I hear it all the time from my clients “Sam – I’m working out, I’m eating healthily, but why am I not losing weight?”

There are five potential reasons why your weight loss might not be happening. If you have a look at these reasons and take my tips on board, they could help you break through your plateau and get you well on your way to smashing your weight loss goals and becoming a fat-burning machine.

1. You don’t know that 1+1 = 3

Now, what does this mean? I know it doesn’t sound logical, but it is! When weight loss is the aim of the game, you must know that your training and your nutrition doesn’t just equal 1 + 1, it has a far greater combined effect. How you exercise and what you eat complement each other, so you should never do one in isolation or focus on one more than the other if you’re serious about getting results.

2. You’re not increasing the intensity

The intensity of your training is relevant to your fitness level, so this doesn’t mean you have to train like a maniac! The key here is to ensure you move every day and make sure at least three of your workouts are out of your comfort zone. When you train inside your comfort zone you stop burning body fat once you stop moving. When you push yourself you will continue to burn fat, even while resting for up to 24 hours. Your metabolism has an after burn effect!

3. You’re not being consistent

You should move every day, which means there will be variety in your training and also fluctuation in the intensity of your movement. It doesn’t have to be a hard workout every day, but you should consistently be doing some form of movement 30 minutes daily and consistently eating well.

4. Your portions are out of whack

We are conditioned in the Western world to fill up our plate and then eat everything on it. It’s either bad manners not to or how we’ve been brought up and we seem to subscribe to a “more is more” philosophy. But it’s not less is more! Letting your portions get out of control can so easily lead to weight gain, so remember, portion control could definitely be the thing that is holding you back. I don’t believe in counting calories but you do have to be sensible about your portion sizes if you are looking to lose weight.

5. You’re not drinking enough water

When I train clients I always tell them to “drink more, drink more, drink more’ but it usually it goes in one ear and out the other. It’s usually only when I say “the reason you’re not burning fat OR experiencing weight loss is that you’re not hydrated.” that they begin to pay attention because ‘weight loss’ means something to them. Suddenly they start to drink more water and they start losing weight.

I like to think of it like this: The food you put into your body is like petrol in a car, and the water you drink is the oil to keep the engine ticking over and running smoothly day to day.

If you want to lose weight, you need to drink enough water to keep your metabolic processes working effectively.

You need between 2.5 – 4 litres per day (depending on your size and weight) to keep your metabolic processes working effectively.

If you have been asking the question “why am I not losing weight?” then I want you to focus on getting these five fundamental things in check. I promise you, if you focus on these five things you will lose weight and will burn fat more efficiently than ever.

Words from Sam’s adventures with Lifestyle You

Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change to their lives. Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he's also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in Brighton, Melbourne.