If you’re having problems don’t worry, there is an easy way to figure out the reasons why you’re not losing weight.
First and foremost, remember why we point out the difference between weight loss and fat loss: you can lose body fat, but still gain weight because … you gained muscle! And that’s a great thing – even though the scale shows a higher number for weight, you have to believe that you are healthier, more fit, and are on your way to looking better. You can prove this to yourself by calculating your body fat percentage over time and seeing it go down even as your weight goes up.
But if that’s not the case, don’t panic.
Did You Do The Math Correctly?
Start by double checking all of the following things:
- Make sure you correctly calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate – I would recommend measuring your height and weight again. Also the calculator is set to female by default so change that if necessary.
- Make sure you don’t overestimate your exercise levels – be honest about how active you are and choose the appropriate number for the Harris-Benedict equation multiplication guide we use in The Easy Diet. If you’re unsure, use the number for one level lower than what you were using (for example drop down from moderate to light).
- Make sure you count every single calorie you eat or drink – little nibbles, sauces, condiments like ketchup and mustard, crackers in soup, milk in coffee, dressing on salad, are things that are easy to forget but they all add up. You have to be extremely diligent about every calorie if you’re committed to making a change.
- Make sure you consume 300 to 500 fewer calories than you burn – you do not need to be any more aggressive than that.
- Make sure you give it enough time – remember the math we did: 1 lb of fat = 3,500 calories. Even if you are super strict and eat 500 fewer calories per day, and you don’t gain any muscle at all, it will take a whole week to lose 1 lb of fat. Remember this is a journey towards a lifetime of good health, no need to rush it.
For the vast majority of the people, diligently going over these four steps and redoing the math is enough to figure out where you made a mistake and how you can fix it. But if that doesn’t help either, don’t worry there is still hope.
Other Factors That Prevent Weight Loss
- Are you stressed out? – when your body is under stress (doesn’t matter physical or emotional), it releases a hormone called Cortisol. This hormone causes your body to store fat in response to stress. Exercise, yoga, and meditation are all great ways of relieving stress and promoting good health
- Are you getting enough sleep? – this goes hand in hand with your stress levels. If you consistently don’t rest your body, it again starts to release the hormone Cortisol which promotes the storage of fat. Learn more about the connection between sleep and weight loss.