Eating clean, working out, but STILL can’t lose weight? Here’s why…


Hey guys!

You eat well and exercise, but can’t lose weight?

There are 2 possible reasons:

1. You’re not being true to yourself. Write down what you’re eating for a whole week THEN tell me if you’re not sneaking in tiny cookies at night that “don’t count.”

2. Ok, you probably have a valid point.

Because I’ve been there and many people have too.

Logically, you would think, the more you work out, the better you eat, the more weight you lose no matter what right? Apparently no. There’s another factor.


I know. It’s frustrating. So let me explain why this happens and what you can do about it.


When your brain detects the presence of a threat, no matter if it is a bad grade on a test, a big credit card bill you can’t pay, or a huge grizzly bear running at you:

1. You get a burst of adrenaline, which taps into your stored energy so you can fight or flee.

2. At the same time, you get a surge of cortisol, which tells your body to replenish that energy.

In the short run, adrenaline makes you feel less hungry as your blood flows away from the internal organs and to your larger muscles to prepare for the fight or flee scenario. However, once the effects of adrenaline become weaker, cortisol, which is known as the “stress hormone,” lingers and signals your body to replenish your food supply!

Our ancestors used to actually fight off wild animals and had to run away from predators which used up a bunch of energy. But now…we stress out over emails and mean social media comments while sitting at our desk.

So…this can make you hungry…very hungry as your body keeps on producing more cortisol, which increases stress and well, it turns into a bad cycle if you don’t put an end to it.

University of Pennsylvania actually conducted a research study that showed that in times of stress, you are scientifically proven to reach for fatty foods not healthy food! It’s not just in your head. Get this…

Lab rats that were “stressed” by exposure to the scent of a predator lead the mice to eat more high-fat food pellets, when given the choice of eating these instead of normal pellets.


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1. Stop strict dieting.

Research shows that if you keep dieting, your cortisol levels can rise as much as 18%. And, when your cortisol levels spike, your blood sugar goes nuts too – first rising, then crashing low. This makes you “hangry”!

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2. Sleep.

Your body thinks that sleep deprivation as a huge stressor. The University of Chicago conducted a research study found that if you get roughy 6½ hours of sleep each night, this can increase cortisol, appetite, and weight! So, try to get between 7-9 hours! In another study, appetite—especially for sweet and salty things—increased by 23% in people who were sleep deprived!


3. Exercise.

You know this! Working out actually reduces cortisol and triggers the release of chemicals that will improve your mood. Your body releases endorphins that make you feel better naturally! And obviously, weight training exercises will help build muscle which in turn increases your metabolism!

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4. Write in a Journal.

Writing down how you feel – your experiences, your reactions, your goals, your fails – it keep you honest and your mind clear, without any judgement! This is a great way to detoxify your thoughts.

You can also write down what you’re eating as a way of keeping yourself accountable. Below is the Blogilates 12 week Fit Journal which is designed for EXACTLY that!

fit journal

Fit Journal 2.0,

(Oh and remember…the much anticipated Fit Planner 2016 comes out on December 6th! Mark your calendars!)

massage table
5. Find Rewarding Activities Unrelated to Food.

Going for a nice walk, reading a book, going shopping, getting a massage, or making time for friends…these are all things that are fun and un-related to food. Too often we celebrate by going out to eat, but lots of times that involves drinking, snacking mindlessly, and overeating. What you want to do is find a way to unwind that does not involve food! For me…it’s a no brainer…MASSAGES!!

I personally try to get massages every Friday as a way to meditate. For me, it is difficult to sit down and silence my brain. I’m either awake or I’m asleep. So one of the ways I’ve discovered how to TRULY relax while being awake in a state of PURE BLISS is by getting a massage. I actually budget out to get a massage for my HEALTH much like how I budget my money for a gym membership or healthy food.

And guess what…I actually have a super high pain tolerance so when I go I ALWAYS ask for ELBOW ONLY!!! Like go as hard as you can and make me suffer!


So guys, these are all sorts of ways you can reduce your stress, reset your body, and start letting your body function properly again so that you can lose weight!

Love you so much and be sure to take some time to let go and relax! Comment below and tell me what may be stressing out you out.



  1. Hello Cassey! Melanie here.
    Stress is one of the factors why my weight bounces up and down frequently. I get stressed over certain mean people and things, even dieting super strictly until my body drops down. Sometimes, my insomnia attacks again (I have insomnia since kindergarten).

    Big Thanks for this vid! I’m going to try the tips above. :)

  2. Great advice and I like to see you suggest writing and eating properly. Having learned more about food I find that I naturally stay away from unhealthier things because I know they’re the cause of so many of the issues I have physically. Now I crave green leafy vegetables!

  3. Cassandra M says:

    Hey Cassey,

    Another reason could be that someone has a hormone imbalance. I’ve been struggling to lose weight for years through workouts and clean eating, but instead I’d build muscle and not burn fat. It turns out I had a hormone imbalance and PCOS. This is quite common and something a lot of women don’t think about. Could you help bring attention to this too?

    Thanks for your constant motivation!

  4. Good ways to make your workout effect. These facts should be pinned on our wall. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is going to help so much Thank you. I’m stressing because I hurt my back a few weeks ago and its taking so long to heel. I’m a dancer and its killing me that I cant lift my leg past my waist, plus auditions for the school musical are coming up, and I really want to be a dancer! But how can I look good when I cant move !! And I love to workout but I can basically only work my arms and do crunches and that’s it !!!!! *sigh that felt good to vent:) However, I am going to try to go to sleep earlier now and write in a journal. I’m not big on writing, but I feel like it will help me relax. Thank you for being so positive, it makes me more positive xoxo

  6. Hi Cassey :)
    First of all sorry for my English :) For 3 months I worked with your calendars and I saw the difference. My muscles gained and I lost some centimeters, but I didn’t lost weight. How can it be ? Greetings from Poland and I love you !

    Magda :)

  7. Hey Cassey!

    I struggle with anxiety and, despite being on the strongest dose possible, it is only getting worse. Since I started following your Pilates Beginners Workout calendar, I feel stronger both in body and in mind. I have more energy and more emotional strength to overcome my anxieties. I have learnt ways to stretch and exercise that work hand in hand with meditation and make me feel better.

    Thankyou so much for everything you do! You’re amazing!


  8. We should truly realize that fitness is not a destination. Its a journey. IMHO losing 5 pounds in a week would not make me happy. I’d rather lose 10 pounds in 10 months and likewise…

    I practice such thoughts over and over until it becomes a part of me. Once I do that, it kind of reflects in my stress levels (comes down).

    Hang onto your own “comfort” thought and don’t let go!

  9. Stephanie M. says:

    You’re absolutely right! I’m glad you addressed this because it can be so discouraging. I just started a new job and gained a few pounds along with some bloating. The transition has given me some stress, causing insomnia, fatigue, breakouts and probably weight gain.

  10. Random question for everyone –

    Does anyone have the 12 week new body makeover? She came out with it in the winter of 2013 and you could buy the original fit journal to get it or go week by week using passwords online. I did this back then, loved it, got divorced, he threw it away :(
    I REALLY want to do this 12 week meal program again – I have tried every way possible to ask Cassie but she never responds. Does anyone have it that could give me a copy?
    Thanks <33


  11. Thanks Cassey for this great video. I have not been truly focusing on the reason for not losing weight however this is a great video to help with my self examination and make the changes i need to make.

    I do not tweet so #Becausemoments……Unhappiness is the norm for me. I can take a positive moment in life and make it horrible. Hopefully the recent changes in what is going on with me will help to get a new norm.

    thanks so much

  12. Thank you Cassey for sharing excellent tips ! I can’t be 100% sure, I was working out for few months, mostly fitness with my own weight, and didn’t lose any pound, I felt some pain in the back, thankfully I started losing weight after massage therapies. Now I do understand the importance of the massage, and recommend it to all my friends.

  13. I’m glad that you mentioned sleeping as well. So many people neclect sleep, which can be so damaging for your health. We all strive for a healthier lifestyle by doing more exercises and eating healthier. We all forget about the sleep part, while it’s actually 1/3 of our life.

    Not getting enough sleep? Feeling tired throuthout the day? Please this website then:

    Educate yourself, it will only benefit you ;)

  14. Amanda Sellars says:

    Hi Cassy,

    My grandfather passed away a few days ago and then two of my aunts got really sick. I managed to go running yesterday but I haven’t done much pilates this week. But I usually do it every day. You are an inspiration to me.

  15. Hi Cassey! Im big fan of yours from Philippines.

    I’ve been trying your video for two weeks now but i stopped because i was sooo stress meeting my deadlines at work, but reading this one and seeing your videos (which i feel that your talking to me directly) makes me smile and motivated :)

    I hope that someday i can see you in person:)


  16. Hey i training with you! I really love whyou are doing for all girls around the world ( i am from poland) Keep workin, and this journal is good advise i will start with his.
    PS Do you think i is possible to lose 3 Kg in three and half week? Becouse i have to!

  17. Cassey, i just wanna say i love you <3
    i just found u while surfing and i feel blessed to have found you..
    i've been watching your videos since an hour and instead of going to bed i started to exercise!
    i need a bit of your help actually,, i have belly fat, a little of arm fat and big thigh n big booty :'(
    please help me with the exercises i need to follow because there are so many and all of them are interesting that i am confused which one to follow..please please help me..
    i wanna be thin by december or at most february and i can do it with the right guiding, please cassey :)

    • If you want,try her beginners calendar since you are just starting out:) She already has the videos there for you to do and tells you exactly what to do each day.Then when you finish,try her monthly calendars-oh,but you have to sign up for her newsletters- they are free-to get the password to unlock the monthly calendars!Good luck and God Bless!
      Ps healthy eating will help with getting a fitter and healthier body

  18. I struggle with sleep I lay down, I’m exhausted but I still can’t find a way to fall asleep. I struggle to wake up which makes me late for work and stressed out, then I’m tired throughout the entire day which makes more stressed out. So sleep is definitely one of my main issues, but i don’t know how to fix it naturally and all the doctors want to do is give me pills I would become addicted to. Maybe you could do a video on a workout that helps you sleep better?

    • Monica Gomez says:

      My co-worker just tried this recently and she said it worked for her. She rubbed some lavender essential oil on the bottoms of her feet before going to bed and she said she was able to fall asleep easier and faster. It’s worth a shot to see if it works for you. Hope this helps 😊

  19. Maggie Tate says:

    I have been recently stressed and I get so stressed when I lose weight. Because I feel like I have to be perfect and reality is I am not perfect. Another thing you hit on is that doing things non food related. I am trying get in habit of doing things for myself that doesnt involve food. And realizing its things I can do for myself that doesnt involve food and that is not expensive like going to the gym. Or going to elf makeup store in NY and buying some make up. Or going to a garden. I really need get social and not just isolate myself and mindless emotional eating. You hit alot of good points in this blog post. And also me being honest about my food logging, water log, and workout log and realizing no one can do this but me. :)

  20. Sleep is something I rarely compromise on. Sleep is on of the most important things in my book. I cant function without sleep. When I go long periods without enough rest I have headaches, I cant concentrate, I always feel sick. Sleep is very valuable!

    But I do need to work on decreasing my stress. We all have a lot on our plates and that will never change. Frankly, I love having a lot on my plate. But I need to reduce my stress and find ways to enjoy to craziness.

  21. nawang intan says:

    I need help reduce fat in my body. Im indonesian. My tall only 150 cm. My weight 72 kg. Please help me. I do strict dietbut not working.

  22. I should start getting more massages and journaling :)

  23. I’m a guy but I’m not ashamed to say that I frequently check your blog. I’ve had this problem too, no matter how many times I changed my diet, exercised, etc, I keep gaining weight. I suffer from really bad insomnia (I literally can’t sleep and end up sleeping for 12 hours after a couple of weeks because I’m sick and exhausted, then it starts all over again) and from social and generalized anxiety. My doctor’s been telling me for years ”eat better and exercise, you’re overweight, you should be careful, blabla” but she never even talked about these factors even though she obviously knows about my problems. Reading that made it clear that I should focus on getting enough sleep (I still don’t know how, but I’ll find a way I guess) and reducing the anxiety before I put on my shoulders the stress of trying to lose weight and not seeing results. These are good tips, even for someone trying not only to lose weight but to regain control of their life after a depression or something like that. Thanks for your work!

    • Search ASMR on youtube! They’re a huge help for me to fall asleep at night, I honestly don’t know how I fell asleep before I discovered it! Definitely give it a try, hope it works for you!

  24. Hello
    I was just wondering if your workouts could help men loose weight? I really want my boyfriend to try pilates with me because there’s not much he is able to do when it comes to fitness. He has a herniated disk due to a work accident as well as sciatica and it causes him a lot of pain when he’s n his feet too long or does rigorous exercise. He usually begins limping after about 15 minutes of walking or less if hes walking fast. It also doesnt help that his doctors tell him that his weight makes it worse but obviously, its not very easy to loose weight when its risking making his back worse. His weight also pays a large role on his emotional health and I feel like its becoming a vicious cycle that he shouldn’t be in at 21 years old. If anyone has any advice please let me know. I really want to see him happier and healthy but it seems impossible.
    Also for anyone who has dealt with sciatica or herniated disks; Is it okay to see if he could do Pilates with me? Or would that be dangerous for his back?

  25. I love this! I totally agree with Asheley in that being ‘stressed out’ is seen as a sign that you’re making progress and being successful. But it’s so bad for you and will eventually lead to a burnout! For me personally, I love to read books that are unrelated to school, go hiking with my dog, and go to hot yoga classes to de-stress.

  26. I hope one day I’ll be able to afford massages *.*
    I would also reccomend getting rid of clutter. A messy room can make days more stressful… this reminds me how badly I need to clean my house:x

  27. I´ve read this in Cassey´s voice :) :) :)

  28. Abigail Calcote says:

    Stress is one of the hardest things to overcome. It can take control over lives and cause so many problems for our well-being. To find relief, I read, listen to music, and pray. I also find writing in a journal helpful, like you mentioned. This was a great blog post, Cassey. Thanks for writing this! :)

  29. This post is in line with everything I have experienced when it comes to stress, and I can’t agree more with Ashley’s comment above. After working a super stressful job with crazy hours and also blogging, I decided it was time for a life change – to make time to relax my NUMBER 1 priority! A big helper has been being realistic about to do list. Choose the most important item, do it, and accept that other things might get pushed. It’s worth your sanity – and your waistline!!

    xx Jill

    Latest Post – Embracing Athleisure: From Gym to Street Candace Swanepoel Style

  30. Excellent post, Cassey! Stress is so damaging, but oftentimes people these days are proud to be “busy and stressed.” I think massages, walks, quiet moments and even some good ol’ foam rolling can be helpful. Thanks for sharing! :)


  1. […] I’ve been really, really, really really stressed for quite some time now- I am constantly in fight or flight mode and find it really hard to relax. I say this, because I keep reading every where on the internet how stress increases your weight gain. […]

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