news Why am I not losing weight with a calorie deficit?
Whether your goal is 5 pounds or 50 pounds, weight loss isn’t easy. Going to the gym when you’d rather curl up on the couch, trying to satisfy your cravings for something sweet with fruit instead of ice cream, turning down a second glass of wine…it’s all about achieving weight loss. will be split. goal. And doing all this without seeing any results can be very frustrating.
Personal trainers often hear clients say they’re burning more calories than they burn, or not enough calories, and still not losing weight. what to give I’ve found that there are several reasons why this happens.
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How to determine your calorie deficit for weight loss
Many people with weight loss goals assume the key is to maximize the calorie deficit as much as possible. Gabbi Berkow, RD, CDN, CPT, I say this is a common mistake. Her advice is to aim for a 10-25 percent calorie deficit, meaning she eats 75-90 percent of the total calories she consumes in a day. “The more you exercise, the more you can eat without losing calories,” says Bercow.
Curious about how to calculate how many calories you burn in a day? Berkow recommends using fitness trackers that monitor your heart rate, such as AppleWatch, FitBit, Garmin, and Google Pixel Watch. “Your calorie target for fat loss is 75 to 90 percent of your total calories burned,” she says, making sure your protein intake is about 1 gram per pound of body weight, or at least 30 percent. added that is important. target calories. If you don’t own a fitness wearable, there are several free calorie calculators online, including Omni Calculator and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
You may already know you’re in a calorie deficit, but you won’t lose weight if you keep doing it. There are several reasons why this happens. I will explain below.
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Why you can’t lose weight with a calorie deficit
1. You’re underestimating how many calories you burn
The first reason comes down to classic human error.registered dietitian Alex Larson, RDN, It seems that there are ingredients that tend to be forgotten in calorie counting. This could include cooking oils, seasonings, or sauces, she says. “You don’t have to avoid them, just make sure you take them into account,” she says.
2. You have muscles
Both experts say there are other reasons why a calorie deficit isn’t going down on the scale. “Fat and muscle both weigh the same, but muscle is denser and takes up less space than fat,” says Larson. “If you gain 5 pounds of muscle, you look very different than if you gain 5 pounds of body fat.” This is why it is important.
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3. High cortisol levels
“Cortisol is the body’s chronic stress hormone, which increases fat storage in the abdomen, causes muscle breakdown, and increases fluid retention,” says Berkow. Scientific studies show that people with high cortisol levels have difficulty losing weight. Chronically high cortisol levels can also affect eating behaviors such as increased appetite and cravings for foods high in sugar, fat and carbohydrates, Larson says. I am adding that there is.
Both experts emphasize that managing stress and getting enough sleep are important ways to prevent chronically high cortisol levels. “You don’t need to do HIIT workouts more than once or twice a week,” she says. Berkow says walking, strength training, and low-impact training like yoga and Pilates are all other ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
4. High insulin levels
Berkow says high levels of insulin make fat loss more difficult. “Rising and falling blood sugar levels make cells more resistant to insulin, which means blood sugar stays elevated and the pancreas has to pump out more for insulin to work.” She explains. Low blood sugar can make someone feel tired or hungry, which can lead to unhealthy food choices, they say.
For these reasons, she says it’s important to consume foods that stabilize blood sugar levels. To do this, prioritize fiber-rich foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.), she says. Eating every three to five hours can also help keep insulin levels from rising, says Berkow.
5. Slow metabolism
“Bigger people may have faster metabolisms than smaller people,” says Larson, adding that larger bodies require more energy to maintain basic bodily functions. I’m here. She explains that there are several factors that affect metabolism, including age, gender, muscle mass, genetics, and physical activity level.
“To improve your metabolism, try to boost your metabolism with nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats,” says Larson. Your metabolism adapts faster by eating fewer calories, and if you skip meals and get too restrictive, your body will break down muscle for energy.”
She also says that losing muscle mass can also negatively affect your metabolism.
6. Your diet is messing with your hormones
Often times, when someone has a weight loss goal, they completely change their eating habits and tackle a hot new diet. “One reason it’s been shown not to work is because it can deregulate hormone levels,” Larson says. It can affect hormones such as leptin.” Instead, focusing on losing weight gradually will allow your hormones to adjust as you lose weight.
Both experts stress the importance of not making the calorie deficit too large. If you don’t, your body goes into starvation mode, slowing your metabolism and making it harder to lose weight, says Bercow. Focus on keeping it to Combine this with regular exercise and you may be able to reach your weight loss goals without counting calories at all.
Then check out these effective tips for boosting your metabolism.
- Gabbi Berkow, RD, CDN, CPT, Registered Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist, Certified Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor, Dancer
- Alex Larson, RDN, Registered Dietitian