This is dedicated to all of you who continue to do everything right but still struggle to lose weight. I hope this help you guys...
Here are 20 reasons why you aren't losing fat when you're doing all the right things:
You’re a chronic dieter. You want to make a change so you start another strict diet in hopes to lose weight. You’re motivated the first couple of days or weeks, but then you become miserable because you feel deprived, so, you give up and gain the weight back. And now it’s time to start a new diet because you're unhappy with the way you feel/look, and the cycle goes on. Read my post on intuitive eating if you’re ready to stop dieting forever and are ready to start listening to your body.
You’re not consistent! You're “good” all week, eating “on track”, having oatmeal, eggs, chicken breast and so on…BUT, when it comes to the weekend, you need that pint of ice cream, 5 glasses of wine and Sunday morning crepes drowned in syrup and Nutella. You have your usual weekend binge, you wake up Monday morning and you’re “back on track”. If you feel so deprived all week it means you’re restricting way too much. Go outside your comfort zone, and instead of the “all or nothing" mentality, try to have small portions of treats you love throughout the week and I guarantee you'll end up eating way less!
You’re impatient. It’s been 3 weeks; you’ve just started living a healthier lifestyle, you’ve cut out the junk, the drinking, you’re eating more greens and are consistently working out. But do you still not look THAT different and are your abs not popping?! So is what you’re doing wrong? No! Just like weight gain, weight loss doesn't happen overnight. Be patient and be consistent.
You're obsessed with the scale. The scale tells you your total body weight. It doesn't show you your body fat percentage, your muscle mass and how much extra water you're holding. When people try to change their physique and don't see the number on the scale decrease, they get discouraged and take things to the extreme. There is a big misconception that you need to lose WEIGHT to change your body composition and look leaner. In reality, you can actually gain weight and look more toned. If you haven't heard it enough, muscle weighs more than fat. Also, you can drop weight quickly if you're dehydrated and you can hold onto a couple of pounds after having too much salt. So for most people, the scale very unreliable. Instead, I suggest taking progress pitures wearing the same clothing (bathing suit or sports bra and underwear).
You overeat healthy foods. Avocado, sweet potato, peanut butter, coconut oil, dark chocolate, bananas, açai bowls, you name it…. They’re all healthy! BUT, it doesn't mean they are free in calories! Eat in a way that will keep you in a caloric deficit…. so you’ve already got the healthy part, now you just need to make sure your food is portioned in a way that will support your fat loss goals!
You're leaving out an entire food group. Some people eliminate all carbohydrates because they believe it’s whats contributing to their extra body fat. WRONG! Eliminating an entire food group makes your mind go a little crazy, causing you to crave more of it. So don’t blame the carbs, blame the cravings that having no carbs give you.
It’s always another diet, not a lifestyle. If your changes aren’t permanent, how do you expect to get permanent results? People often get to their goal weight but then jump right in old habits. So how do you to make your changes permanent? You stay active and eat in a convenient way! Eating no carbs and running on the treadmill every day is not sustainable. Find something that works for you. If you have trouble doing this, reach out to me and find out more about my meal plans and personal coaching. I can help you.
You have unrealistic expectations. Instagram, magazines, and social media create unrealistic expectations the most of us. People sugarcoat having ripped abs, thigh gaps and perfectly toned legs. In reality, it takes extreme discipline, lots of consistency, years of training in the gym, genes, editing, spray tans, etc. You could also be expecting to lose too much weight in a short period of time. Also, you may think that when you lose the last x amount of pounds you'll finally be happy, meet a boyfriend/girlfriend, be satisfied, but in reality, most of the time, not much changes!
You talk too much. You think you can lose weight with little effort. Just because you're thinking about weight loss all day and telling everyone about it doesn’t mean it will happen. Unfortunately we can't just tell our body to lose weight! Actions speak louder than words.
You’re a mindless eater. You eat out of the bag, fridge and in front of the TV. All of these factors cloud your perception and make it hard to realize how much food you’re consuming. Solution? Be mindful and present when you're eating, never eat out of the fridge or standing up, instead serve yourself a portion and go sit down!
You “spice up your food” the wrong way. You make your healthy food taste good by pairing it with the wrong things. You dip your celery in pre made dip, you only eat salad if its drowned in asian dressing, you’ll only eat tuna if its mixed with mayonnaise, and you absolutely love your caramel drizzle and whipped cream on your Starbucks order. Don’t always feel the need to add EXTRA. Be simple…use spices over sauces, ask for light dressing, pack your own lunch, dip your veggies in portioned hummus, and eat for a purpose.
You’re putting oil in your coffee. I’ve had clients who’ve spoken to me about their morning routine that included a tablespoon of coconut oil and butter mixed into their coffee every morning. Yes, it may have effects that can AID fat loss for SOME people. But it doesn't work for everyone, so for some, it just adds on to their day. My client used to drink it with breakfast, but then go on and have what she'd usually have. It wasn’t filling her up or causing her to eat less, it was only adding extra calories to her day. What may work for some people, may not work for you! Be sure to check in with your body and see how it is reacting before adding something new to your routine.
You skip meals/you wait too long to eat. When you don't eat for long periods of time, you build up hunger and end up over eating! I suggest always keeping something like a protein bar, apple or a bag of veggies on you to prevent getting too hungry between meals. My mom always told me that if you carry around a boiled egg, you’ll never overeat!
You don't sleep enough. If you're getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night, your hormones that control your appetite are out of control! Your body needs energy because you’re lacking it, so, what is it craving? High calorie foods that are high in fat, carbs and sugar. And, if you're not feeling rested, you probably skip the gym, right?
You’ve never logged/tracked your food (ex. my fitness pal). Tracking calories/macros isn’t necessary to lose fat, but when starting a weight loss journey, I tell all my clients to get familiar with portions and calories that are in their food. For example, that 1/2 tablespoon (47 calories) of peanut butter could easily be 140 calories. It's good to be aware because your estimates, can be WAY off!
You eat at restaurants too often. The main goal of a restaurant is to make sure you have a delicious meal and hurry back soon. So, they add lots of butter, oil, sugar, and salt to just about anything. They make their food taste just “right” but this adds calories, calories and more calories. Also, the portion sizes are 2-3x more than what you'd actually eat at home. So when dining out, I suggest sharing your main meal with someone, skipping the bread basket and customizing your order (light on butter and oil, dressing on the side, etc.) You should limit dining out to 1-2x a week at most.
You love drinking. Getting drunk may be fun for a you but you might be underestimating how much you're drinking and how much it is effecting your weight! To put it into perspective, one glass of wine has 130 calories and one shot of vodka is 90 calories. Do you just have one portion? Do you make your drinks taste better with juices and sodas? If you want to drink less, I suggest deciding how many drinks you’re going to have at the beginning of the night and respecting that decision. You should also try and make every other drink a non-alcoholic one (preferably water) if you’re a social drinker. And, if you don’t even enjoy it, don’t get influenced. If certain people or places make you drink even when you don't want to, avoid them.
You “treat yourself” after a workout instead of “fuel yourself”. If you don’t eat properly after your gym sessions, it will be hard to make progress. If you have a bigger appetite after being active (like most people) then be smart about it! Eat something that will serve a purpose, for example, a post workout snack, meal or shake that has good source of carbs (restore energy levels) and protein (encourages muscle growth). So, instead of going for ice cream because you did cardio, have something that will serve a purpose.
Medical reasons. You have a medical condition that's making things harder. If you really think you're gaining weight for no reason then speak to your doctor. You may suffer from hypothyroidism or PCOS which causes you to gain weight/ make it extremely hard to lose weight.
You’re in starvation mode. Many people under eat expecting to be in a caloric deficit. That’s totally fine and makes total sense right? It’s not as simple as you think. Sometimes the calories you eat are under your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). Your BMR is an estimate of how many calories you'd burn if you were to do nothing but sit still for 24 hours. It's also the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your body functioning properly. For example, your heart beating, metabolism, energy levels, hormones, etc. Imagine the effects of eating under your BMR?!
So, let’s say you’re on a “diet” and you’re eating 1200 calories a day + working out 3-5 days a week but wonder why you aren’t losing fat, also feel tired, have these constant cravings and recently lost your menstrual cycle (for women). Well, this whole time you’ve been giving your body less than what it needs to just function. AND, on top of that, you're exercising and trying to burn more.
This is because your body is in starvation mode. Our bodies are way smarter than us, and will do anything to keep us alive, so it conserves energy by reducing the amount of calories you burn thought the day.
-BMR (like I talked about before)
-TEF (the thermic effect of food…calories burnt when digesting)
-TEE (calories burned during exercise)
-NEAT (calories burned when fidgeting, writing, moving your hands, etc.)
So yes, calories in, calories out, weight loss made simple! But, in starvation mode, the “calories out” decrease.
Calculate your BMR to make sure you’re not eating under what your body needs:
BMR = (height in centimetres x 6.25) + (weight in kilograms x 9.99) - (age x 4.92) + 5
Calculate your maintenance calories based on your physical activity:
1300 * 1.55
Calculate your fat loss formula
*If you want to be in a deficit to obtain fat loss then you subtract 500 (calories a day) in order to lose 1 pound a week which is a health rate
lose 1 pound of fat a week = maintenance - 500
(so you get to eat more and lose fat!)
I hope this was helpful to you guys.