3 Common Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight
(And How To Fix Them)
You’ve tried every diet under the sun, yet you can’t seem to shake off those pounds. Nothing can be more demotivating than to do everything right and have nothing to show for your efforts. Avoid these mistakes like the plague, and you’ll soon see yourself on an endless path of progress with a renewed sense of excitement:
You need to be in a calorie deficit
The first rule of fat loss is to burn more calories than you’re taking in. Seems obvious enough, right? So many coaches and clients alike seem to miss this fundamental point. You simply cannot lose weight unless you are in a calorie deficit.
A calorie deficit requires you to either increase your energy expenditure or decrease your energy intake. In simple terms, you need to move more or eat less. There’s just no getting around it.
A foolproof way to ensure you are in a calorie deficit is to calculate your daily expenditure (factoring in your activity level - and be honest!) using any of the many formulas available online. The Harris-Benedict formula seems to be the most accurate for our purposes. Subtract 200-500 calories from there, relative to your overall requirement and create a daily diet plan that matches these calories.
Cutting calories too much can be a big negative
We’re conditioned to believe that doing more leads to more results. Cut more calories, exercise more, and the more you do both, the more weight you’ll lose. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work this way in the real world.
First of all, cutting calories too drastically is likely going to make it a harder plan to follow. Adherence becomes a bigger challenge the more calories you try to cut out, and you’ll soon find yourself gunning for that plate of cookies your colleague brought into the office.
Some of us like to believe we have the determination and willpower to endure such hunger pangs. The truth is we have hormones that regulate our hunger, such as ghrelin, that kick into gear when our bodies suspect a famine on the horizon. This primal urge to eat can very easily overpower the desire to be lean, so don’t take it as an indication of your weak will but rather, a natural physical response from our bodies programmed to evade malnourishment.
Neglecting variety in your diet and training causes stagnation
A good personal trainer with enough years of experience successfully transforming clients' physiques will understand this fundamental principle of our physiology: the human body is an incredibly adaptable organism.
Keeping everything the same for too long, your body will eventually adapt to the point where your diet may no longer work for you. A training program that keeps the variables the same for too long can lead to stagnation due to the fact that it becomes less challenging for the body. Many of you will have heard the adage: “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
The same goes for your diet. Following any diet, your physiology is bound to change in innumerable ways. For example, a ketogenic diet may work for a few weeks, but soon enough your body may be in a position to include some starchy carbohydrates to help fuel your training and rev up a sluggish thyroid. You may need to reduce or add food or activity based on the many messages that changes in your body are giving you.
This is where a nuanced approach guided by an experienced and knowledgeable personal trainer becomes necessary. A successful approach involves continuous, unbiased observation and re-evaluation, so that calories and macronutrients are impartially adjusted based on your weekly results and bodily signs.
Weight loss doesn’t necessarily have to be a complex, roundabout journey. Even with the best of intentions, we often strive vigorously only to fall into a downward spiral of disappointment as the scales don’t budge. These three tips may just be the secret key to unlocking your potential to radically transform your body.
Do you want more help from ATP's coaches? The easiest way to get started is to get in touch with us using the form below. We can discuss what it will take to help you improve your lifestyle starting with simple habit forming changes, an improved diet and a regular exercise plan.