Few things are more frustrating than putting your full effort into something and not seeing a result from it! Especially when it comes to something so personal like your body.
According to Boston Medical Center, Americans Spend $33 BILLION (Yes, BILLION) each year on weight loss products. Even with all that spending nearly 2/3 of Americans are STILL obese (sounds like a waste of money).
Now maybe you’re not obese and just wanna lose 10, 20, okay 30 extra pounds of fluff that you put on during the past few years (or during the Covid pandemic). You’ve heard things like “Calories in vs. Calories out” or “This diet will help you lose 20 pounds fast” but you think you’ve tried it all and still no weight loss.
After training over 150 clients over the past 5 years I’ve heard the classic “I’ve tried everything to lose weight” plea but in most situations, that’s not the truth.
Here are the 8 most common reasons you’re not seeing weight loss:
1) You don’t need to lose any more “Weight”
I know what you’re thinking.
“How would you know?”
“I still have fat to lose.”
“I don’t like the way I look.”
LET ME EXPLAIN!
Weight= Muscle+Fat+Bones+Skin+Water + (a bunch of other stuff).
So when people come to me and say, “Ashton I need to lose this weight” and grab their stomach, they’re usually talking about losing fat, not just overall weight.
As a health professional my job is to make sure people are healthy but also look amazing, feel great, and think better. We all know those people that say, “I just need to lose a little more weight” but they look like they couldn’t afford to lose another pound if they tried.
If you want to lose weight for these reasons then maybe you should re-evaluate your goals:
(Listen I don’t want to judge anybody, nor do I get to tell you what you want or what your goals should be but I think this topic is VERY important.)
You want to want to lose weight to be at someone else’s body weight.
You want to lose weight because you wanna see a certain number on the scale.
You want to lose weight because you’re in competition with other people.
You want to lose weight because you think it will make you happy. (I know a lot of people who hit their weight goal and are miserable)
Like I said I have nothing against people’s personal goals (Heck I help people lose weight for a living), but many times I see these goals turn into obsessions which turn into eating disorders which turn into massive determinants to your physical, social, and mental health.
2) You’re Losing Fat & Gaining Muscle at the Same Time
This is an INCREDIBLE thing (in a majority of situations) to be gaining muscle while losing fat! This actually means you’re probably doing everything the correct way.
With many of my clients (especially beginners), the first 4-6 weeks they don’t lose much weight at all! This is because the workouts and nutrition plan are increasing their lean muscle mass and decreasing their fat mass. This is ideal because muscle makes you look leaner but also your overall body fat % will decrease. Take a look at this example down below:
Week 1- Let’s say your weight is 150lbs and you have 50lbs of fat. That means your body fat percentage is 33%.
Week 8- Let’s say your weight is 150lbs and you have 30lbs of fat. That means your body fat percentage is 20%. You’ve added 20 pounds of muscle and lost 20 pounds of fat!
This is most commonly known as body recomposition which is ideal for many people because it gives you the most dramatic transformation but also builds a great base for you to sustain these new results. Here’s a transformation of mine for an example.
I didn’t lose any more than 5 pounds between these pictures. But my body fat decreased tremendously because I lost fat and gained muscle at the same time!
3) You’re Eating Too Much (Even if it’s healthy)
This one seems like a no brainer, yet people don’t identify eating healthy as eating too many calories.
Did you know that there are as many calories (350) in an avocado as a McDonald’s Medium fry?
Did you know that there are nearly as many calories in a Chick-fil-a salad as a TWO (2) Chick-fil-a (Fried) Chicken sandwiches?
Did you know that 1 tablespoon of olive oil has as many calories as a (normal size) Chocolate Chip Cookie?
Now I AM NOT SAYING THAT YOU SHOULD EAT MCDONALDS OVER AVOCADOS.
But what I am saying is that calories are calories. You eat too many of them and you WILL gain weight.
So you may be asking, “How many calories should I be eating Ashton?” and my answer would be, “I have no fricken clue?!?!”
The right amount of calories is determined by many different lifestyle and genetic factors! There are many calorie calculators that you can use online to give you a rough (very rough) estimate of how much you should be eating. The best way though is to work with a professional to help determine your nutritional needs.
So eat less and lose weight correct? Not exactly… It’s a bit more complicated than that. In fact, your problem could be the opposite of eating too much.
4) You’re Not Eating Enough (Slow metabolism)
I know this point seems a little odd but stick with me here. It’s more common than you would think.
When my 400-pound client first came to me and asked me to help her lose weight, I asked her how much she was eating in a day.
Client: “Around 1000 calories a day.”
Me: “Only 1000 calories? Okay, the first thing we gotta do is get you eating more calories in the day.”
Client (Baffled about to leave the room): “Eating more is how I gained the weight! Don’t I need to eat fewer calories to lose it?”
14 months later she was down around 200 pounds while eating over 2000 calories!
I know you’ve been told the opposite. Eat less to lose weight. Heck I know I just stated it above!
Let me explain (shortly) why eating MORE could help you lose weight.
Let’s say you start a diet and you begin eating 1200 calories per day. You lose weight initially but now you’re stuck.
Your metabolism starts to adjust to that 1200 calorie intake. Meaning your body won’t burn anything past that mark. So you have a choice to make.
Eat less food & workout even harder. Even though anything under 1200 calories is considered unhealthy and it will be tough to work out harder with fewer calories. This is like expecting your car to drive further with less fuel.
Eat more food to help you boost your metabolism so you start losing weight at an even higher calorie intake. Let’s say instead you slowly increase your calories to 2000 but you don’t gain any weight. You build muscle because your eating more and you get more nutrients because you're eating a larger variety of foods. Your body will begin to adjust to burning 2000 calories and when you drop to 1500 calories, your body will have to pull those calories from somewhere. You’ll begin to drop weight to make up for that deficit and if you do it right all in the form of fat.
I will elaborate on this process in a later blog but eating more calories is beneficial for our bodies. You’ll have more energy, get to eat more, and boost your metabolism. This will also, in turn, help you burn more calories in the future.
I’ll leave you with this last point. Do you think a body lacking in nutrients would prioritize losing fat? Do you think starving yourself is truly healthy even if it results in weight loss? Do you ever wonder how people eat so much but are fit? You gotta eat those calories to help you get to the next level of weight loss.