After weeks of journaling everything that you’ve eaten. After carefully calculating the calories in and the calories being burned on the new exercise program.
Even after faithfully attending EVERY exercise class – the results on the scale are very disappointing.
It seems everyone else is losing weight so why not you? If you’ve already tried everything, what else can you do?
Reasons for Not Losing Weight
People who commonly lose weight faster than their weight loss buddies are the people who have a denser muscle mass. This is generally why men lose weight faster. At least at the beginning.
Muscles are the core of the metabolism machinery. To have a faster metabolism you need to have more muscle. You can add more strength training to your current exercise regime to ramp up your fat loss abilities.
Another thing to consider is personal expectations. Often weight loss programs are focused on the number of pounds lost. In the beginning this seems great but shortly after the pounds stop coming off so fast. This is because of the sudden change in type and amount of calories being ingested. Our body’s quickly adjust and will learn to function at the lowered number of calories.
One big mistake many people make is to try to radically reduce the calories even more or worse – starve themselves. You need food to burn fat.
Another consideration is as you lose weight you are losing… weight.
What this means is you are now doing less work if you continue doing the same activities to burn calories. For example; if you weighed 205lbs when you started your program, you would then burn 307 calories at a moderate pace for 60 minutes. After you lose 25 lbs that same 60 minute walk only burns 270 calories.
See this chart and compare the calories being burned at lesser weights.
See the original chart here
A quick and simple way to compensate for this is to replace the fat being lost with a weighted walking vest. That way you can keep burning at the higher rate of calories.
How Age Affects Weight Loss
The maturing body does things differently than the youthful body. Metabolism slows and fat seems to pop up in places it never did before.
More responsibilities, more time at work, means less active time too.
Take the time to visit with your medical practitioner to rule out other possibilities too. Some medications contribute to slowed metabolism, fluid retention and more. Medical problems with the thyroid and sleep difficulties can also be prime contributes to not being able to lose the weight you want.
This is a good example of why many mass marketed weight loss programs do not work.
Fortunately there are other things that most people can do to change what they are doing to get the weight-loss started again.
Where to Begin Weight Loss Again
First thing to ensure is that your tracking methods are indeed accurate. When recording calories burned and calories ingested it is easy to make errors in the calculation.
Another place of inaccurate recording is with the scales themselves.
The first tracking issue is to assume that 3500 calories is equal to a pound. This is a good general guideline but not fully accurate. Burning 3500 calories does not guarantee that “poof” a pound of fat will just disappear. The measurement is more accurate to consider that a pound of fat has the potential stored energy equal to 3500 calories.
Calories are a measurement of energy.
The number of calories a person ingests can’t be absolutely measured either. You can get fairly close by measuring and weighting foods and using a calorie counter. For example you might want to figure out the number of calories in an apple snack. According to this chart a small apple is 149g and contains 77 calories.
Your apple may be a little different. More or less calories. If you are trying to measure combination dishes like stews or chili, the inaccuracy of measurement increases.
If you aren’t journaling your activities you’ll be surprised to learn what other things can be contributing to an inability to lose weight and can even cause weight gain.
The exercise exertion charts and “fat burning zones” based on how you feel or heart rate are all subject to calculation error.
Keeping track is better used as a guideline and to help monitor for awareness. Education goes a long way to living a healthy life in any atmosphere. After learning how to measure and portion food you can confidently order in restaurants and know what you are eating.
It’s a great guideline and motivator but just realize it isn’t a 100% perfect.
Weight Loss Can Cause Reduced Metabolism
When starting on a calorie restrictive diet you may be putting your current metabolism at risk. Many fast weight loss diets will be more focused on water weight and in turn strip away muscle mass to produce a reduced metabolism.
When the body isn’t receiving enough calories it can turn to muscle for fuel.
Analyze the diet you have chosen and make sure it is a healthy one that you can stick to for a long time. If you are not sure what a healthy fat loss diet looks like you may want to consult with a nutritionist.
Once you have your healthy diet set up then its a good idea to add muscle to your frame. A good set of muscle building exercises will help to rev up your metabolism and turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
Why Counting Points May Not be Working
Some diet programs indicate you can eat whatever you want provided you keep it within a certain number of “points”. This is loosely based on calories vs points. A high calorie food has more points than a low calorie food and you can have only so many points per day.
If the food choices remain the same then the amount of food ingested is drastically reduced. This alone leads to failure. Secondly, all types of foods are not metabolized or digested equally.