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Many of us have tried very hard in dieting and exercise to lose weights. Most of us succeed in the first few months by reducing few kgs but follow by a weight loss plateau. No matter how less food we eat or how hardworking we are in exercise, we’re just not losing the weight as the initial stage.
“I spent 1 hour every day exercising and eat very little but my weight doesn’t seem to go down”
“Haha, every year I tried to lose weight but fail. I try and fail for few times and I’m now sick of it”
“I’ve been eating very little but only manage to lose 3kg for first 2 weeks. Now my weight no longer go down”
Sound familiar to you? Have you gone through all this before? Read the 5 reasons below that you might be facing which causes you not to lose weight.
Why can’t we lose weight?
1. Underestimated calorie intake
As we have mentioned in the previous post that calorie deficits are the sole cause and requirement of fat loss. Most of the people fail in losing weight because they didn’t create a consistent calorie deficit. A lot of people think that they are doing right as they are not eating a lot. When in reality they are unknowingly making mistakes somewhere by having more calorie.
For examples, they pour a lot of dressing when consuming salads to taste good. It could cost you extra few hundred calories from the sugar and fats contained in the dressing. Many also didn’t notice that the drinks they drink are having calories as well. For instance, an original size Mango Magic from Boost will cost you 435 calories which is equivalents to 2 bowl of rice.
The problems arise when you consume here and there by a small amount that will eventually accumulate to around 300 – 500 extra calories per day which affects the weight loss.
2. Overestimated activity level
Most of the people tend to take the display of calories burned on exercise equipment or fitness tracker too seriously! Do you know that a study reports it could be as inaccurate as up to 23 percent!
“I can enjoy an ice cream because I did the workout for an hour”
Sounds familiar to you? This is a big issue many faces. Often, many of us always enjoy food right after we have done some workout as we think that we deserve it as shown on the calories burned display. Paying attention to calories burned during exercise could be counterproductive. It will cause our mindset to have mindless overeating which causes weight gain, in the long run, says E. Todd Schroeder, director of the Clinical Exercise Research Center at the University of Southern California.
In weight loss, hard work is often not enough. We must be doing the things right consistently to see results. As for exercise, running on the treadmill with high intensity for 20 minutes results is better than jogging for 2 hours consistently. The high-intensity workout is proven to burn fat effectively and last up to 48 hours of burning. Exercising at more than 70% of maximum heart rate is considered high intensity. The best way of burning fats is to incorporate high-intensity training and also resistance training to build up or maintain your muscle mass for a long-term high metabolism rate.
3. Survivor mode due to extreme diet
“I only eat salads and fruits and I feel hungry most of the time. I avoid myself thinking of my favorite food. No matter how hard I tried, my weight doesn’t go down.”
Sounds familiar to you? Have you tried all these extreme diets and suffer but ended up with weight stagnant and weight rebound?
To us, fat is unnecessary stuff that makes us look fat and we hate it so much. But to our body, fat is important for our survival as it provides backup fuel, soft padding and warm insulation to us. Our body cares only about SURVIVAL! Remember, our body is designed for the sole purpose of adapting to situations so it will do whatever needs to be done to keep us alive. This is the reason why our body is fighting so hard against our fat loss.
The thing is, our body does not know that we are in a calorie deficit because we are trying to lose fat to improve how we look, or if we are in calorie deficits because we no longer access to food and we are about to starve to death. So it fights back very hard to keep us survive.
So what exactly our body does to make us survive and preventing our fat loss?
Adaptive thermogenesis is basically slowing down of metabolic rate as our body is adapting to our calorie deficits and doing everything it can to conserve energy stores for the purpose of keeping us alive.
Metabolic rate decreases
Basically, when we are in the state of calorie deficits we lose fats, water, and even muscle mass. With this, our metabolic rate gradually decreases. The cause of this is a simple fact that a smaller body burns fewer calories. For example, someone with 100kg walking for 1km burns much as compares to 50kg walking for 1km.
The main job of leptin is to tell the brain how much body fat we have, how much we’re eating and send the signal to tell the brain we are full. Because of calorie deficits for a long-term, our body is an underfed state which causes the leptin to decrease and it tells the brain that we need more food. While ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates hunger. During the calorie deficits state, the ghrelin will increase to make us feel hungry so that we will eat for the survivor. When leptin decreases and ghrelin increases, it makes us crave for food and it tells our brain not to burn fats as to keep the fat as backup fuel for surviving.
4. Losing Too Much Muscle
Our goal is to lose fat and looks good in the long run. So, we always come up with some diet in calorie deficits to lose fats. However, most of our diet plan does not have enough protein food such as eggs, chicken, beef or fish which causing our muscle to lose slowly and gradually. As mentioned above, the smaller the body the lesser we burn. As we lose muscle, our metabolic rate tends to slow down.
But, this could be even worse in the long run! Just imagine, when you are 70kg and you lost 5kg of muscle and 5kg of fats which total up to 10kg in your weight loss program. Within a few months or years, you regain back to 70kg due to your lifestyle. But this time you would have gain 10kg of fats due to an inactive lifestyle. This time you could have looked even more fat than before due to the higher density of fats as compared to muscle as below:
Many of us have repeated this mistakes over and over again and in the end, we are much more fat than before we start on weight loss the first time. This is the reason many so fed up with weight management as they have done the wrong way.
5. The minimal progress that you don’t notice
There are many people are “Weight Watcher”. They always weigh themselves every day to make sure they have lost some weights. We have to understand that fat loss happens slowly and is not a one-day thing. It takes weeks or months to see an obvious result.
There’s a saying. It takes 4 weeks for yourself to notice the transformation, 8 weeks for your close friends to notice and 12 weeks for strangers to notice it. If done correctly, a fat loss program takes 3 months to have obvious results.
Furthermore, by weighing every day it causes us to stress even more which further jeopardized our weight loss. Cortisol is being released when we are stress. Research shows that prolonged cortisol will suppress testosterone, hinder immune function, causing water retention and promoting fat storage and muscle loss. Thus, it will further jeopardize the weight loss journey you are having.
Many of us have diet hard and done endless exercise in losing weight but still fails. Before we learn the right method of losing weight, it is important to know the top reasons why we are not losing weight.
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