Despite what you’ve probably heard about hormones and insulin and good and bad calories and evil toxins living inside you – the number one reason you’re not losing fat is because you’re eating too much. Yes, even when you’re adamant that you aren’t.
Some other unlikely reasons you may not be losing weight include the following:
1. Not begin patient. You can’t force fat loss. The only thing you can do is eat in a caloric deficit, train hard, and give it time! Time being the most important factor!
2. You keep comparing yourself to others. Instead of letting that get you down, seek out advice and ask questions. Surround yourself with the people who support you and those that can help you be the best you!
3. Water retention. Dieting (and exercise) is a form of stress on the body. And the longer you diet the more this stress increases. When stress is elevated for a long period of time, the stress hormone (cortisol) increases and as a result, people start retaining water. Try different techniques to reduce your stress levels such as meditation, walking, getting a massage, etc.
4. Health issues. Certain health conditions can affect fat loss, like hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and even Menopause. Medication can also be a factor. Antidepressants and birth control pills, for example, are known to cause weight gain. If you are truly sticking to your diet, training hard, and still not losing fat, it’s always best to consult your doctor to make sure you don’t have any underlying health conditions. With regards to medication and weight gain, try discussing alternative options with your doctor to start!
5. Your fat loss plan is reckless or illogical. Remember, you don’t want to lose weight, you want to lose fat. Those are two very different things. (Body) weight is everything that makes up your body mass – things like your muscles, body fat, organs, water, bones, etc. Weight loss, itself, is easy: deplete anything you intake and your weight will drop. Fat loss is the process of losing body fat while maintaining your muscle mass and/or even gaining muscle mass. With that in mind, there are a few key requisites to a good fat loss plan:
1. Sufficient protein intake
2. Engage in strength training
3. A reasonable caloric deficit
4. Stop doing endless cardio; you can’t out train your diet
So, stop focusing on weight loss and start focusing on fat loss.
6. You’re gaining muscle. If you are truly eating in a deficit, and you are not losing weight and possibly even gaining weight – you are likely gaining muscle pounds. This is great news, and a stern reminder that the scale is only one tool you should be using to track progress. Tracking measurements, using progress photos, and paying attention to strength gains are far better indicators of muscle growth.
7. You don’t need to lose fat. The more muscle you have on your frame, the better you’re going to look when “dieted down”. So, if you’re lacking sufficient muscle mass, you don’t need to lose fat, you need to gain muscle. Yes, that includes you women!