Can’t lose weight? What to do when your diet stops working

diet stops working Let me tell you a story I just heard from an online friend . . . and if I change the details just a little, it’s my story as well. It might be yours too.

Since I was in my 20s I’ve been able to stay in shape by following Weight Watchers and doing aerobics classes. But when I turned 40, it stopped working.

I keep following WW and exercising, but the weight has crept up, and I can’t seem to shake it off. The things that used to work just don’t anymore!

My version of the story goes like this:

When I was young I could always eat a lot, but I stayed in shape with exercise.

If I needed to drop a couple of pounds, I could eat salad for lunch for a week and boom—5 pounds would just drop off.

But in my 40s, several years of overeating and *not* exercising turned me into a person I didn’t even recognize in the mirror.

This time, though, eating salad and working out . . . did not work!

So what’s the answer?

Should we just hang it up and stop trying to get in shape over 40? Are we just too old to lose weight?

Well, given that I’m in much better shape at 56 than I was at 44, you *know* I don’t believe that.

I’ll tell you what the answer isn’t: continuing to focus on strategies that don’t work and then banging our heads against the wall.

What does it mean when your diet stops working?

Tony Robbins has been quoted about a billion times for saying, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

He’s right. And his advice certainly applies when your diet stops working!

We have to do something different if we want a different result!

Here’s what I didn’t tell you before about my friend’s experience. She’s especially upset with her lack of results because, as she said, “I know what to do.”

Amen! I’ve *been* there. I know firsthand the horrible frustration of thinking, “I’m eating ‘clean’—so how come I can’t lose weight?”

Or for you, it might be, “I’m exercising all the time—why can’t I lose weight?”

Or “I’m hardly eating anything but the scales don’t budge!”

(I hear that one a lot!)

That frustration is a big fat clue (no pun intended): yes, maybe once upon a time we did know what to do.

But obviously we *don’t* know what to do now—because if we did, we’d be getting results.

I don’t mean to depress you.

Because I know without a doubt that we can achieve our weight loss goals . . . but NOT by following the old strategies that no longer work:

  • diets that are too low in calories (Weight Watchers and almost every other popular diet out there, I’m talking about you)
  • diets that don’t include enough protein to maintain your muscle mass
  • exercise programs that take too much time but are woefully short on results
  • cardio-only routines that simply cannot speed up your metabolism.

Here’s the sad part: the longer we continue to follow these failed strategies, the poorer our results are. And the more disheartened we become.

The truth is, yes, your body *has* changed as you’ve gotten older.

But those negative changes—slower metabolism, less muscle, more flab—don’t have to be permanent.

All of them can be turned around. And yes, you can get in shape over 40.

But none of those negative changes can be turned around by continuing to chase after the tired old strategies that worked when you were 20 but don’t anymore.

In my next few posts, I’m going to tell you more about several key strategies—whether you’re 25 or 55—to help you lose weight and get the results you deserve.

And in the meantime, I want to invite you to a FREE online workshop (offered July 22 and 24), in which I’m going to walk you step by step through one of *the* most important techniques to jump-start your weight loss.

I will also share with you some of the fatal mistakes even smart women make . . . mistakes that will doom your fat-loss program!

speed up your metabolism During this interactive web workshop, you learn

  • the 5 essential steps to lose weight permanently and without starving
  • the fastest way to build a firm and sexy body and
  • how to speed up your metabolism, no matter how old you are!

Two sessions are available: noon EDT (U.S.) Monday, July 22, and 7 p.m. EDT Wednesday, July 24.

You choose the one that’s more convenient for you.

During this live workshop, I will walk you step by step through the process of determining the range of calories that’s right for you to cut.

This is SO important if you want to diet without hunger and without doing serious damage to your metabolism!

Even if you can’t make it to the live workshop, sign up so you can get the replay.

Seating is limited, so save your spot now!

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Mary C. Weaver, CSCS
I'm a weight-loss and body-transformation coach for women---and I want to share my best weight-loss strategies with you! Click the link to learn more about my Body-Transformation Bootcamp program!
Mary C. Weaver, CSCS
Mary C. Weaver, CSCS

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  1. Aisha says

    If exercise is not helping you lose weight, switch to interval training. With this exercise approach, you increase calorie burning by alternating moderate activity with vigorous activity. Start out with an activity, such as swimming at a slow pace or walking. You should break a sweat, yet be able to sing your favorite song. After a few minutes, switch to an intense burst of activity, like running or swimming laps quickly. During this type of activity, it should be difficult to speak more than a few words. Rotate between the two activities for at least 30 minutes,

    • says

      Aisha–thanks for commenting! Interval training is great for calorie burn—and for health—and I always recommend it to my client. Unfortunately, if we’re eating just enough to match our calorie burn, we’re still not going to take off fat, no matter how much time we spend doing intervals. That’s why, if someone is stuck at a plateau, I advise her to start tracking calories so she knows exactly how much she’s taking in.
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