We've all been there, you feel like you've had a great week, you've watched everything that you've eaten, you haven't given into temptation and reached for that glass of wine all week, the bar of chocolate that is locked away in your desk has been left untouched, then Monday comes along and the scales haven't moved.
Here are a few reasons why this might be happening to you...
1. You're Following The Government Weight Loss Guidelines
The guidelines of cutting calories are based on a poor understanding of why we gain weight. The weight loss guidelines state that we should eat low-calorie foods and receive the majority of our energy from carbohydrates.
When foods high in carbohydrates are consumed, the hormone insulin is stimulated. Insulin is the body’s storage hormone and when raised, insulin tells the body to store energy as either carbohydrate or as fat.
However, when insulin is raised (in response to a high carbohydrate meal) any access to our body fat stores is closed off and our ability to burn fat stops for that period of time.
So the weight loss guidelines are rather counter-intuitive... We are told in order to lose weight we must lower the number of calories in our diet and eat more carbohydrates. But in turn, this stimulates the storage hormone and stops us from gaining access to our body fat stores.
2. You're Focusing On The Scales
Although the weighing scales can be a convenient way of measuring your weight loss progress, from a fat loss point of view they are not very accurate. Your weight on the scales can actually fluctuate by 4lbs throughout the day.
The scales only determine a change in weight, not body fat. If you consumed 1 litre of water, the scales show that you have put on 1kg, which is true, but not 1kg of body fat. You have just taken on an additional 1kg of water. Even if you weigh yourself at the same time every day, it is impossible to weigh yourself with the same level of hydration every single day and get a true measurement of fat loss.
The average person gives up their diet within 5 weeks, the majority of the time it is because they are not seeing changes on the scales. This lack of change can be demotivating and cause someone to give up, but this is based on false information.
3. You've Cut Fat Out Of Your Diet
One of the main elements of the weight loss guidelines is to lower the amount of fat in your diet.
However, this popular weight loss advice couldn't be further from the truth...
Research shows that actually increasing the amount of fat in our diet isn't detrimental to our health at all and is actually very beneficial for weight loss.
Thats right... Foods such as cheese, bacon and cream are back on the menu!
Increasing the amount of fat in the diet, including saturated fat actually increases our ability to burn fat. In a study carried out by Dr Jeff Volek in 2015, when athletes consumed a diet high in fat vs a diet low in fat, the athletes eating a diet high in fat were burning twice as much fat than the athletes eating a diet low in fat.
For more information as to why we should increase the amount of fat in our diet and how dietary fat can accelerate weight loss read my previous article on Why Saturated Fat Is Your Friend Not Your Foe
4. You're Focusing All Of Your Energy Into Cardiovascular Exercise
Normally, when an individual decides to lose weight, their first port of call is the treadmill, but is this beneficial?
Our ability to burn fat during cardiovascular exercise (running, cycling etc) is actually limited to approximately 0.5g per minute...
To put this into perspective, if you ran for 40 minutes, burnt 400 calories on a treadmill and all of the energy used came exclusively from body fat (which it doesn't) this would equate to 44g of body fat loss. Compare that to the 1kg (1000g) of body fat that you want to lose, you would have to run for a long time to get close to that figure.
A common trend is for individuals to skip weight training/resistance exercise. Not only does weight training burn calories, but it also helps to preserve muscle mass, meaning that when combined with an effective diet, the majority of weight loss comes from body fat and not muscle tissue.
Now I am not saying avoid cardio exercise, but what I am saying is that you don’t need to be a slave to the treadmill to lose weight.
For more information as to why adding weight training to your weight loss programme can be beneficial read my previous article: Diet? Cardio? Weights? - What is the most effective way to lose body fat?
5. You're Restricting Yourself Too Much
An effective weight loss programme still needs to include a bit of what you love. Whether your thing is chocolate, wine, or a family bag of Doritos, restricting yourself from these foods forever is not the answer.
Yes, these kinds of foods do need to be limited and can’t be consumed all day long, but if you avoid them all together, you then associate that weight loss programme as actually having a negative effect on your life and you are more likely to give up.
An effective weight loss programme needs to incorporate the foods that you love into your new lifestyle, that way you can still achieve your health and fitness goal without avoiding the foods that you love entirely.
Are You Fed Up of Feeling Hungry And Restricted On A Diet?
If you are looking for someone who specialises in weight loss in Solihull, leave a message on the CW Nutrition contact page and see how you can change your lifestyle in a sustainable and scientific way.