Losing weight is all about calories in vs calories out. What happens when your are in a deficit but weight loss is not happening ? Weigh loss is one of those things that have MANY factors that come into play. Things like your stress levels, how much sleep you are getting, are you doing activities that you normally do or maybe you are eating the wrong types of foods.
You see it's not just a clear cut answer of this+ this = weight loss. You need to learn your body and adapt when needed. Here are few mistakes I see people make when they are on their weight loss journey.
1. Be patient, it takes time. Ask yourself how long it took you to gain the weight you have. Now take that answer and that is a good figure of how long it might take you to get all that off. This isn't to discourage you but to emphasize that you can't rush it.
When you first start your fat loss diet you see fast results and are super motivated. These initial results give you a false sense of what the process will actually be like. Soon, progress slows down as you enter what I call “The Suck”: that period of time where you’re doing everything right but still no progress is, seemingly, being made. This is the time that many people give up.
2, Fad diets DO NOT work ! The people who have this “fast fat loss” mentality are also the ones who tend to gain it back after the diet ends, or quit entirely after a few weeks. Not because aggressive dieting doesn’t work but because this mentality encourages the use of fad diets that,won’t be sustainable in the long-term, and doesn’t help you build the habits that allow you to maintain the loss in the long run. Why do you think when you start working with me I want you to track your food and I don't give you a STRICT meal plan? Because you can't stick to it your whole life !
3. Expecting to lose 10+ pounds in a month will only set you up for disappointment. Set fat loss targets between 0.5 – 1% of your total body weight per week. Yes that's it! The higher your starting levels of body fat, the faster you can expect to lose; conversely, the leaner you start, a slower rate of loss will be best to minimize muscle and strength loss.
4. Metabolic adaptation. A major reason why fat loss comes to halt even when t eating in a calorie deficit is simply due to the adaptive component of the metabolism. While we refer to the metabolism as one entity but really it consists of four separate component parts: BMR, NEAT, EAT, and TEF.
BMR: As you’re sat reading this there are a bunch of chemical processes occurring inside of you.
NEAT: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is all the activity that isn’t intentional exercise; fidgeting, walking, playing with your dog, etc
EAT: Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is intentional exercise.
TEF: Thermic Effect of Food is the number of calories you burn digesting food.
5. STOP "dieting" and start eating ! The chronic dieter is stuck in a perpetual state of dieting. They ‘end’ a diet, only to begin dieting again a week later. This constant dieting is neither healthy or conducive to progress. With chronic dieting comes:
-Muscle loss: the longer you stay in a calorie deficit, the more you risk muscle loss. This is why you should be phasing periods of dieting with periods of maintenance or a slight calorie surplus.
-Disordered eating: You can only sustain a calorie restricted diet for so long. The longer you restrict calories, the more likely you are to end up bingeing, and then feel guilty about your binge, try to restrict calories again – through unsustainable methods – and then binge again when you can’t adhere to it.
-Goals are on hold because your body is saying NO !
Reverse diet and give your body a break. Focus on your training, while striving to find some normalcy. Yes, this means you might gain some fat and not look how you want for a while. But it’s something you’re going to need to do to make progress in the future.