You’ve decided to challenge yourself with a transformation, started hitting the gym and eating healthier foods, but for some reason your weight isn’t dropping! Usually with this problem, people fall into two categories: those than can’t lose weight, and those that lose weight but gain it all back faster than it was lost. The truth is, there is a solution, and while you might think there is some complicated process that makes you in particular the problem, the truth is, it’s likely one of the reasons we are going to highlight below.
Most people jump on a diet, find that it helps them lose weight in the first week or two, but after some time, they find themselves having stalled. At this point, they think that diet wasn’t right for them and proceed to try another diet, only to find no significant results come from it.
The truth is, it isn’t the diets that are failing you, but that you simply haven’t put yourself through it long enough to see the results. Most diets will have you cut carbohydrates that within the first week or two, leads you to lose a few kilos purely from water and muscle stored carbohydrates (glycogen).
The solution is to select a diet plan that you can stick to based on your lifestyle and food choices, and stick to it. Consistency is crucial and patience is key.
While this sounds counterintuitive, eating too little leads to a loss of muscle and fat. Your body only truly looks leaner when you are able to maintain as much muscle mass as possible while dropping body fat. Thus, if you are losing equal amounts of the two, you end up being a smaller version of your original self, and now need to eat even less to lose body fat due to the slowdown in your metabolism.
Instead of putting yourself at a ridiculous deficit, eat at a small deficit so that you are losing between 0.5-1.0% of your body weight weekly as this will ensure the majority of weight is coming from fat loss.
Far too often people retain the goal of wanting to lose fat and end up being on a permanent fat loss phase. While dropping body fat is definitely beneficial for your health, what ends up happening is your body adapts to this new calorie intake and fat loss stalls.
Your body is a smart machine that prioritises survival, and instead of losing body fat perpetually, it becomes more efficient at using the little calories you are feeding your body to maintain itself as best possible. This is a classic demonstration of homeostasis, and thus makes being in a deficit for too long detrimental.
The right thing to do is to set a limit of 3 months when it comes to dieting length. Take a break, eat to simply maintain what you lost in those 3 months for a few weeks so that your body can reacclimate to your maintenance calories, then push for another 3 month deficit phase.
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