September 6, 2023

Why Am I Not Losing Weight In A Calorie Deficit?

woman selecting calories deficit vegetables

I’m Not Losing Weight In A Calorie Deficit!

Are you puzzled why you’re not losing weight despite being in a calorie deficit? You’re in the right place!

In this blog post, we’ll discuss about calorie deficit and why you might not be seeing the results you anticipate.

Let’s start!


woman watching vegatables on a table in the kitchen


Why It Happens

There could be many reasons why you’re not losing weight, even if you’re eating less. Let’s look at some reasons:

  1. Not Balancing Calories: Changing your food or exercise could help. Doing strength exercises and eating fresh food helps more.
  2. Stuck Weight: You might have hit a plateau. This means your body got used to your diet and exercise. Change them a bit. Do not force yourself drastically.
  3. Too Much Water: Your body could be holding extra water. This can hide your weight loss and can be caused by eating too much salt, hormone changes, or medications.
  4. Bad Sleep: If you’re not sleeping properly, it can affect your body, making it harder to lose weight.
  5. Periods: During your periods, hormones can make your body keep water and make you gain weight for a while.
  6. Eating Junk Food: Even low calorie junk food can stop your weight loss.
  7. Stress: Being stressed can make it harder to lose weight.
  8. Not Counting Calories Right: You might not be counting your calories correctly. Keeping a food diary or using an app can help you track them right.
  9. Health Issues: Some health problems, like hypothyroidism or PCOS, might make it more difficult to lose weight.

To win over these, make small changes to your diet and exercise, count your calories correctly, and take care of any health problems.

But some people might conclude this situation because they forgot to count other factors

#1 Count On Physical Activity When Calculating Your Calories

Exercise and Energy Needs

Physical activity is an essential component of any effective weight loss plan. But gauging how much calorie each exercise burns is a rather tricky task.

According to Harvard Medical School, people tend to overestimate the calories they burn during exercise and underestimate the calories they consume.


woman running to lose weight


Adaptive Thermogenesis and the Body’s Adjustments

Another point to consider is a process called adaptive thermogenesis. Our body, ever-so-smartly, adjusts its energy expenditure in response to changes in diet and exercise. For instance, after significant weight loss, our body’s energy expenditure decreases, causing a slower-than-expected weight loss rate in the long run.

The Importance of Physical Activity

Combining a strategic diet plan with regular physical activity can be an effective weight loss strategy. A 30-minute brisk walk could burn up to 150 calories, allowing you to achieve gradual and steady weight loss, and a healthier metabolism.

A successful weight loss strategy requires a balance of healthy eating, regular physical activity, and mindful tracking of your caloric intake. But remember, every person’s weight loss journey is unique, and patience and persistence are key components.


#2 Count On Water Weight and Weight Fluctuations

Let’s consider something that can completely mask your actual fat loss—water weight. That’s right, friends, our bodies love to hold onto water, causing maddening fluctuations on the scale.

Factors such as hormone cycles or an impromptu, spirited indulgence in salty snacks can cause temporary spikes in water retention.

Hectic, isn’t it? However, remember it’s the long-term trends, rather than daily numbers, that give a real picture of your fat loss.

Woman chosing between low calories and high water food


#3 Count On Muscle Mass in Weight Loss

Now, let’s flex our minds around the role of strength training in weight loss. If you’re hitting the weights (bravo, by the way!), it might build muscle mass. Muscles weigh more than fat, so gaining muscle could keep your weight steady, or even arch it upwards.

Does this sound counterproductive? Fear not! Your body composition, which is the ratio of fat to muscle, is changing and that’s often the yummier slice of the weight loss pie.


#4 Count On adaptive thermogenesis

Think of adaptive thermogenesis like your body’s superpower. It helps adjust how much energy your body uses based on your food intake and weight changes. The process is super complex, involving stuff like hormones and how your body deals with hunger.

Your body uses this superpower as a survival tool. When you limit the amount of food you eat, your body tries to prevent too much weight loss. It’s like your body’s very own superhero, trying to keep everything in balance.

Now, you might be wondering, “How do I get this superpower to work for me?” The answer is simple! You need to cause a “calorie deficit”. This isn’t hard; you just need to eat less than what your body needs. Mixing less food and more activity like running or playing soccer can work wonders!

You might also wonder, “How do I know if it’s working?” Here’s where awesome tools come in. Think of things like activity trackers or heart monitors. They help you estimate how much energy your body uses every day. Sounds cool, right?


Woman selecting the right food in front of her to lose weight

Count On Psychological Factors and Weight Loss

Your mind—weird, wonderful, occasionally wayward. Yes, psychological factors like stress, sleep, and more play a pivotal role in weight loss.

Are you an emotional eater? If so, guess what—you’re gloriously human, like the rest of us! This habit can maintain your weight despite the calorie deficit. Don’t be disheartened though; we’ll discuss some handy-dandy strategies to manage these elements and support your weight loss journey.



What Do Calories Mean?

Well, in its simplest terms, calories are units of energy. Specifically, the kind of energy our bodies extract from the food we consume. Interestingly, according to the National Institutes of Health, an adult requires anywhere from 1,600 to 3,000 calories per day to sustain normal body functions!

Water retention seems like a science fiction tale! How much can it really impact my weight?

Hold onto your hat, reader, because water can make your weight wildly wobble! Depending on your daily diet, you could witness fluctuations of 2-4 pounds. So, don’t let that daily weigh-in pull your strings. Long-term trends are our true friends!

So, I’ve been working my biceps. Are you saying the weight gain from muscles could dwarf fat loss?

Exactly! Muscle is a dense rascal, and weighs more than fat. It might seem like your weight loss campaign has hit the buffers, but actually, the change in body composition is significant.

What invisible hand is pulling the strings of this “adaptive thermogenesis”?

Your body turns into a miser when it comes to energy spent when you’ve been dwelling in the lands of calorie deficits. It’s your body’s survival mechanisms trying to hoard for those rainy days. So, adaptive thermogenesis is basically your body’s way to resist your weight loss plans.

Emotional eater here. Are there snack police on patrol in my brain?

Your brain doesn’t play snack police—rather it’s your partner in crime! Stress and other emotional triggers may prompt you to seek solace in snacks, leading to maintaining your weight despite a calorie deficit. But don’t despair, structure, awareness and self-compassion are the keys to outsmart this habit!

Is the scale enemy number one in the realm of weight loss?

Scales aren’t the enemy. But when the readings become a daily obsession, they could torment your peace of mind. Remember, minor weight fluctuations are normal. Celebrate the non-scale victories too!

When should I run into the arms of professional dietary advice?

No journey is a one-person show. It’s always helpful to pull in experts who can provide you with professional guidance, especially when you’re making significant dietary changes. Listen to your body, and don’t hesitate to seek help when in doubt!

Is the body composition a better flag-bearer of my fat loss progress?

It’s a big yes from us! The body composition shift, when you lose fat and build muscle, is often a better narrator of your weight loss story. It’s a bit like re-balancing a see-saw; the overall weight might stay the same, but the balance shifts!

Sleep doesn’t seem like a player in weight loss. Is it really?

Sleep might seem like a silent spectator but it’s right in the thick of action! A lack of sleep or too much stress can constrict your weight loss, while balanced sleep and stress management can accelerate your journey.

Why is everyone advising me to take a holistic approach? Isn’t calorie deficit enough?

Calorie deficit is a cornerstone, but remember, weight loss isn’t simple arithmetic. There are several rascals involved: water weight, body composition, metabolic adaptations, psychological habits. Understanding these aspects holistically can help unmask the true progress of your journey.

Are these weight loss obstacles a common plight?

Absolutely, friend! These are less of obstacles, more of checkpoints we all pass through in the winding road of weight loss. Surprising, frustrating, but ultimately surmountable. You’re not alone in this; and remember, patience above all!


Final Thoughts

Phew, that’s a lot to digest, isn’t it?

By considering all these factors, you can sail smoother than strict calorie deficits alone. Also, don’t be shy to seek professional advice on these profound dietary changes.

Remember, friends, weight loss is a journey—complex, confusing, but ultimately, will turn out to be completely worth it. Keep going, you’re doing great!