Every now and again, I get some of my clients come to me saying that they have tried everything when it comes to their diet and weight is still not budging. Therefore, they often come to the conclusion that they must be different and their metabolism must be super slow and thus fat loss has stalled.
Don’t get me wrong you are all unique, and so are your bodies, but they are not THAT unique. You may like the taste and smell of certain things, whereas your mates hate it. But when it comes to metabolism, your body is highly unlikely to be wildly different to most others. So why am I not losing weight I here you ask.
Firstly, let us take it back to basics. Calories In vs Calories Out.
Most of us know the basic formula for losing weight. If you burn more calories than you put in, then you will lose weight. This is called being in a calorie deficit, and this rule is the undeniable truth, no matter how you dress it up. Sure, what kind of calories (junk vs healthy food) you put in your body will determine what weight is lost, but that is another blog for another day.
This rule applies to everyone, and if we keep to this rule consistently and burn more calories than we consume over a consistent time then we will lose weight. So why do people still claim that when they eat a very low calorie diet, they still can’t lose weight or they seem to gain some?
Reasons For Stalls In Fat Loss
Here are a few good reasons why those who claim to eat in a calorie deficit might not be losing fat:
- Guilt and repeated lying to ones self about what food is actually being eaten
- Occasional binge-like behaviour which goes unreported
- Lack of experience and inability to track accurately
- Genuinely not realising when eating
- Blatant lying (which is doubtful, but it does happen)
These are all main factors.
No matter how much you feel you cannot lose weight, I can assure you, you are wrong. If create a calorie deficit big enough, something will happen. It probably won’t be fun or sustainable being in a large calorie deficit (i.e. eating bugger all), hence the reason we suggest only small calorie deficits, but body fat will be lost. So those who say they are in calorie deficit and still not losing weight are in one of two camps:
- They gain and store an amazing amount of water due to a variety of reasons
- They are not very good at estimating calorie intake vs calorie expenditure.
Most of the time it is the latter group.
We often ask people to complete food diaries and write down EVERYTHING they eat and drink each day for 5-7 days. However, there often a few issues that we have to deal with. Firstly, some can’t remember exactly what they ate of the amounts they ate. As a result, they forget to write down the little things they have picked at throughout the day. For example, the few extra chocolates they had from the office box, the cake at a party, the milk and sugar in lattes all come down to under reporting what is actually being consumed and consequently you may end up not reporting a few hundred calories which all add up and may explain that stall in fat loss.
Furthermore, when it comes to your main meals, many of us are still not entirely sure how many calories are in each ingredient and we just end up guessing. But once you start tracking and monitoring using certain apps like MyFitnessPal, then you can start to gauge how much is in each ingredient you use. For example, there only 130 calories in 100g of cooked long grain rice but 365 calories in 100g of uncooked long grain rice. So just slight little misjudgements and estimations like that can result in a massive difference in intake and what you should be reporting.
This is why it is very important to try and report and track E V E R Y T H I N G as you go through each day, and as a result you will get a much more accurate representation of what is being consumed each day and how much. When you start to do this you might well shock yourself in the actual amount you consume each day and finally understand the reasons why we may not be in a calorie deficit and consequently why we may not be losing any weight.
So if you are concerned with not losing weight, then do yourself a food diary and track everything throughout the day and more often than not, you will find the reason why you are not losing weight.