5 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight
The science behind losing weight comes from a simple equation:
Energy Used > Energy Consumed = Weight Loss
By burning more calories than you’re consuming your body is forced to use your fat stores as an energy source. Whilst it seems very simple on paper, it is a very delicate balance (hence why so many people struggle to lose weight) and it is achieving that perfect balance that leads to successful long-term weight loss. Below are 5 reasons why you may not be losing weight:
- Your calories are too high.
If you are struggling to lose weight and you believe you’re in a calorie deficit, reduce your calorie intake by 100 and see if you start to lose weight, if not reduce it slightly further. But remember that it’s always important to change your calorie intake by small increments. Don’t be tempted to rapidly drop your calories with the belief that you will lose weight quicker! This may help you lose weight rapidly at first, but it will lead to an unhealthy and unsustainable relationship with food leading you into a cycle of yo-yo dieting.
- Your calories are too low.
Following on from my last point, undereating can be more damaging than overeating. Your body enters survival mode, a physiological response to what is a life-threatening situation, and it reserves energy for your major organs. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) drops by 20%, (how much energy your body needs to survive at rest). If protein intake is low, your body will then start to break down its own stores of amino acids in your muscles, i.e. you lose muscle. You may be losing weight but this is coming from loss of water, glycogen and lean muscle tissue, which is the opposite of what you want.
- You don’t track your food intake.
In my opinion, this is an essential step to losing weight. How can you control what you are eating if you don’t know exactly what is in the foods you are choosing at your meal times? Download the My Fitness Pal app on your smartphone or computer, enter your calorie intake and macronutrient (carbs, fats and protein) percentages, track what you’re eating for a week, and then prepare to be surprised at how much (or how little) you have consumed. Remember, undereating can be just as damaging as overeating.
- You don’t eat enough protein.
When losing weight it is important to increase your protein intake by 5-10%. Consuming 20-30% of your calories from protein can boost metabolism which could mean burning an extra 80-100 calories a day as well as reducing your cravings for snacks. Protein has a positive effect on appetite-regulating hormones!
- You’re inconsistent.
When it comes to all things exercise and nutrition related, consistency is key. The best results come from regular training (sweating more than 3 times a week) and eating healthily at least 80% of the time. The great thing is you can consistently eat healthily whilst still enjoying the foods you like within moderation- a glass or two of wine is allowed on a Saturday night, just try to avoid the bottle and the family bag of crisps that so easily accompany it! Thus allowing you to have a healthy and sustainable relationship with food at the weight you’d like to be. Do not estimate the balance, work it out and achieve it day after day!
This article is written by the very talented and knowledgable Free Spirit PT Tom 🙂