There can be a lot of reasons why you are not losing weight despite training hard and thinking that your diet is on point but the following are my top 3 reasons you may not be losing weight.
People always want the quickest way to accomplish weight loss and can be easy targets for weight loss supplements but if you cannot get the basics right then no supplement will help you. I’ll be discussing fat loss supplements in another article but for now it’s important to get the fundamentals right.
Simply put, if you burn more calories in the day than you consume you will lose weight and if you consume more calories than you burn you will gain weight. This is the basic principle you need to apply in order to lose fat or lose weight. While people will argue that calorie counting is not necessary for weight loss I will argue that if you’re serious about losing weight you will be informed about the exact quantity of food and the macro breakdown of the food you eat each day. If you have no understanding of Flexible Dieting (IIFYM) then I suggest you read this guide that explains it and provides a guide on how to get started.
People who do not track their food intake will not be able to accurately tell if they are in a calorie deficit (for weight loss) or calorie surplus (for weight gain). This is the most fundamental problem people are not aware of and if you are serious about weight loss (or weight gain) then I advise reading the guide on flexible dieting.
“Fail to Prepare – Prepare to Fail”
If you get up in the morning with no idea or plan about where, when or what you are going to eat for your daily meals then you will find it almost impossible to hit your calorie and macro goals. The great thing about flexible dieting is that you have the ability to allow the treats and foods you love into your daily intake, however, if you do not plan at least some of your meals then you will just be hoping to hit your daily goals. It is important to have some kind of plan for each day and most importantly for your main meals that will contribute to the majority of your daily calories (and macros).
Tip: Before you go to bed spend 5 minutes on My Fitness Pal planning the main meals for the next day. By planning I don’t mean preparing, you do not have to cook the meals, just have a rough idea of what your breakfast, lunch and dinner will contain. By doing this you will quickly realise if you will be over/under on your calories and macros for the following day. It’s also important to say that the more you get to know the food you eat and what meals satisfy your macros the less time you have to spend planning your meals and the more flexible your diet becomes.
As I stated above when you want to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit but when you are losing weight your calorie expenditure will also go down so your body may not need as many calories in order to survive.
The easiest way to break this plateau (levelling off/no change) is to drop another 300-500 calories each day to ensure you are back in a calorie deficit. However, it’s important to note that the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn each day which is another reason I recommend to try and build muscle not just lose weight.