5 Things You Do Every Day That Are Stopping You From Losing Weight

by Leigh Weingus

Whether you want to lose 20 pounds or five, trying to lose weight can be frustrating.

And it's not just because you have to exercise more and kick your daily doughnut habit.

It's because oftentimes in your head, you're doing everything right: You're spending 45 minutes on the elliptical every day, eating less and you've even given up eating bacon, egg and cheese bagels when you're hungover.

But you're still not losing weight. And you're not happy about it.

What if we told you there are probably things you're doing on a daily basis that are preventing you from shedding those stubborn pounds?

Here are five things you're doing every day that are stopping you from losing weight.

Watching too much Netflix.

So, about all that binge-watching you do. You should probably stop.

We're all for a nightly episode of "Gilmore Girls" or "Breaking Bad" (pick your poison), but plopping down on the couch after work and watching Netflix until 2 am isn't doing your weight loss efforts any favors.

Studies show eating in front of the TV increases your total caloric intake.

Plus, staying up late with your beloved TV show probably means you're not getting your recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

And the less you sleep, the hungrier you are. This is because your body produces more ghrelin (the hunger hormone) when you're tired.

Plus, being exhausted depletes your willpower and makes you more likely to reach for junk food when you planned on eating carrots.

We're not trying to scare you away from TV. Just watch it in moderation.

Skipping breakfast.

You may think you're saving yourself calories by skipping breakfast, but eating within two hours of waking up is extremely important when you're trying to lose weight.

Although you may not feel hungry when you wake up in the morning, don't be fooled by the weird messages your stomach is sending you. A protein-packed breakfast kickstarts your metabolism and will keep you fuller throughout the day.

As long as you're not filling up on high-calorie, high-sugar and low-nutrient foods like doughnuts and breakfast pastries, breakfast is always a good idea.


Cardio burns more calories than weight-lifting, right? Technically, yes -- but it's more complicated than that.

First of all, when you do the same workout every day, your body adapts to it and starts to plateau. Where 30 minutes on the elliptical was once a calorie-buster for the body, nine months down the line it's probably doing less for you.

Not only that, but muscle burns more calories than fat throughout the day. So spending some time weight-training is actually the key to losing weight.

Who's ready to start pumping iron?

Not being honest about how much you're actually eating.

You ate super well today, not counting that trip you took to the fridge at midnight to eat four cookies and that enormous bag of chips you ate at work (they were free! You couldn't really turn them down).

If this sounds familiar, you're not alone: A 2013 study published in the journal BMJ found many Americans underestimate how many calories they're eating in a given a day.

Whether it's because you don't know how many calories are actually in your food or aren't factoring in you midnight snacking, not being honest about how many calories you're really taking in is detrimental to weight loss.

For a quick fix, try downloading a fitness app on your phone and recording everything you eat -- you may be surprised to find popular fitness trackers have many of the foods you eat on a daily basis in their system, like every item on the Starbucks menu.

Although it may be tough to face how much you're actually eating, it'll help you out in the long run. We promise.

Drinking anything but water.

It's no secret (we hope) alcohol is packed with calories, but drinking anything other than water can be a weight loss stumbling block.

Energy drinks and soda are packed with sugar and calories -- a 16-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola has 180 calories and 44 grams of sugar, for example -- and they provide you with zero nutrients.

Don't be fooled by diet soda, either. It may be calorie-free, but it's packed with chemicals, and studies show drinking too much diet soda can actually cause weight gain.

Not a big fan of water? Try sipping on herbal tea or flavoring your water with fruit.

Now that you're armed with the facts, you can make the changes. We believe in you.