What To Do When You’re “doing all the right things” But Not Losing Weight

Calorie tracking edition 

We’ve all been there, setting a weight loss goal and changing our habits but not getting the desired result. Or maybe you see a change short term but hit a plateau soon after. 

Read on if you want to hear about some of the reasons for this and what you can do to get the scales and inches moving again. 

Scenario 1 

You started out tracking your calorie intake and were fastidious with logging you foods and liquids too. Over time you may have veered away from tracking your foods as you will have got used to portion sizes and meals that work with your goals. This is absolutely fine and something I would actively encourage however as weeks and month progress sometimes things start to sneak back into the diet or portion sizes increase meaning that you are no longer in a sufficient deficit to lose weight and may be eating at maintenance. 

The Fix

Re-download your tracking app, speak to your coach or myself about getting a calorie target that is right for you, your goals and your current body stats and commit to 7 - 10 days of focused tracking to check in with where you may have been unknowing consuming extra calories.

Scenario 2

You are tracking all of your food but not considering your liquids. You may be hitting your calorie target bang on with your food but forgetting about coffees, teas, protein shakes, fizzy drink and alcohol.
This isn’t to say that having milk in coffee or a glass of wine now and again is a bad thing, not at all. But the calories add up and it’s easy to close the gap between deficit and maintenance with a couple of cappuccinos or glasses of red. 

For example 2 oat milk lattes per day (Costa Kcals) will add 330kcal to your day, add that to possibly 2 glasses of wine in the evening (175ml dry white wine) and you’ve added another 260kcal to you day. 
Thats 590 calories that might not have been accounted for and for a lot of people (women in particular) this may be around a third of your allowance for the day. 

The Fix 

Track your liquids as well as your solid foods and if you are struggling to reach the targets then consider swapping milky coffees for an Americano with a splash of milk and perhaps limit the number of days during the week that you enjoy alcohol. 

Scenario 3 

You’ve lost a lot of weight but not adjusted your calorie target. Unfortunately as we lose weight our metabolic rate reduces. This means that our calorie output from normal daily movement such as shuffling in a chair, speaking with our hands or just walking becomes less. As overall weight reduces too there will be fewer calories burned in structured exercise sessions too. 
Therefore a deficit calorie target set at the start of a weight loss journey may become a maintenance target if significant weight is lost over time. 

The Fix 

Keep re-adjusting calories as total body weight reduces. I would recommend doing this for every 5 - 10% of weight loss (so if you were 100kg adjust calories every 5kg lost) and speak to a coach or myself about this and we can all advise. 
Keep muscle mass high, strength train consistently as more muscle equals a higher metabolic rate. The more muscle that is protected during a weight loss phase the lesser the impact on total calorie output. Finally keep active, all movement is positive and will also help to keep energy output higher. 

If you’re struggling with weight loss plateaus, tracking or anything to do with your weight loss why not get in touch and consider some nutrition coaching to help you push forward towards your goals. 

FYI... We’ll never make anyone tracks kcals and macros but for some people its a useful tool and if you do use a tracker these are some of the common scenarios that can occur. Check it out: www.fitism.co.uk/nutrition


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