7 Reasons You’re Gaining Weight When You’re Trying to Lose It

Gaining weight while trying to lose it can be extremely frustrating. It’s not uncommon to feel like you’re doing everything right — eating healthier, exercising regularly, and watching your calorie intake — and yet, the scale still isn’t budging. While it’s possible that you could be doing something wrong, there are also plenty of other legitimate factors that could be contributing to your weight gain. Here are seven possible reasons you’re gaining weight even when you’re trying to lose it.

1. You’re Eating Too Much

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth pointing out because it’s probably the most common cause of weight gain. Even if you’re eating healthy foods, portions can add up quickly. Be sure to pay attention to the serving sizes on nutrition labels, and don’t be afraid to measure out your food with measuring cups and spoons.

2. You’re Eating Too Many Calories

It’s not just about how much you’re eating. It’s also about how many calories you’re consuming. Even if you’re eating “healthy” foods, they can still contain a lot of calories. Be sure to pay attention to the calorie content of your food and drinks, and try to make sure you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning each day.

3. You’re Not Eating Enough Protein

Protein is vital for weight loss because it helps keep you feeling satiated for longer and helps to preserve your muscle mass. Make sure you’re getting enough protein from your diet by including lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes.

4. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain in several ways. Not only does it make it challenging to follow and stick to a healthy diet and work out regimen, but it also disrupts hormones that control appetite and metabolism. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

5. You’re Not Exercising Enough

Exercise is essential for weight loss, and if you’re not getting enough of it, you’re likely to gain weight even if you’re doing everything else right. Strive for at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise weekly, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming.

6. You’ve Hit a Weight Loss Plateau

If you’ve been trying to lose weight for a while, it’s possible that you’ve hit a weight loss plateau. This means that your body has adjusted to your diet and exercise routine, and you’re no longer losing weight. If this is the case, try changing up your routine or adding more challenging activities to your workouts.

7. You’re Stressed

Stress can lead to weight gain in several ways. It can cause you to overeat, it can disrupt your sleep, and it can also trigger the release of hormones that can cause your body to store fat. Take steps to reduce your stress levels, such as taking up a relaxation practice such as yoga or meditation, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep.


Gaining weight while trying to lose it can be discouraging, but it doesn’t have to mean that you’re doing something wrong. By being mindful of the above factors, you can get back on track and start dropping the pounds on the weighing scale.

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