Why is it Harder to Lose Weight Each Time You Gain it Back? (+7 Surprising Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight)

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Why is it Harder to Lose Weight After Gaining it Back?

Losing weight has to be a permanent process and therefore it should be done slowly. It is often harder to lose weight each time you gain it back.

Eating a healthy balanced diet that includes portions of protein and fat will give your body all of the essential elements that it needs to function properly.

When combined with an activity that gets you up and moving, the excess fat will begin to go away at a rate that is acceptable to your body’s metabolism.

You have to have the proper mindset though and that is where most people fail. It is a long term project, but the rewards are endless.

People who find it harder to lose weight after a fairly quick/new weight gain may have inflammation, thus making them not only more prone to weight gain, but also making it harder to lose weight than the person without the inflammation.

Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

You’re Not Eating Enough Protein

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Protein is the single most important nutrient for losing weight.

Eating protein per day can drastically reduce cravings and desire for snacking.

This is partly mediated by protein’s effects on appetite-regulating hormones, such as ghrelin and others.

If you eat breakfast, be sure to load up on protein.

A high protein intake also helps prevent metabolic slowdown, a common side effect of losing weight. Additionally, it helps prevent weight regain.

You’re Experiencing Muscle Loss

The amount of lean muscle we have naturally begins to decline with age.

You may also lose muscle if you’re less active due to age-related health conditions, such as arthritis, or if you’ve been sidelined with, say, an injury or surgery for several days.

Why does that loss of muscle matter? Because lean muscle uses more calories than fat.

So unless you’re regularly strength training with weights to maintain and build muscle, your body will need fewer calories each day.

Most people keep eating the same amount, but because they have less muscle mass to burn those calories and less activity, they end up gaining weight over time.

This factor will make it harder to lose weight for you.

You’re Undergoing Normal Hormonal Changes

Both men and women undergo changes in hormone levels as part of aging that help explain why middle age is prime time for putting on pounds and finding it harder to lose weight.

For women, menopause — which occurs most often between ages 45 and 55 — causes a significant drop in estrogen that encourages extra pounds to settle around the belly. 

This shift in fat storage may make the weight gain more noticeable and increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.

In addition, fluctuations in estrogen levels during perimenopause may cause fluctuations in mood that make it more difficult to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan. As a result, the average weight gain during the transition to menopause is about five pounds.

Men, on the other hand, experience a significant drop in testosterone as they age.

Testosterone is responsible for, among other things, regulating the fat distribution and muscle strength and mass. In other words, declines in it can make the body less effective at burning calories.

The pituitary gland’s production of growth hormone (GH) also declines from middle age onward. One of GH’s many functions is to build and maintain muscle mass. So as GH decreases, it’s harder for your body to make and maintain muscle, which, in turn, also impacts how many calories you burn.

It’s a snowball effect. You start accumulating more fat, less lean body mass; you burn fewer calories, and that just keeps adding up over time.

You’re More Sedentary and More Stressed

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By the time you’ve reached adulthood, your career is likely in full swing, which while great can pose a few weight loss challenges. An unhealthy lifestyle can make it harder to lose weight.

For one, you’re likely moving less. You may commute an hour or so to and from work, sit at a desk for eight or more hours a day, and have so much on your plate that there’s no time to go for a walk or exercise during the workday.

You may also find yourself too busy to break for lunch, increasing the odds that you’ll scarf down something from the vending machine or order in.

And you may experience more work-related stress, which can increase the level of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you hungrier.

You’re Experiencing Major Lifestyle Changes

Some of the reasons for weight gain have nothing to do with what’s happening inside your body and everything to do with the way life changes.

One of the biggest changes comes when you suddenly do not seem to have time anymore for yourself. As a result, your diet and exercise intentions might slip, causing a few pounds to creep on. As a result, it becomes harder to lose weight.

You’re Not Sleeping Well

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Good sleep is one of the most important factors for your physical and mental health, as well as your weight.

Poor sleep is one of the single biggest risk factors for obesity, today.

Lack of rest can make it harder to lose weight.

You’re Not Eating Mindfully

A technique called mindful eating may be one of the world’s most powerful weight loss tools.

It involves slowing down, eating without distraction, while listening to the natural signals that tell your brain when your body has had enough.

Eating with zero distractions, sitting down at a table with just
your food can cause significant fat loss and reduce the frequency of binge eating.

This can help if you find it harder to lose weight after going off track.

Take-Home Message

Weight loss is not always easy, it can be harder to lose weight and numerous factors can bring it to a standstill.

Try strategies ranging from mindful eating to keeping a food diary, from eating more protein to doing strength exercises.

In the end, changing your weight and your lifestyle requires dedication, self-discipline, perseverance, and resilience.

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