5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
“I’m doing everything right, but I’m not losing any weight!”
As a coach, this is something I hear all the time. There could be many reasons the weight isn’t coming off, but for the purpose of this blog post, we are going to focus on the nutrition side of things.
The first thing we need to discuss is the law of energy balance.
In order to lose weight: Calories In < Calories out
In order to maintain weight: Calories in = Calories out
In order to gain weight: Calories in > Calories out
Simply put, you MUST be in a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. There are no if, ands, or buts about it! So if you are not losing weight, you’re not in a calorie deficit.
Let’s take a look at a few scenarios that could pull you out of a calorie deficit:
Bites, Licks & Tastes (BLTs): I know this sounds silly, but how could a few tastes of your partner's meal or a few licks of your kids' melting ice cream add up? Trust me, it does! Sometimes we mindlessly grab for food and we don’t even realize it. If you are tracking your food and trying to stay within a calorie deficit, you have to account for these BLTs because they do make a difference!
Raw vs Cooked foods: If you are tracking your meals and using an app like My Fitness Pal (MFP), don’t forget that raw foods such as meats, pastas, and rice weigh differently when cooked. This will make a huge difference in your daily caloric intake! For example, a cup of cooked rice is NOT the same as a cup of uncooked rice. You need to account for these differences when tracking! Luckily, you can easily track “4oz cooked chicken breast” or “4oz raw chicken breast” within MFP.
Tracking Weekends. Listen, our bodies don’t care if it’s the weekend or a weekday, at the end of the day calories consumed are calories consumed! So when I hear someone say, “I’m doing everything right, but I’m still not losing weight!” I always ask them if they’re tracking during the weekends. If your goal is 1700 calories and you’re eating 1700 calories Mon-Fri, but then you’re eating 2500 calories on Saturday and Sunday, guess what? You’re not eating 1700 calories!
Dining out. This one is huge because even when we make healthy choices at restaurants, we can assume calories are at least double of those same foods we would prepare while at home. Restaurants tend to have very calorie-dense meals, so if we’re dining out 2, 3, or 4x per week those calories are most certainly going to add up! Making meals at home the majority of the time is a much better way of knowing exactly how much you’re consuming. However, the occasional night out is perfectly fine too!
Weighing Vs Measuring. I highly recommend purchasing a food scale if you're serious about losing weight. Measuring your food is a great place to start, but it's not as accurate as weighing out your portions. Instead of using cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons, use weight like ounces, grams, and milliliters!
At the end of the day, be HONEST with yourself. This one can probably tie all of the above together into one. Are you tracking accurately and to the best of your ability? Are you being honest with your BLTs? Are you dining out regularly? Are you properly tracking alcohol? Are you using a food scale or measuring cups? All of these add up at the end of the day, so we truly have to be honest with ourselves.
I know it can be frustrating not seeing the weight come off overnight, which is why so many people are out there searching for the quickest and easiest way to lose the weight. However, taking the long-term, sustainable approach to weight loss will benefit your health and overall quality of life not only now, but years down the road.