So you've been eating clean for a week or two, step on the scale and you still haven't lost weight. Nothing.
Not one single pound.
This can be totally frustrating! If you're familar with this situation, here's a few of the most common reasons why you're still not losing weight.
WHY YOU'RE NOT LOSING WEIGHT EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE EATING CLEAN:
YOU ARE EATING TOO MANY CALORIES
It's possible to overeat healthy foods. Really.
While the quality of your calories matter, if you're eating more calories than your body burns, it won't matter if the calories come from healthy foods or junk food.
Figure out the estimated amount of calories that your body needs per day and create a calorie deficit. Your calorie deficit should come from a combination of cutting calories and increasing activity (working out!).
To create a calorie deficit, consume around 200-350 calories less than your body needs to maintain your current weight.
Also try to increase your activity each day to burn an additional 200-300 calories.
This deficit will combination will allow you to burn an extra 3500 calories a week, which is the amount you need to lose one pound of fat.
The safe amount of weight to lose a week is around 2 lbs. per week (give or take a little).
YOU AREN'T EATING ENOUGH CALORIES
Not consuming enough calories can also prevent you from losing weight.
When we eat too little, our bodies can go into a starvation mode. When this happens, your body will hold onto body fat as long as possible and your metabolism will burn this fat at a much slower rate. YUCK!
Rather than eating too little, create a safe calorie deficit and let your body turn into a high powered fat burning machine!
YOU ARE EATING THE WRONG CALORIES
While you're cutting back calories and eating healthy, your macros may be off balance.
Your macros are the ratio of your calories in Protein/Carbs/Fat.
There is no ideal, one size fits all Magic Bullet macros ratio for everyone. The truth is that while there may be optimal ranges, these ranges can differ slightly from person to person.
Your workouts, body composition, and size are some of the factors that can affect your macros.
If you're having trouble finding your ideal range, contact a sports nutritionist to help you tighten up your macros.
YOU AREN'T DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
We need water. Lots of it. In fact, you probably need twice as much water than you drink on average.
Hydration is so important for a couple of reasons:
When we are dehydrated, our bodies hold onto water weight. This happens similar to starvation mode. When our bodies sense they are low on water, they hold onto extra water instead of releasing it from the body. When we are properly hydrated, water is constantly flushed through our system and there is no need to hold onto extra water.
This extra water we hold onto is "water weight" and can add an additional 5-10 pounds on our bodies and create that puffy, bloated look and feeling.
YOU WRECKED YOUR METABOLISM
Yo-yo dieting, eating too little calories, or too little carbs for too long will eventually wreck your metabolism.
If your metabolism has been affected for a while, it won't repair itself overnight.
It may take several weeks or a month for your metabolism to start to function properly again.
This can be very frustrating, because you're doing all the right things and not seeing a difference.
Hang in there!
It'll take some time, but eventually you'll be able to repair your metabolism.
If you think your metabolism is the issue, it's best to talk to a Licensed Nutritionist who can create a plan for you to undo the damage.
YOU'VE PUT ON MUSCLE (THIS IS A GOOD THING!)
If you're not seeing the weight loss numbers on the scale, it may also be because you've gained muscle (this is a great thing!).
On a weight loss journey, try not to hyper focus on the numbers on the scale. Take body measurements, take progress photos, and most importantly, notice HOW YOU FEEL.
Putting on muscle can be frustrating but remember that muscle is more compact than fat. So even if the scale doesn't budge at first, your waist measurements and clothing size will!
Also, muscle is essential for burning fat. By increasing your muscle, you'll burn more fat efficiently and once the fat is gone, you'll be left with that lean, toned look.
Did you know that "toned" look is actually muscle development under the fat? So don't be afraid of putting on some muscle!