Working out and still not seeing results?
In the beginning of your weight loss journey the fat tends to come off without to much of a struggle. In fact, for many people simply making a couple tweaks to their daily diet can be enough to see significant progress.
However, as you lose more weight you may notice that the pounds aren’t melting off quite like they used to. Total bummer right?
If you’re in a bit of a weight loss rut, here are 7 common reasons the scale may not be budging – and what you can do to combat it.
1. You’re Not Aware Of Just How Much You’re Eating
This is a common culprit. Most of the time people think they’re eating less when, in reality, they’re snacking more than ever and having smaller bites and tastes of things. A bite here, a nibble there. You don’t think about it while you’re doing it but it can add up to several hundred extra calories a day.
Are you heavy handed with the olive oil? Do you use a ton of cheese and dressing in your salad? If you’ve never actually tracked a full day of eating you may be surprised just how quickly things add up. This is especially true if you’re drinking your calories. Try tracking your food intake for a day – My Fitness Pal is an easy solution – and see if you’re overdoing it with certain items.
2. You’re Overeating Healthy Foods
This one goes hand in hand with number 1. Things like nuts, avocado, trail mix, granola and peanut butter may all be healthy foods but eat too much and you won’t see the results you’re after.
Two tablespoons of olive oil has over 200 calories and most store bought granola has over 450 calories per cup and packs in a ton of fat as well. When people are looking to lose weight they typically switch from food they know isn’t healthy to these seemingly healthy alternatives.
Now, does this mean you shouldn’t be eating avocado and nuts? Absolutely not. It does however mean that you need to be aware of your portion sizes and keep that in mind when you’re making up your meals and snack. Also, whole wheat or whole grain doesn’t mean you can eat more than a regular serving – keep your portions in check. Same goes for protein shakes – if you’re adding peanut butter and other add-ins, be mindful. You can overdo a good thing.
Similarly, many people seem to think that gluten free and paleo mean that you can eat more of these foods. The truth is, many gluten free products have more fat added to them and paleo doesn’t mean low calorie.
3. You’re Not Training Hard Enough
I hate to burst your bubble but a 15 minute walk and some light yoga or stretching isn’t going to be enough to drastically change your physique. Yes, something is better than nothing, but if you’re at a plateau or you’re serious about changing your body composition you’re going to need to workout with some intensity. Weight training, intervals and circuits are all great ways to increase lean muscle mass while burning excess body fat.
If you’ve been exercising for a while and your results have slowed, consider changing up your routine. This doesn’t mean switching from weights to zumba, it can be as simple as changing up your rep schemes, time under tension or adding in some active rest work between sets.
4. You’re Not Eating Whole Foods
Are you eating seemingly healthy franken-food? You know, pre-packaged, chemical laden diet foods? These low-fat, low-calorie diet foods don’t contain all of the nutrients that whole foods contain, not to mention that they typically don’t keep you full for very long.
Have you ever had a lean cuisine meal and then 30-45 minutes later you’re staaarving? That’s because those meals aren’t made up of whole, complete, nutrient dense foods. You want to make sure you’re getting in at least 5 servings of veggies a day to get in all of the wonderful nutrients and fiber they offer. If you make produce and quality protein a priority you’ll definitely notice a shift in your physique.
5. You’re Cutting Out Entire Food Groups
Have you ever been told you can’t have something? Even if it’s something you didn’t previously want – the minute you hear it’s off limits it seems to be all that you can think about.
It’s like when you were little and someone else played with one of your toys. You weren’t using it. You may have even forgotten about said toy. But the second you see someone else enjoying your toy, you suddenly want to play with it.
The same goes for food. If you try and completely eliminate something – like carbs – the more you’re going to want them. Cutting out food groups can not only cause nasty cravings, it can also lead to nutrition deficiencies. Instead of eliminating food groups all together, aim to have balanced meals with proper portions.
If you’re not into counting and tracking macros, a good place to start is by ensuring half of your plate is veggies, a quarter of it is protein and a quarter of it is healthy carbs. Fats come into play depending on the type of protein you eat (salmon for example, has a good amount of healthy fat) and also if you’re using dressing or cooking oil on your greens.
Don’t eliminate foods, simply re-distribute them and make sure your portions are in check.
6. You’re Consuming Alcohol On A Regular Basis
Many people simply don’t realize the impact alcohol has on their physique. Many people justify their drinking by stating that they only use diet mixers or don’t have the sugary stuff but the truth of the matter is it’s not just about calories when it comes to alcohol and weight loss.
Alcohol affects your hormones – specifically your testosterone – which can make losing weight a challenge. Many women think that lowered testosterone isn’t a big deal but testosterone actually helps you lose weight. When you consume alcohol, your body has to break it down. While your body is busy dealing with what you’ve consumed, it essentially puts your fat loss on hold. Your body can’t burn fat while metabolizing the alcohol so your efforts are put on hold. When you drink, the effect that the alcohol has on your body lasts anywhere from 8-72 hours depending on your build, how much you drank etc. This means that during that time, you aren’t burning fat and food that you do consume – and let’s face it, when we drink too much we tend to not make the best food decisions – is likely going to be stored as fat.
7. You Actually Are Losing Fat
Just because the scale isn’t moving, doesn’t mean that things aren’t changing. If you’re weight training and adding on some muscle, you might not see the drastic change on the scale that you were expecting.
It does take time to add muscle to your frame – you don’t just pack on 5 pounds of muscle in a couple weeks – but it is something to keep in mind in the long run. Some people have a goal weight that they are intent on hitting when really you should be concerned with how you look and feel and how your clothes fit.
Here’s an example from yours truly:
I’m definitely leaner in the photo on the right but the scale was up 12 pounds! I worked really hard in between shows to pack on some lean muscle and repair my metabolism (which I sadly trashed during the first show) and wound up hitting the stage with a package I was proud of an without sacrificing my metabolism.
Here’s another visual for you:
Like I mentioned, don’t expect to pack on 5 pounds of muscle quickly, but be aware that as you change your body composition the scale may not tell the whole story.
If you’ve been struggling to see results, it’s likely time to address one of the issues above. Whether it means tracking your food (even temporarily), cutting back on the adult beverages you consume during the week or stepping up your training game, there are always ways to ensure you’re making progress.
If you’re interested in learning more about some cutting edge nutrition strategies that can help ensure you succeed, I’m leading a FREE live training where we’ll be chatting all about different strategies.
As always, if you have questions, are struggling, just want some advice – feel free to drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on instagram (@Powerhousechels) or snapchat (@powerhousechels)