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4 Reasons You're Eating Clean & Not Losing Weight, Propello Life - Natural Protein Supplement

4 Reasons You’re Eating Clean & Not Losing Weight

Clean eating is a buzz word thrown around a lot on social media, but there is still a lot of confusion around the clean eating meaning and how to do it in your every day life. But, one thing remains consistent, I have people asking all the time, "why am I cutting calories but not losing weight?" This can be a complicated answer and depends on your individual situation, so lets dig into what clean eating is, and then we can provide some clean eating guidelines for weight loss.

What does clean eating mean?

That depends on who you ask. Generally, it refers to eating a diet of healthy foods consisting of fresh, whole food that is self-prepared and nutrient dense.

Many people find they feel better, look better, and have more energy when they eat clean. I know I do.

Others adopt a “clean eating” lifestyle because they want to lose weight and body fat. And some even turn to clean eating to gain weight and lean muscle.

While eating this way can and does produce weight loss for many people, it doesn’t happen that way for everyone.

3 months of clean eating results plan

Some questions and comments I hear a lot from my clients are:

  • How come I'm not losing weight even though I am exercising and eating healthy?
  • Why am I not losing weight like I used to when I was younger?
  • I have been dieting and not losing weight like I used to.
  • I am eating healthier but gaining weight - WFT?!
  • I cant loose weight - help!!!
  • Can you help me lose belly fat?
  • Does apple cider vinegar really work?
  • Why can't I lose weight?
  • Why am I eating less calories but gaining weight?
  • Can you lose weight by eating only one meal a day? also known as omad diet
  • Does intermittent fasting work?
  • Are liquid calories easier to burn?
  • I am eating 1200 calories and not losing weight! - WTF?

Everybody's clean eating habits and weight loss plan is individual and unique

I have worked with clients who had been eating healthy for years, eating mostly fruits and veggies and avoiding packaged and processed foods as much as possible. However, they were still struggling to lose those stubborn pounds and found their body didn’t look any different. They were struggling to burn fat and lose belly fat even though they were eating a healthy diet.

I have also worked with clients that are working out 6 days a weeks, burning over 500 calories a workout, eating clean 80% of the time, and struggling with their weight loss efforts and still can't lose weight, while they see their friends eating out, drinking alcohol, and being super skinny and fit - what gives!?

Diet is more than half the battle when it comes to weight loss, so why wasn’t eating clean working??

It is true diet is as important (even probably more so) than exercise for weight loss, but just eating “healthy” is not always enough. Especially once you’ve lost an initial amount of weight and plateaued. Trying to drop the last five or ten pounds can sometimes be the hardest!

You can eat all the healthy food in the world and the scale might not budge one bit. Your body weight just seems to stay the same, and you never achieve that clean eating before and after body you desire. Frustrating, for sure, but there is hope! Here are four reasons you’re not losing weight from eating clean, and how to change that. And they all have to do with caloric intake.

propello life make eating healthy easy for a busy family

1. You’re eating too many calories.

Even if you’re eating healthy, in order to lose weight you must be in a calorie deficit. Just eating all healthy food will not lead to weight loss if you’re not working out and still taking in more calories than you burn. Some very nutritious foods also have a lot of calories (for example, healthy fats found in nuts, nut butters, salmon, avocado, coconut and olive oil) and you can eat a lot of them without realizing how many calories you’re actually consuming. If you find yourself eating healthy, but still gaining weight or not losing weight, then try eating salad for one of your meals. Just be careful not to use too much salad dressing since it is high in fat and calories. Raw vegetables are nutrient dense, low in calories, and high in fiber. They will keep you full for a long time, and are great for your overall health.

2. You’re not eating enough calories.

If you’re not over eating, you could have the opposite problem – eating too few calories! When you eat almost entirely nutrient-dense foods, (especially if you eat salad a lot, or lots of fruits and veggies and not a lot of protein) the calorie intake doesn't add up quickly. Eating salads everyday benefits your health, but eating only vegetables or a vegetable heavy diet has fewer calories, lots of fiber, and keeps you full longer. These foods can cause you to feel as if you are eating a lot of food when in fact you might barely be consuming 1,200 calories a day. For many people, that’s simply not enough fuel (especially if you work out) and the body won’t drop any excess fat because it has gone into a starvation mode.

This can sometimes be an issue for vegans and vegetarians - especially if they aren't getting enough protein in their diet. Check out "How to live an active lifestyle on a plant based diet."

Also, as your lean muscle mass increases so does your metabolism and your calorie needs. So if you have been eating clean and lifting weights, you may need to increase your calories a bit to continue to see the fat burn away - this is call a reverse diet

3. You use food as a reward or blow it on weekends.

This goes back to consuming more than you burn. If you are in a habit of allowing yourself a dessert, extra portions or something sweet because you had a hard day or got your workout in, no matter what the rest of your diet looks like you could still be adding in tons of extra calories. Even if you stick to a super clean diet all week, if Friday is pizza and beers with friends and Saturday is a dinner date and cocktails, you’re not going to make much progress towards your weight loss goals.

4. You consume liquid calories.

Eating vegetables like kale salads and lean protein like chicken breasts is great, but if you’re in the habit of sipping more than you’re chewing this could be a problem. Whether it is sodas, calorie-heavy coffee drinks or alcohol, those liquid calories can add up fast. Even smoothies can really spike your blood sugar if they contain only fruits or added sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. This again comes back to calories – you can drink a few hundred calories pretty quickly without even realizing it, and those add up.

Final Thoughts

Clean eating results in better health, but it doesn't always mean you will lose weight. If any of the above sound like you, I suggest determining the right amount of daily calories for your body and your goals and then tracking what you eat to be sure you are either keeping calories low enough or high enough to allow your body to lose weight.

Eating clean is a wonderful healthy way to live but it doesn’t mean you will automatically lose weight. (If only it were that easy!)

Here are a couple more blogs to help you get started or to answer some common questions with healthy living:

propello life 10 steps to a healthier leaner stronger you

Propello Life blog what is a good lean muscle percentage


 Use our Look Good, Feel Good Bundle for a simple A.M. ritual weight loss solution

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Check out our other blogs, healthy recipes, and natural supplements:



About the Author:

Melanie Ash

CPT, owner of Fitness Evolution & Melanie Ash Fitness

Fitness Nutrition Specialist

Weight Management Specialist

Back Injury Prevention Specialist


Instagram: @melaniefit

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