If you want to lose weight, you need to cut calories, right? That’s what we keep hearing anyway: no more wine, no bread, no pasta, etc. What if I told you that’s not always true? What if I told you cutting too much can have the opposite effect?
Some of you are in this exact situation; you’ve been cutting your calories for months or even years, saw results at first but are now at a plateau. But you keep hearing the whole calories in, calories out thing, so why can’t you lose a pound?!
Well, it can be a combination of factors, but here are the top 4 reasons why:
1.You eat too little.
Say what?! Don’t we need to eat fewer calories to lose weight? Yes, but only to a certain degree. If you cut your calories too much, especially i you’ve been doing this for a long time, your hormones go into “starvation mode”. You’re obviously not starving, but your body doesn’t know when the next time you are going to eat and tries to conserve as much energy as it can, meaning it stocks up what you eat! Blame your hormones on this one (more on this in reason #4)
2. You’re not cutting down in the right places.
Usually, our first thought is to cut out bread & pasta, alcohol, or all desserts. But what if I told you there’s a much easier way to cut calories without feeling miserable? Yes, we often forget about the “extras”. We forget about the extra bites we take by finishing our kids’ plates, the sugar in our coffees, the 4-5 nuts we eat every time we go to the kitchen, the few bites we take to taste the supper we’re cooking, … These add up. Imagine every bite is just 20 calories. If we cut down on 5 of those bites per day, we’re reducing our calories by 100 calories, which leads to a weight loss of about 10 lbs in a year! So try to limit extras extras rather than A WHOLE FOOD GROUP.
3. You compare things to how they were 5 years ago.
Was it easier to lose the weight 5 years ago than it is today? Probably. Again, there are many factors that can influence our answer, but we should remember that our metabolism slows with age, meaning we need to eat even fewer calories to lose weight. For example, if 5 years ago your resting metabolism was 1500 calories and you worked out 3 days a week, you maybe needed 1600 calories to lose a pound a week. Now, assuming you workout the same amount but with a resting metabolism of 1400 calories, you would need 1450 calories to lose the same weight. It’s not a huge difference, but like we saw before, those extra calories can easily add up!
4. You’re too obsessed with the number on the scale
Like we saw before, hormones can have an affect on our weight loss efforts. Constantly thinking about our weight can be considered a chronic low-level stress. This stress increases our hormones cortisol and insulin, which in turn which signal the body to store fat and interfere with building muscle. This is the exact opposite of what we’re striving for!
Weight loss is a journey and won’t be achieved overnight. The best strategy is to gradually reduce calories by starting with the foods that offer little nutrients and that you can easily live without. If you love bread, cutting it out completely simply won’t work. Better yet? Don’t focus on the scale and eat foods that make you feel good!
For more info about how the scale does more harm than good, head over to Green Mountain At Fox Run