Having difficulty losing weight? Sometimes we think we’re doing everything right but the scale still won’t budge. Here are 7 likely reasons you’re stuck.
You’re Not Eating Enough
It’s entirely possible you’re eating too many calories, but the more common scenario people experience is not eating enough calories to lose weight. Create too large of a calorie deficit, and you’ll be hitting a weight loss plateau in no time.
That’s because weight loss, or how your body sees it – getting rid of valuable energy reserves, is not something your body readily wants to accomplish. Lowering your calories too low sends a strong signal to your body that fuel is in short supply and it needs to hold onto what it has. Create a smaller calorie deficit (15% from maintenance) if you want sustainable weight loss.
You Just Started an Exercise Program
Weight stagnation or even some weight gain go hand-in-hand with the commencement of a new exercise program. This phenomena is even more prevalent for people that are going from a sedentary lifestyle to one that is very active.
During the initial weeks of new exercise, your body adapts to the extra energy demands by expanding its capacity to store muscle glycogen. Glycogen, made up of glucose and water, can add several pounds of weight to your body. Be patient and pay attention to changes in body composition instead of weight at the onset of a new exercise program.
You’re Neglecting the Mental Aspects of Weight Loss
Things like rest, recovery, stress, and sleep all have an impact on your weight loss. Eating right and exercising are just parts of the bigger picture. All of these aspects of fitness work in harmony to help you achieve your goal.
Make sure you’re managing your stress levels and getting at least 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Be certain you’re fully recovering from your workouts so as to continue building your body up instead of tearing it down.
You’re Miscounting Calories
You’d be surprised how many people think they’re counting calories right but aren’t. If it goes into your mouth, no matter how small the serving, you should be logging it.
Measure out your food. Make sure you’re getting an accurate measurement of the calories in portion of the energy balance equation. Condiments, extra teaspoons of peanut butter, and hidden calories when going out to eat can all give you a misrepresentation of your calorie intake if you’re not logging it right.
You Have a Very Adaptable Metabolism
Everyone’s metabolism is unique. While some people can create a calorie deficit and eat at a particular calorie intake each and every day, others will quickly stall out after just a few weeks of eating at a consistent calorie intake.
For these people who have highly-adaptable metabolisms, implementing a refeed day or calorie cycling is going to be your prescription for continued weight loss. Keep your body guessing so that it doesn’t have an opportunity to adapt.
You’re Trying to Out-Exercise a Bad Diet
Many people are doing this but don’t even realize it. If you’re doing more than an hour a day of intense exercise and not seeing the scale budge, you’re in essence trying to out-exercise a bad diet.
That much exercise is not necessary to achieve weight loss, and it could very possibly be causing you more harm than good. You should be able to lose weight with a good diet, doing 3 quality intense workouts each week, and staying active. If you’re not, you need to be paying closer attention to both the quality and the quantity of your food intake.
Your Diet is Nutrient Deficient
I fully admit that calories are the biggest factor in weight loss, but what people don’t think about is how your metabolism isn’t static. In other words, while eating less than you burn will always result in weight loss, the amount your burn can fluctuate too based on other factors. One of these factors is the amount of nutrients in your diet.
Without a nutrient sufficient diet, your metabolism can down-regulate. That means you will have to eat fewer and fewer calories to net the same results – creating a downward spiral of fewer calories creating a slower metabolism, which requires fewer calories to sustain a calorie deficit, which further slows your metabolism. By improving the quality of your diet you enable yourself to eat more calories while still maintaining a calorie deficit for weight loss.
If you’re not losing weight, don’t get discouraged. Remember that everything you’re doing is making you a healthier person, whether your physical appearance reflects that or not. Make sure you’re not making the mistakes mentioned in this article, and then continue on with your lifestyle change.