Are You Starving? Why Your Weight Isn't Going Anywhere
Snippet of the conversation I recently had with a member at my club : "I have been eating around 1200 calories and I have not lost weight, inches, or body weight in over 6-months. My previous trainer told me to keep doing more cardio." I have heard these comments plenty time over and produce the same results: no results. Below are the three reasons your progress is being impeded to a crawl by your low-calorie diet.
In regards to audience, this post is for those who have either experienced some results in the recent past or have cut their calories by a large amount. I have had several consultations and conversations with members at my club recently who have faced the same issue; no progress. Here is why eating less is not the answer to your progression.
The Deficit Was Aggressive
Our bodies adjust to be as efficient as possible. You can compare this to having a battery saver on your smartphone that actually works. If you decide to create a deficit of 1,000 calories overnight, your body will eventually adapt to your new caloric intake and maintain weight at that point. If your metabolism is efficient, this process can happen quickly and results will stall.
The Fix: Re-Establish Your Baseline
This may be frustrating but the fact is you must eat more to have a better start point. You may gain a small amount of weight but will prove worthy over the long term. Try adding in 50-100 calories in each week to slowly recover your maintenance intake. If you go up in calories and can get away with more, up your calories by 200 a week and hold steady for a few weeks. This will increase your maintenance and allow proper correction.
Too Much Cardio
Excessive cardio eats away at muscle tissue overtime, especially in a deficit. Less muscle tissue leads to a more sluggish metabolism and less desirable body composition. The signal you're sending to your body is to decrease the amount of weight you're carrying. Muscle is expensive so your body will waste muscle tissues.
The Fix: Increase Resistance Training
Brutally training will not to do the trick, but respectively challenging weight bearing workouts will send the message that your body needs the muscle tissue due to outside stimulus. Lower the cardio, hit the weights.
Scales only tell part of the story of your progress. Being overly concerned with the scale can drive people to eat less to hit a target weight. In terms of fat loss, this can be a scrupulous task. Often times for my fat loss clients, I only measure body fat and inches lost to rid of that conscious dilemma. If you are not moving significant weight on the scale but you have lost inches and body fat percentage, that is more important than the all knowing scale
The Fix: Track Progress
Body composition is more than just what you weight. Track your overall inches lost and body fat percentage. If those numbers are moving, then so are you.
Starving yourself and working out is completely breaking your body down. You are no longer getting the essential nutrition to function at your highest capacity, and overall body composition will take the hit or stagnate. Slowly increase calories aka eat more food and start working towards results.