Seven Reasons You Might Not Be Losing Weight

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you feel that you’ve done everything perfectly, but the number on the scales just isn’t budging? Well, I have and it’s incredibly frustrating.

I am not a Slimming World consultant, and I have not been trained by Slimming World, but I’ve been doing this for over a year now and in that time I’ve gained a pretty good insight (from my own struggles and from those around me) into the things which could be stopping the weight from shifting. 

Hopefully this might help identify some things you could adjust or change. I will stress though that the plan works differently for everyone, and there’s no hard and fast rule for how fast you should lose weight on Slimming World! It’s easy to get disheartened when you see other people with big losses, but just remember that the most important thing is that you’ve taken control of your weight problems, and you’re doing something about them!

Never let anyone make you feel bad for the rate at which you’re losing weight, and NEVER EVER give up because you feel it’s not shifting fast enough. Nobody ever said that losing weight was easy, if it was everyone in this world would be slim.

It’s a hard journey, but with the right tools and support it’s one that you will absolutely get to the end of. As I say, these are just some observations, and generally accepted principles, that might make a bit of difference to your weight loss, and the first one might surprise you! 

You’re Not Eating Enough! 

Yes, you read that right…I promise! Something which I often see, especially on communal Slimming World groups online, is people worrying that they won’t see a loss at weigh in because they’re simply eating so much. But that is the beauty of Slimming World! You can eat all of the delicious free foods, speed foods, and your syns, and still lose weight, which is pretty fantastic.

However, if you get scared and try to reduce your food intake to boost weight loss this will slow it down in the long term. There’s nothing wrong with portion control, and of course Slimming World advises filling up on speed foods as much as possible, but you should never ever be hungry on Slimming World. I eat at least five times a day, three meals and two snacks, and I’m almost four stone down so that should tell you something! 

This is NOT enough food for one person ;)

This is NOT enough food for one person 😉

You’re Not Eating Your Syns! 

5-15 syns a day, that’s what we’re told and that’s a rule I stick to as much as I possibly can! Even on weeks where I’m saving syns for the weekend I never completely cut out syns from my day, I simply reduce to 5 to save 10 for a glass (or two) at the weekend.

The Slimming World plan is designed to incorporate your syns, and whilst in the short term at the start of your plan removing them completely might speed things up slightly, in the long run not only does it starve your body of fat and sugar (which can result in larger weight gains when you go off plan) but it makes it harder to continue long term. If you allow yourself a treat within your syns, you are far less likely to cave in after a couple of weeks and go on a massive binge.

One of the things that people often say is that they don’t use their syns because they don’t like sweets, but nobody ever said you had to use your syns on sweets or cake did they? I personally have better losses when using my syns within my meals, for sauces, marinades, dressings, or dare I say it leaving the fat on my bacon occasionally (shhhh!), but there are weeks when my desk draw is full of low syn sweets, it just depends on my mood! Whatever you do, stick to at least five per day and see what happens, it might just surprise you! 


These are some of my favourite syns…just note that I’ve got plenty of speed fruit to snack on too!

You’re Not Eating Enough Speed Fruit/Veg!

I am categorically not a member of the speed police, and I personally do not eat 1/3 speed with every meal. However, there are speed foods for a reason, they are the lower calorie, higher density fruit and veg which means they are better for weight loss. What I will say is that even if I don’t have speed fruit and veg with every meal, I do at least try to have some kind of fruit and veg, even if it isn’t accompanied by the little ‘S’ symbol in my book.

If you’re stuck on which fruit and veg are speed foods, check out my downloadable list here. There are plenty of people who have massive losses on Slimming World who don’t eat speed foods, because they don’t like fruit and veg, but remember if the plan isn’t working the best thing to do is to look at the changes you might have made to the basic formula first.

If you’re not eating the speed foods as suggested, then that might just be the problem, because it could mean that the third that should be taken up with healthy fruit or veg is taken up with extra carbs. Whilst carbs are free, they are basically free on the understanding that you’re having 1/3 speed, so don’t over do it! 


You’re Eating Accidental Syns! 

What I mean by this is that you’re picking at the odd chip off your child’s plate, or guessing your Healthy Extra measurements, or nibbling at the edge of a biscuit, or just having ‘one tiny bite’ of cake…we’ve all done it!

Now, on a lower syn day these things might not make a huge difference, but what you’ve got to remember is that an extra few grams of oats in the morning could equate to an extra couple of syns that day. Think about it, if you then knowingly eat your full allowance on top of that, it’s going to push you over. The syn allowance is calculated very specifically, and going over by even a couple per day could be effecting your losses.

Picking can be done, just make sure to account for it in your daily intake. If you’re unsure of how many syns you’ve picked, for example if you’ve just grabbed one little chip, I always find it safer just to round up to slightly higher than what it might actually be to protect your losses. 


You’ve Reached Your Plateau! 

This is the annoying point at which your body decides that it’s happy where it is, even if you’re not! It’s bloody frustrating, and it can be a huge downer on a very successful journey. I reached a plateau at about 3 stone lost, and it has taken me forever to get the next stone off.

I’ve had massive gains and big losses since then, but stayed roughly the same weight until it recently started shifting again (albeit slowly). In this situation there are a few things you can do to get things going again, including trying a few SP days (read about them here), or upping the exercise you’re doing…an extra couple of thousand steps or half an hour in the gym might make a world of difference!

Whatever you do though, don’t let a plateau frustrate you into going off plan or worse, giving up completely! Persevere through it and try a few things out. If your weight still doesn’t shift and you’re actually within a healthy BMI (not my favourite measure but hey!) then it might be that your body is actually fine where it is, but if you’ve still got somewhere to go trust that eventually it will happen. 


You’re Not Checking Your Syns! 

Tut tut, naughty us! We have all done it right? Grabbed a chocolate bar or ice cream without checking how many syns it had in it beforehand, and then felt like crying and turning back the clock when we have a quick check after and realise it was about three billion! Once you’ve been on plan for a while, there are definitely some things that you just know are a certain amount of syns, but even then it’s always best to check instead of being caught out afterwards.

If you do eat something without checking though, it’s always best to find out after in any case, no matter how daunting that might be! If you discover that you have accidentally eaten more syns than you meant to, then don’t panic…just adjust your syns the next day to account for the extra ones you’ve already eaten. Where things get tricky is if you leave it up to chance, because that way you could be eating way more syns than you realised and that will eventually catch up with your losses and could lead to gains. 


You’re Letting A ‘Cheat Meal’ Turn Into A Cheat Week!

Sometimes life gets in the way, after all I’m not losing weight just to sit inside and be a boring person for the rest of my life. I eat out quite a lot, and I don’t always eat out on plan (terrible I know!), and one of my biggest struggles on Slimming World has been finding the self control to draw a line under one meal and get back on track straight away.

I have lost count of the number of times I decided to scrap it all for that week because I’ve eaten off plan for one meal or even one day. This unsurprisingly 99.9% of the time has lead to a gain on the scales the next week, which I then have to spend the week after getting off. This slows everything down and that’s frustrating. If this is something you find yourself doing, then you’re probably just as aware as I am of the consequences.

What can make a big difference when this happens is making sure you have a plan in place for the week, and you’ve got the food in to make the meals you’re planning. That way you’ve got to use up the food in the house, and can’t just decide to order out for another takeaway! 

This was one of my cheat meals at a gig this year!

This was one of my cheat meals at a gig this year!

You’ll notice that I haven’t included ‘tweaks’ in this list…to find out why read my article all about it

There are of course plenty of other reasons you might not be getting losses on the scales, these are just some observations I’ve made, or some of the things that Slimming World say themselves.

What I always think of though is this, if you ‘kind of’ follow the plan, you’ll ‘kind of’ get results… and whilst there are definitely adjustments that can be made to the plan to fit each individual, if it isn’t working 100% the first place to look is at the changes you’ve made. Remember the powers that be at Slimming World HQ have spent a lot of time, money and expertise on developing this plan and it really does work! Trust in the basics, especially if you’re new, and the weight will come off! 

Now… go forth and slim gorgeous people! Hopefully this has been helpful, let me know any observations you’ve made about the plan in the comments below! 



  • Karen

    07/08/2016 at 1:55 am

    I lost 11.5st on SW, and just wanted to add that there could be an underlying medical reason if you ARE sticking 100% to plan. I went 4 months on plan, with only 8 days off plan and lost nothing. Turns out I have an under-active thyroid and a condition called Lipoedema, which is abnormal fat distribution, my legs will never be slim. I got to 13st 9.5lbs and nothing would shift anymore. X
    1. Cliona

      08/08/2016 at 9:40 am

      Hi Karen, wow what an incredible loss! Congratulations! You are definitely correct, as I say these are just some of the reasons that the weight might not be shifting. It's very true that if you are really struggling and still over weight then there may indeed be a medical condition. It sounds to me like you've done fantastically well, so you should be so proud! x
      1. Shirley Hellend

        26/10/2018 at 11:18 am

        Well done fantast ihave been on slimming world for 2weeks losed nothing ido eat a lot of slimming world meals pasta baked pototoaes rice 1toast for bedfast cause idont like any thing eles could you help me pkease iam 69abd need to lose my weightilove chicken not to good at cooking because ihave ill health so ihave lived on slimming world meals which ilove if ihad one slimming world meal a day what would be the best thing to eatiwould be greartful thank you shirley iam not on a website icant get in to them not to good on phone
  • Tina

    03/06/2017 at 6:52 am

    Hi there, I've been on SW since the beginning of January & have been losing steady fir most of that time ( odd 4 or 3lb loss but mainly 1lb and the odd maintain or gain) I find not drinking enough fluids can be a problem for me, it causes fluid retention. The way I proved this was I went away for 9 days, ate lots of healthy stuff, had a few alcoholic drinks but my feet on the journey there & back came up like balloons. It was a 30 hr coach journey as my hubby doesn't fly. I came back & jumped on the scales to find a whopping 10lbs gain that evening! The next day was my class weigh in so I was horrified lol. I weighed myself the next morning & I was down by 3lb & my feet had started to go down. By the evening class my gain was only 6lb. In that week I drank alot more fluids than I had on my journey & days out. In the following week I had lost 5lb! Never havery I lost 5! Lol. I find if I go to the loo plenty of times in the day after drinking then my losses are much better
    1. Cliona

      07/06/2017 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Tina, first of all well done on your fantastic loss! It sounds like you've done incredibly well! Water retention is a huge factor when it comes to the scales and it sounds to me like you had it really badly, but I'm glad to see it went down! Drinking lots of water is essential for flushing out excess water so it sounds like you've done exactly the right thing! Good luck on the rest of your journey, you should be so proud of yourself! x
  • Fee

    21/02/2018 at 10:17 am

    Hi I know this is a old post but I’m really hoping for some advice I’m sticking to plan 100%!! and I’m maintaining every week I was losing 1lb or 2lb even 3lb and the beginning and I haven’t changed anything I tried having less syns one week under ten that didn’t work I’m really trying hard and I don’t know what to do from here it’s so upsetting esp when I see other people losing my typical meals are yoghurt or cereal bar for breakfast lunch jacket beans salad or beans on toast dinner chilli spag Bol that kind of thing or roast with lots of veg I eat the same kind of meals every week and if I got out I will have a nandos which never has affected my loss when I was losing I drink a pint of water with every meal please help!!
    1. Cliona

      12/03/2018 at 6:48 pm

      Hi Fee, I feel your pain I do! Just remember that people lose weight at different rates and you shouldn't compare yourself to other people. Make sure to have your syns, as they're built into the plan for a reason! Your body needs all of the different food groups to lose weight properly so avoiding syns isn't the answer. Also make sure you're having your healthy extras and don't forget that a third of your plate should be speed and a third should be protein at every meal. When struggling I'd make sure that you're going back to basics and sticking to the plan completely. Try doing a food diary where you track every little thing and then you can identify where you might be going wrong by accident! Good luck!
  • Hannah

    20/10/2018 at 7:34 am

    Hi! Thank you, that was so useful. I have been on the plan and gaining! So disheartening:( My usual red day consists of 2 eggs in fry light on 2 ryvitas, lunch tuna salad, carrot, egg, lime, activist fat free yoghurt, apple, tea - fish, chick peas, spinach, tomatoes, mushroom, little cous cous. My green day is eggs, beans, pasta, beans, cheese, jacket, quorn sausage, spaghetti etc, fat free yoghurt. Drinking tea and water. At weekend have a glass of wine or two. Weight is going up:( Please help! Thanks xx
    1. Cliona

      22/10/2018 at 4:12 pm

      Don't get disheartened! I didn't do the plan when they still had red days and green days, but it might be that your body needs a bit of a reboot? Have you considered switching to the Easy Extra plan for a change? Sometimes that's all you need to kick start things again!
  • Julia

    02/11/2019 at 9:55 am

    Thank you for this article. I lost 3lbs the first week and now I’ve put on 1lb this week. I’ve not been using my Syns and not drinking water. Your article gave me hope as I thought I was eating too much rather than maybe not following the plan properly. Many thanks x
    1. Cliona

      18/11/2019 at 1:38 pm

      I'm so glad this gave you hope! Well done on persevering! Water is definitely important.
  • Marie

    19/06/2020 at 1:09 am

    Hi, I've been loosing 1.5lbs a week and wanted to try and increase it and was thinking where have I been going wrong? Can you please advise if you need to have the full amount of HEA & HEB daily? I don't think I have been... Thx
    1. Cliona

      12/07/2020 at 7:58 pm

      First off, well done on that weight loss! That is a really good consistent amount of weight to be losing. If you aim to lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week that is maintainable whereas a larger amount might mean more drastic changes and be harder to keep up. That being said, you could try and up your exercise and drink more water as both of those things help a lot! Make sure you have your full HexA and B and use at least five syns per day too. Hope that helps!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Post Next Post