5 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight
Have you been on a weight loss journey for a while but the scale isn’t budging? Or maybe the scale went down a bit in the beginning but now it seems to be stuck. If you think you’re doing everything right but still not losing weight, then something is amiss. Before feeling defeated and throwing in the towel, it’s important to troubleshoot. These are the top five reasons my clients’ weightloss plateau.
You've been in a calorie deficit for too long and your body has adapted. If for example your body maintained its weight on 2,500 calories but in order to lose weight you started eating 1,600 calories, your body will adapt and learn to operate on less fuel. Initially the drastic drop in calories may have led to weightloss, but now by giving it less fuel for an extended period of time, you’re teaching your body to be more efficient with less. To compound the problem, if you’re adding tons of cardio because you think you’re not burning enough calories, you’re making the situation worse. Your body is fighting onto the energy it has which in turn leads to a weight plateau.
You're not sleeping enough. When you consistently don’t get enough sleep you’ll crave food that will temporarily make you feel good. If you’re like most people, that feeling of joy won’t come from jicama sticks and hummus but rather carb and fat heavy foods often filled with a lot of sugar (think donuts, a Frappuccino with whipped cream, or a greasy burrito). Once you come off of your dopamine high, you’ll keep reaching for less nutrient dense foods which can lead to a calorie surplus and weight gain.
Your hormones are imbalanced. If you feel like you’re doing everything right and eating in a calorie deficit, consult your physician for hormone testing. They’ll probably check a a handful of hormones including your thyroid, leptin, insulin, and estrogen.
You're ovulating or menstruating. During these stages in your cycle, your hormones fluctuate and that may cause a temporary uptick on the scale thanks to water retention. Your body wants to feel better (much like with sleep deprivation) so you may be tempted to eat more treat foods as well. Too much of calorie dense foods can lead to fat gain so be mindful of what you’re fueling your body with mid cycle.
You're eating too much. If all of the other factors are in check, then it’s time to look at your food consumption. If your weight is not budging, you may be eating for maintenance instead of fat loss. Tracking calories and macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat) for a short period of time is a great way to determine how much you are actually eating. Most people underestimate their food consumption and having objective data will expedite the troubleshooting process. If you’re trying to lose fat, everything counts including office candy, your kids’ leftovers, and licking the spoon while cooking.
If you need additional help improving your nutrition and exercise program, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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