11 Surprising Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

Asian woman sleeping peacefully

I’ve heard pretty much everything. Most people who come to me who sincerely want to lose weight are in pain and truly believe they are doing “all of the right things.” There is so much research about the best way to achieve optimal wellness, yet for some reason, many in our generation continue to cling to the “calories in, calories out” mantra, which leads to deprivation, which is compounded by chronic cardio…and guess what? This approach has been proven ineffective. So instead let’s learn about the real obstacles to lasting weight loss and find an approach that works.

Here are the first six of 11 surprising reasons why you are not losing weight. I could go on, of course, but these are the top in terms of being highly researched and supported by academia and many in the wellness and fitness communities. Next week, I’ll share five more reasons, and they are even more surprising…


1. Lack of sleep

We burn fat, recover from all that we ask from our bodies, and store memories during our sleep. It is a primal and essential bodily function. Experts say we need seven to seven and a half hours of uninterrupted and adequate sleep every night. Without it, your body craves carbs and sugar, isn’t building muscle, and your metabolism slows.

Asian Woman Sleeping


2. Too much stress

Stress causes weight gain, obesity, lack of quality sleep, decreased cognitive function, and other serious medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Increased stress induces a physiological roller coaster ride, forcing your body’s systems into one job: reducing stress.

Wellness Wheel Chart - Stress, Tolerance, Mindset, Language, Sleep, Physical Movement, Food, Accepting Your Body and Habits


3. Too little time outside

Back to the stress…just getting a minute or two outside calms the brain and reduces stress. Reducing stress means your body can focus on burning fat. Being outside also means you are moving…also key to any weight loss and wellness program.


4. Too much FOMO

Finding purpose is a main point of my concierge wellness program. Linking your values with your actions is an essential ingredient to making progress on your wellness and weight loss. A healthy lifestyle will reward you abundantly with increased energy, less body fat, and feeling better. Worrying about what others are doing leads to, well, stress (see above)!


5. Keeping up with the Joneses

Thoughts about his/her weight, how his/her clothes fit, how easy his/her life take up valuable brain power that could be focused on higher contributions to your life like your wellness and your purpose. Every thought we have takes up valuable space in our brains. Our brains get stressed from constant worrying, wanton thoughts, and comparison syndrome. Reign it in, and feel better for it.


6. Making up for last night’s or yesterday’s mistakes

Your body doesn’t work that way. Eating or drinking foods that are not healthy without a plan leads to disastrous choices like over-exercising the next day, deprivation, and, worst of all, guilt. Guilt is awful and causes crazy stress on the brain. The body doesn’t burn the next day what you ate the day before.The body is an intricate, beautiful system of days/weeks/years of choices, not just last night’s. Let the mistakes go, and start fresh.


  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 1,500 clients, 25 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now-more-than-ever passionate about helping others view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty workout weeks to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Now, Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down”, a healthy mix of strength and metabolix work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength. Adrien believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and our health and that change, or improvement, is always within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help Alexandrians learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness and listening to clients’ success stories and bragging about her twin 12 year old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!


Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314




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