1. You are not giving your body the proper nutrients to reach your goals.
Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber, vitamins, minerals, water. That's all it comes down to. All of the energy bars, meals, protein shakes and various supplements come down to those things. No magic pill or formula. Give your body what it needs and you will find you can do some fairly amazing things. Defining what "needs" is can be tricky. I would like to tell you that the "calories in, calories out" principle is all you need, but that is only part of the picture. Future posts will elaborate.
2. You have unrealistic goals, and/or you are not fully committed.
Achieving a fitness/nutrition goal ultimately should not be about getting "that perfect body for spring break" or about "losing the winter fat". It should be about deciding for yourself that enough is enough; that you are finished with a LIFESTYLE of simply eating to get full and not considering what you are even eating. Another question I ask people to answer for themselves is this: If you are deciding to change the way you eat and exercise now, can you see yourself doing that in a month? 6 months? A year? 5 years? If your answer is no, then you may need to re-evaluate what you are doing, because your motivation can't always come from trainers or your friends and family. You have to decide that You will hold yourself accountable, because in the end, you have to live with yourself and no one else. It will take work. You have to wake up every morning and go to bed every night knowing that you did everything you could to better your body. Each day is an investment for the future. The more you invest now, the more benefits you reap later.
3. You are measuring the wrong things for success.
Many goals are to "lose weight" or to "bulk up". Those are all built around weight, but not body composition. Instead of "losing weight", why not make a goal of "lowering my body fat %"? Or instead of "bulking up", why not make a goal to "build lean muscle"? Those goals are more specific and therefore give you more of a concept of what and why you are doing this in the first place.
Those are just a few of the many variables, and I would be happy to discuss any questions, comments or complaints you may have! Thanks for your time and train hard!