The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why Can't I Lose Weight?

I'm sure this is a question a lot of you guys have asked yourself a lot. It's a tough subject, and frankly one that ends up hurting a lot of peoples feelings. However, if you are honest with yourself and you don't have a medical condition deemed by a doctor (Not by WebMD) you will often find that the fault lies in your own behaviors or in your record keeping.

Now, the following is not for people who have just started dieting. This is for people who have dieted for multiple weeks and aren't seeing results. Also keep this in mind, the higher the body fat percentage, the quicker the weight should come off. If you're at 16% body fat , you're going to lose weight slower (generally) than someone at 24%.

This picture isn't 100% accurate, but it gives a rough estimate.
Weight loss is caused by being in a caloric deficit for an extended period of time. So, you may not be losing weight if...

1. You're eating too much.

This isn't always entirely your fault. This comes with the trial and error of dieting. The only way of knowing what your true daily caloric intake should be to lose, gain, or maintain weight is to simply test out the waters. I always recommend starting out too high and cutting back slowly, because if you cut your calories down to 1200 right out of the gate, you're going to have nowhere to go whenever it stalls out (Which it will. Trust me, I know.) 

2. You're not creating a caloric deficit with exercise.

Unless you have a medical condition that prevents it from doing so, your metabolism is highly adaptable. If you just cut back your calories, your body will think those are its new maintenance. You've got to boost your metabolism with exercise and create the initial deficit with physical exertion in combination with diet

3.) You're eating out too much.

Eating out isn't bad for you, don't let people tell you otherwise. Nobody wants to serve you poison, but at the same time, they aren't exactly concerned about how many grams of fat are in their chicken crispers. Don't worry about this one too much, but it is something that can play a factor if you're eating out for nearly every meal. Even if you go to places that have healthier menu options, there is no telling what the cook in the back is doing. They don't care if you're on a diet, they have dozens of meals to make every 2 minutes and they're interested in making it taste good. So, they may splash on a dab of butter with their butter brush or give you vegetables cooked in butter. This is kind of a scare tactic, but there are a lot of variables in portion sizes that aren't really considered whenever they post their caloric content on websites or are factored into your Myfitnesspal app.

4.) You're eating too much of one food group and making yourself sick.

Didn't you watch T.V. as a kid? Don't you know that you need all the major food groups??? This will more likely happen to people who are only eating meat and neglecting their fruits and veggies and not ingesting fiber. I'll give you one guess where that weight's in your colon. Eating too much vegatables and fruits usually renders an individual skinny or skinny fat, depending on your physique goals, but they usually are capable of losing weight quickly.

Look at that balanced breakfast!  So many delicious carbs...

 5.) You're eating clean, but you're still eating too much.

Some people think they can just lose weight by cutting out all the "bad things" in their diet. And, for the most part, you can lose some weight with this method. However, you can still gain weight eating chicken breast, tuna and brown rice. In fact, you can gain lots of weight depending on how much you eat.

6.) You're not being honest with yourself about your caloric intake.

There is a reason that body builders, fitness models, and actors weigh out everything they eat down to individual ingredients. Guess work and just eating clean will only take you so far. If you're really committed to a weight loss goal, the numbers matter. Sneaking an Oreo or two can still put you at maintenance calories and thus cause you to not be making progress towards your goal.

7.) You're eating far too little and you've reached starvation mode.

I understand this from first hand experience. And some of you might be doing this to yourself at this very moment. If you're dipping your calories low enough and introducing too many calorie burning workouts, you may very well be burning out everything in the tank. This will cause your body to refuse to lose any weight, because it is turning to your fat for basic survival. 

Don't assume this is occurring right away. When I was suffering from this, I was consuming 1600 cals at 6'4" and 217lbs and doing cardio for 30-40mins every day. I was sustaining myself on less than 800 calories a day. This ain't good. But, you live and you learn.

Now, if you don't fit into one of these categories (although you probably do), you should consult a nutritionist. Honestly, you should consult one if you're looking to lose a large sum of weight. It doesn't take a rocket science to figure out an effective weight loss formula, but it does take a specialist to find a well balanced diet that will keep you satisfied and informed on how to maintain it, rather then the wild world of trial and error like Ol' Yeargain experienced.

But, life's an adventure, and doctors are expensive. The internet is a wealth of free knowledge and you can be extremely successful with your own meal plans if you're willing to do the research and apply yourself in the kitchen along with the gym.

Happy eating, friends! 

I love this cookie. You can see it in my eyes.


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