12 September 2020
Reading time: 4mins
This blog goes over 7 possible reasons why you may not be seeing the results you desire, even though you feel you are doing all the work.
You’re monitoring your intake, either tracking or being calorie-conscious. You have cut all “bad foods”, you’re exercising every day, but the scales, your photos and tape measurements aren’t budging. This can be frustrating, to say the least, and reason enough to throw the towel in altogether.
Factors that impact your results.
- Your dieting history
- Overestimating your TDEE
- Your tracking accuracy
Your dieting history.
Your dieting history impacts your current and future ability to lose weight and keep it off. We have a biological response programmed in us to withstand and repel dieting and fat loss. This is called metabolic adaptation, it’s our bodies ability to slow our metabolism to run efficiently on the number of calories we’re putting in our body. Which is why diets stop working overtime, our bodies become better at this response every time you diet. Have you ever found dieting easier in your 20’s and then as time went on and more diets you tried the “harder” it got to lose weight. Yes, you’re not alone. Good news though this is reversible and you can get your metabolism back to an optimal state. You can read more about this. In this blog, I go in-depth on why this happens and how to overcome it.
Overestimating your TDEE.
Most of us will overestimate our energy expenditure and underestimate our calorie consumption. In some cases, by up to 500 calories. By doing so, this can hinder your progress or make sure you maintain your results. Calorie calculators are a good place to start. Still, you should use them as a gauge and track your nutrition and progress for two weeks consistently to get your real maintenance calories. Keep in mind that without consistency, you won’t know what’s working and what is your correct maintenance.
If you lose weight, increase your calories by 100 calories per day until your weight stabilises for two weeks straight.
If you gain weight, then you should drop your calories by 100 calories per day until your weight stabilises for two weeks straight.
If your weight maintains for two weeks straight, then you have your maintenance calories. Once you have established this, then you can make appropriate changes from there depending on your goals.
Your tracking accuracy.
You could be tracking your nutrition intake but tracking incorrectly. Tracking inaccuracies can add up to hundreds of extra calories per day. In tracking apps such as my fitness pal, anyone can enter nutrition information and make it publicly available. Meaning the room for error is much greater. You should always use the following rules;
- Fresh foods (fruits and vegetables) – use the USDA entries (zucchini USDA raw)
- Meats – use the NUTTAB entries (chicken breast raw weight)
- Avoid using the barcode for foods with labels. You’re always best to add foods into my fitness pal your self, so you know its correct.
- Make sure you use the same entries each time you consume that food. Don’t enter generic chicken breast one day and then cooked chicken breast the next. Consistency with your entries is more important than accuracy.
- Use foods with the exact gram not “1 cup” or “1 serve” entries. For example: if you use 106g of chicken breast (raw weight) enter in my fitness pal as the exact gram.
Stress is one of those things that is glorified and normalised in today’s society. However, it is overlooked when it comes to weight loss and body composition. Stress can hinder your weight loss attempts by leaving you watery, bloated, inflamed and interfere with our recovery and training quality.
Like stress, lack of sleep is glorified and very much overlooked in our body’s ability to lose weight and recover. Sleep deprivation works against us with fat loss and body composition, and it puts your body in a stressed environment. Like stress sleep deprivation can leave you watery, interfere with recovery and training performance. Lack of sleep also plays a role in hormone regulation. Sleep can interfere with hunger hormones and your brain’s ability to sense that you’re satisfied after eating. Disclaimer for some people, parents of newborns or toddlers may be eye-rolling me right now. Sleep deprivation is unavoidable right now. However, there are other things to take into account, whether or not you should be in a fat loss phase or eating at maintenance. And improving your quality of the sleep, coupled with an excellent stress management plan.
Are you moving as much as you really think you are? A lot of the time, people will believe that “activity” means exercising more. However, it means moving more. A simple way for most to increase NEAT is to aim to get between 8-10k steps in per day on top of training 3 x per week. Some studies have shown that people with higher levels of NEAT can burn up to 500 extra calories a day than those with lower levels of NEAT. During a calorie deficit, our natural body response is to preserve as much energy as possible for survival. As apart of this response, we naturally reduce our NEAT (fidgeting, cleaning, gardening, picking things up and putting them back down, etc.) over time. This decrease is movement reduces our calorie expenditure without us even knowing. Which is why getting steps in is a way for you to control your NEAT to ensure you are still utilising energy and in a deficit.
Everyone wants results, and they wants them yesterday. That’s why most people will opt for crash diets as it elicits immediate effects. But the truth is real life long results and change takes time. Your expectations may not be in line with the reality of how long it will take to achieve your goal. It’s out of our control, how long, where, when etc. weight loss will occur. I understand that when we set a goal, we want to get there as quick as possible. However, most of the time, the reality doesn’t match our expectations and can make us give up quicker. The key is to practice patience. Patience is a skill, and like any skill, it requires practice and repetition.
There are other factors such as thyroid function, hormones etc. that can play a role in slow results. However, they should be seen by a medical profession (your GP).
In my experience with my own journey and working with women, these are some of the main factors that contribute to slow fat loss.
Your environment plays a massive role in your overall weight loss success. Before you jump to another quick fix or crash diet, make sure you have crossed checked the 7 reasons above and see if they make a difference in your results.
If you’re interested in 1:1 Nutrition Coaching and reaching your goals without having to go on another crash diet, while having someone provide you with accountability, support and guidance on your journey. Click the button below.