Weight loss. It can be frustrating, especially when you think you’re doing everything right.
You’re working out, 3-5 times a week, you eat fairly well but NOTHING is changing and it’s been weeks or even months! Seriously, WTF is going on?
There is usually a combination of reasons. Let’s start with nutrition.
“I eat fairly well, why am I not losing weight”?
Healthy eating doesn’t always yield to weight loss. Eating healthy and eating to lose weight can be two different things, especially if you’re looking to lose 20 pounds or less.
Here’s where people get it wrong.
1. Over estimating portion size.
According to numerous studies, if you use your eyeballs to decide what a reasonable portion size is, likely you’re overestimating by 30%. So next time you put yourself a plate of food together, knock those portions down by a third. Veggies too? If those veggies are covered in cheese, sauce or dressing, then yes those too!
2. Not eating carbs at the right time.
After a strength workout, your muscles need starchy carbs in order to grow and get you lean AF. When you eat carbs after a strength workout, they will be absorbed and in use by your muscles and won’t be stored as fat, as long as you’re eating the right amount and, if you’re in a calorie deficit, eating carbs post strength workout will help you preserve muscle instead of losing it.
3. Focusing on calories instead of macronutrients.
Calories matter yes, but being in a calorie deficit only gets you so far. More importantly is where your calories are coming from. There’s an ideal range of macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats) that effectively promotes weight loss, and that range for most people is fairly close to an even split of 33% of your calories coming from each proteins, carbs and fats. Keep in mind, this range is for fat loss, building muscle has its own range.
4. Staying too long in calorie deficit.
This is a more common reason for a stalled weight loss than people think. If you go into a big deficit of even 500-1000 per day and you hang out there for more than 3 weeks, that could start to slow your metabolism, now, here’s the thing, your metabolism is slowing because you’re actually giving it the signal that it needs too. When you stop giving your body the energy that it’s used to working with for too long, it basically says “oh, okay there’s a famine and we need to CONSERVE energy.” Your body isn’t broken, it’s working just fine but just not how you would prefer. Now that’s not to say you can’t go longer than 3 weeks on a deficit, but I’m of the opinion “don’t push your luck”. Cycle 3 weeks deficit on, with 1 week deficit off to show your metabolism everything is just fine.
Have a question? Drop it in the comments
Heather Layton – Fitness and Nutrition Coach
Get Fit Eat Cupcakes