Do you think you are eating clean foods and working out hard at the gym by still not losing weight? This post will show you the top 4 reasons why you are not losing weight and how you can fix them.
It’s that time in the morning when you head out to the weighing scale to check your weight.
Over the past several days, you’ve been doing all things right. Or at least you think you are.
You’ve been following a clean diet. And you’ve been running your butt off on the treadmill. And you don’t remember the last time you had chocolate and ice cream.
Yes, when you step on the scale you see the same dreaded number that you saw a few days ago.
So what happened? Why did all your hard work not produce the results you were after?
This post will show you the top 4 reasons that might be preventing you to lose weight and what you can do about them.
This is a common reason why people seem not to lose weight even when they might have lost body fat.
Fluid retention can especially affect you if you are a woman due to your hormonal inclination and during menstrual cycles.
So while you may be losing a pound of fat per week you may also be gaining a pound in weight due to fluid retention.
Now this ratio may fluctuate so you may lose less weight than you thought or you may stay at the same weight or may even seem to gain weight.
The good news is that is it quite simple to fix such a problem of fluid retention.
All you need to do is to balance the level of sodium and potassium in your body by taking care of how much you consume.
You also need to be drinking lots of water and need to keep your cortisol levels under control.
Cortisol levels can be controlled by a diet rich in fiber, getting more sleep, keeping your blood sugar levels stable, and with meditation and relaxation techniques.
When you start working out at the gym, there is a high chance that you will build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
This muscle will also store glycogen and water adding to your weight.
So while you may be losing fat, your weight may remain the same or even increase because of the muscle you are adding.
You should not worry about this situation because these are just newbie gains.
After around 3-6 months, you will no longer be able to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
Then you can focus on either of the two.
The most important factor is that even if you don’t lose weight, you should be able to see some difference in the mirror and also when you measure your waist size with a tape.
This is because when you build muscle and lose fat, your body undergoes recomposition and you will look much better even though you may not have lost weight.
It’s as simple as that. You may be underestimating the amount of food that you eat.
To understand this, you need to know what energy balance means.
Energy balance is the relationship between the number of calories that you consume and the number of calories that your body expends.
If you eat more calories than what your body burns, then you get into a positive energy balance or a calorie surplus.
In a calorie surplus, the body burns a part of the calories and stores the remaining energy as fat.
If you eat fewer calories than what your body burns, then you get into a negative energy balance or a calorie deficit.
In a calorie deficit, the body cannot get sufficient calories from the food and so it burns part of the needed calories from the stored body fat.
If you eat the same number of calories that your body burns, then you are in a neutral energy balance or a calorie maintenance.
In a calorie maintenance, to body burns the calories that you consume.
So the main reason why you may not be losing weight is because your body is in either a calorie surplus or a calorie maintenance.
There can be several reasons why you end up eating more than you think without even realizing it.
This is probably one of the biggest reasons why you may underestimate the calories you consume.
Without calorie counting, you will end up underestimating the portion sizes, the number of calories your foods contain, and might even be ignoring how much calories foods contain.
If you use measurements such as cups and tablespoons then there is a high chance that the calories you estimate using calorie counter tools like MyFitnessPal may end up being inaccurate.
This is because your cup of oats may measure 100 grams but in the tool a cup may have measured 80 grams. So you end up overeating.
The same could be the case when you measure a tablespoon of peanut butter and this may measure 20 grams but in the tool a tablespoon would measure 15 grams.
When you keep doing this for all the foods that you measure, this can end up being a big calorie surplus and so you may not lose weight or even gain some.
So the more accurate you can be with your calorie counting the better results you will get.
You should use a good kitchen scale to accurately count the calories in the foods that you prepare.
Weight all foods raw before cooking them as that will be more accurate.
Include all the foods in your calorie counting. This includes the dressings, oils, etc. that you may add to the food.
Cheat meals are good to keep your sanity when you are on a clean diet for several days.
Cheat meals a couple of days a month will not affect you. However, if you tend to go overboard and have cheat meals several times per week, then they will definitely affect your weight loss goals.
While you can enjoy your favorite foods during cheat meals, if you tend to go overboard and eat beyond your calorie deficit for that week or fortnight then you are overdoing your cheat meals and you will not lose weight.
While accurately counting the calories you consume in food is a simple process, it is not that easy to calculate the calories your body burns.
To learn more about this, we need to know about BMR and TDEE.
BMR (Basal Metablic Rate) is the number of calories that your body burns at rest.
TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is a total of your BMR and the energy that you expend doing physical activities like walking, exercise, bobbing your legs, etc.
The BMR calculations can be quite inaccurate and vary greatly between people. So you might not have estimated your BMR correctly.
Also when you perform physical activity and exercises, the number of calories that your body burns will be different from other people. Some may burn more calories than others.
So it is very difficult to track the calories you burn and you may have overestimated them.
As you keep losing weight, your body readjusts your TDEE.
This means that the longer you keep your body in a calorie deficit, the more your body will adapt and reduce energy expenditure.
You may even hit a plateau where you just don’t seem to lose weight even in a calorie deficit.
Then you can consider reverse dieting so that you gradually increase the calorie intake to reach your TDEE levels. This will give your body a chance to reset to normal metabolic health.
And then you can once again continue your calorie deficit to lose weight.
I hope this post helped you understand the top 4 reasons why you are not losing weight and how you can fix them.
Do let me know in the comments if you faced such a problem where you were not losing weight and if these tips could help you out.
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