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6 reasons why you can't seem to lose weight — no matter what you do

Buckle up as we dive into the nitty gritty reasons why you might be finding it difficult to lose weight.

Written by
Imogen Kars
Medically reviewed by
Last updated
May 14, 2024
min read
6 reasons why you can't seem to lose weight — no matter what you do
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When push comes to shove, losing weight is a tricky journey that demands dedication, hard work and consistency.

Yet, despite the weight loss efforts of a lot of blokes, sometimes the extra weight just doesn't want to budge and you may be asking yourself: why can't I lose weight no matter what I do?

Here at Pilot, we're dedicated to helping you make the most of the body you're living in. So, buckle up as we dive into the nitty gritty reasons why you might be finding it difficult to lose weight.

Why am I not losing weight with diet and exercise?

While it seems easy enough to lose weight — diet and exercise, right? — many men around the globe struggle with difficulty losing weight.

Regardless of the healthy habits you take up, or the calorie deficit you attempt, there's still a range of reasons you might be struggling to lose weight.


First things first, let's talk genetics. While they aren't the be-all and end-all when it comes to losing weight, they can certainly give you an insight into why you might be struggling in particular.

Some men are predisposed to gaining weight a little easier than others, no matter how much they diet or exercise. Genetic factors can comprise metabolism, hormone levels and body type.

Some folks are genetically predisposed to storing more fat in certain areas of their body, including the abdomen, the hips or thighs [1]. This can make their weight loss journey feel trickier than it should be.

Other types of genetic factors can influence the way the body processes and stores fat tissue, which can also impact the ease of losing weight.

It's important to note that even if you're predisposed to a pesky gene factor in the fat tissue department, you'll still be able to make certain lifestyle changes that can boldly impact your weight and improve your overall health.

Age and lost muscle mass

Did you know that your age can play a major role in your ability to lose weight? As men age, their metabolism slows down, making it trickier to burn calories and lose excess weight.

To add to this, less muscle mass (commonly found in older men) can also lead to a decrease in metabolism. How?

Well, lost lean muscle mass can make it hard to lose weight for a few reasons. The first reason is that when a man has less muscle mass, his body is burning fewer calories than normal [2].

Secondly, losing muscle can also lead to a decrease in strength and endurance, which can make it harder to engage in effective exercise habits.

Your quality of sleep

You might not think about the way that sleep helps you in losing weight, but it's a major pillar for overall health.

When you're sleep-deprived, your body likes to produce a hormone called ghrelin, which increases hunger [3]. It can also lead to the body producing less leptin, which is the hormone that suppresses your appetite.

This means that overeating is an absolute breeze for the sleepy, meaning you're likely to have trouble losing weight from the get-go.

Consistency is lacking

Another reason why you might be dealing with weight gain is due to a lack of consistency.

Although it can be hard to maintain motivation, losing weight requires consistent effort involving a healthy diet, regular exercise and a balanced lifestyle.

Consistency is key, so if you're not steaming ahead, it's all too easy to fall back into the clutches of old habits. Remember, they die hard!

Your stress levels

While it might seem obvious, stress can be a major factor in why you can't seem to lose weight.

When we're stressed, our bodies release cortisol which is a hormone that lends itself to increased fat storage. This can make for a trickier time in losing weight, especially around the midsection which is where cortisol likes to be stored.

Stress can also lead to emotional or binge eating, which can often mean you're consuming more calories than your body needs.

Sitting too much

OK, so you do a couple of strength training sessions a week, plus a run or two for cardio — but how active is your lifestyle outside the gym?

If you have a desk job, chances are that you spend too much time sitting down. And although this might not seem to have a huge impact on your weight, research suggests that the risk of obesity grows by 5% for every 2 hours of sitting [8].

What can I do to kickstart weight loss?

While it might seem impossible after many attempts to lose weight, the good news is there are steps you can take right now to kickstart your weight management.

First things first, consider the way you're approaching losing weight. Certain exercise plans or diets work for some, but they aren't effective for others. While a low-carb diet may prove successful for some people, others may find it messes with their blood sugar.

In light of this, it's important to find a weight loss plan that works for your body. You might have to experiment with a range of different factors, including:

Eat healthy food

Your diet does play a role in your weight and eating an abundance of healthy foods tends to make the weight loss journey easier.

With this in mind, you'll want to look at your portion sizes and the different types of foods you're eating every day. Try to aim for a balanced diet of lean protein, whole grains, fruits, fruit juices and vegetables and avoid high-sugar foods and empty calories where possible.

You might want to consider trying adding nourishing meal replacement shakes into your diet to help kickstart your weight loss. Pilot's Weight Reset Shakes are formulated to cater to your dietary needs while also keeping you feeling satisfied and encouraging weight loss.

On Pilot's Rapid weight loss plan, which involves replacing 2 meals per day with a shake, it's normal to lose up to 2kg a week for the first 4-6 weeks and then 0.8kg each week beyond that [4].

The Steady weight loss plan, which combines 1 shake a day with a low-calorie diet, can help you lose 4% of your body weight in 12 weeks [5].

Plus, Pilot's Weight Reset Shakes are packed with good stuff, including:

  • 20 vitamins and minerals
  • High-quality whey protein with 9 essential amino acids to limit the loss of muscle mass
  • Fibre to keep you feeling fuller for longer

And, more than 40% of your daily vitamin needs for immunity and overall health are taken care of with 1 shake.

Take a look at the way you move

Incorporating at least 30 minutes of movement into every day is a brilliant way to kickstart your weight loss. You can move more in your day-to-day by:

  • Standing or walking while you're on the phone
  • Scheduling in 'stand up and stretch' breaks in your work day (mark them in your calendar so you don't forget!)
  • Having walking meetings
  • Taking the stairs
  • Parking further away from your destination (or walking instead of driving, when possible)

You can also try strength training and focus on building muscle, as a way to boost your metabolism and burn more calories.

Take care of your sleep

Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep every night, and limit screen time and other factors that may interfere with lights-out mode.

Creating a (consistent) pre-sleep routine can also be helpful, including relaxing activities that will help you wind down and let your body know it's time to rest and recharge — something like taking a warm shower (or bath), meditating or doing a quick 10-minute yoga session.

It's also a good idea to only go to bed when you're ready to sleep. Many of us lay down when it's time to go to sleep, even if we're not necessarily sleepy.

There's a logic to this — by lying down, we're trying to force our body to fall asleep. But... this doesn't always work.

In fact, it can backfire, as bed stops being associated with sleep in our brains; and it starts to trigger an ‘awake' state instead.

Reduce your stress levels

While stress is unavoidable, it is manageable. All of the lifestyle changes we mentioned above will help reduce your stress levels, but there's more you can do.

One thing is incorporating stress relief mechanisms into your lifestyle — like yoga, journalling and meditation — which can help reduce stress and help your weight loss efforts.

If you feel like you need to, you can also reach out for support, whether that is from a family member, a mate or a professional, like a therapist or psychologist.

What if nothing works for me?

Fed up and can't seem to budge the stubborn weight and body fat?

While you're most likely doing everything right, you may just need the help of a healthcare professional who can evaluate any underlying medical conditions that may be impeding your weight loss and encouraging you to gain weight.

Specialist-designed weight loss treatments, health coaching and meal replacement shakes can all help you reach your weight loss goals in a more sustainable and encouraging way.

That's why Pilot's Metabolic Reset Program incorporates all of these treatments into one effective weight loss program.

Our program gives you access to clinically proven treatments that target the body’s metabolic patterns as well as health coaching and one-on-one goal setting with an Australian practitioner so you have all of the tools to improve your health.

It's important to remember that while you might run into setbacks along the way, like weight plateaus, fluctuations or experiences with emotional eating, patience, persistence and consistency — alongside professional assistance — can help you lose weight and improve your health.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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