet and exercise.

If you’re eating right and exercising, you should be losing weight. If it’s not happening, start by cutting down your calorie intake. Since 3,500 calories equal a pound, even a few hundred calories less per day can add up to a couple of pounds a month, according to If you're still not losing weight despite those changes, it might be due to an underlying medical problem. Consult with your health care provider to discuss possible causes and concerns.

Hormonal Imbalance

As of 2010, about 10 million Americans suffer from hypothyroidism, according to, making it a rather common hormonal problem. Hypothyroidism is characterized by cold intolerance, hair loss, unexplained fatigue and changes in your menstrual cycle. People who suffer from hypothyroidism either gain weight or have difficulty losing it. Estrogen and testosterone imbalances also affect your weight, as does the growth hormone, which your body naturally produces during sleep and after exercise. If you’re not sleeping enough or are inactive, you may gain weight.


Certain medications can cause weight gain, so if you’re unable to lose weight, take a look at your medicine cabinet. How much weight you gain depends on what medications you’re taking. Corticosteroids can cause a gain of a 100 pounds or more, according to Medications that can result in a weight increase or interfere with your weight loss plan include diabetes drugs, antidepressants, steroid hormones, antihistamines, beta blockers, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics and migraine medication, according to If you’re taking any of these drugs and you're unable to lose weight despite diet and exercise, talk with your doctor about switching to a different medication.


Stress can be an important factor in weight changes, according to It can easily contribute to your weight gain if you don't properly monitor your stress levels. If the scale isn’t budging, look at your environment and the pressures and demands you’re experiencing. Stress affects your food choices, how much you sleep and how often you snack, according to If you’re suffering from stress and have trouble losing weight, recommends eating only when you're hungry, rather than when you're anxious or bored. Pay attention to your moods. When you experience negative feelings, distract yourself with positive activities. Read, work in your garden or visit with friends. Exercise and get plenty of sleep to reduce your stress.

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