Eating In A Calorie Deficit, Training Hard, And Still Failing To Shed Pounds? Here Is Why

Friday, Nov 11, 2022 | Lifestyle

Are you in a calorie deficit but still not losing weight? 

Or did you lose weight and gain it back in a week?

You’ve cut back on calories, started exercising regularly, upped your water intake, increased your sleep time, reduced your stress levels, and yet you still can’t seem to shift that stubborn belly fat!

You could be tracking calories and ensuring that you are in a calorie deficit, but you may still be frustrated by your lack of progress.

But hey, don’t freak out!

There’s no need to worry; you’re not sick!

If your calorie deficit isn’t helping you lose weight, there’s probably a solid explanation. Read on…

It’s a given that those who are in a calorie deficit will (eventually) slim down.

This is a proven fact!

You are NOT unique, and neither is your body an exception to the principles of thermodynamics.

We’ll look at some reasons why you might not be losing weight in a calorie deficit (or so you believe) now that we’ve gotten past that rather passive-aggressive intro!

5 Reasons Why You Might Not Be Losing Weight:

1. Guess What? There Is No Deficit
2. What You’re Eating Is Wrong
3. You’re Eating Way Too Much (Or Too Little)
4. Are You Impatient?
5. The Stress Is Just Too Much For You to Handle


1. Guess What? There Is No Deficit

For nearly everyone who believes they are in a calorie deficit, this is the most likely scenario.

I’ve had clients who claim they’re burning 1,200 calories a day but still not losing weight. There’s no way around it; anyone in a calorie deficit of 1,200 per day will inevitably shed pounds.

There’s just no doubt about that!

If you continue at that pace, you’d drop a pound every 3.5 days.

You can’t exactly tell if you’re in a calorie deficit by counting calories; instead, you should let your body be your guide and see if you’re losing weight.

Yes, it really is that easy!

If you reduce your caloric intake (but not by too much), your metabolism may speed up slightly to compensate, but not enough to prevent weight loss.

A calorie deficit (or what you think is a calorie deficit) should result in weight loss; if it doesn’t, you need to decrease your average daily calorie intake (or increase your activity level) until weight loss begins; once weight loss begins, you will know that you are in a calorie deficit.


2. What You’re Eating Is Wrong

You can do all the exercise in the world and yet not lose weight if you’re not also paying attention to what you’re putting into your body.

Okay, but can you eat whatever you want in a calorie deficit? What exactly does the “right” diet involve? 

Everything in moderation, of course, but when it comes to cutting calories, whole, unprocessed foods tend to be the most effective.

If you continue to eat in a calorie deficit, you should theoretically be able to lose weight even if you eat KFC for every meal, right?


KFC isn’t exactly a nutritional powerhouse, so if that’s all you eat, you’re probably not going to feel great on the inside.

Avoiding fast food is a great first step toward weight loss, but eating processed items like biscuits, chips, crackers, and even spaghetti can seriously derail your efforts. One hack is eating zero Bite foods that you can have without any guilt worry.

Naturally, fresh fruits and vegetables should be your go-to, but if that’s not possible, try shopping for pre-packaged goods that have as few ingredients as possible.


3. You’re Eating Way Too Much (Or Too Little)

Do you ever wonder why the scale isn’t moving even when you’re maintaining a healthy diet and burning 700 calories a day?

Maybe you’re just eating too much.

Even if it’s healthy, eating too much of it might still make you gain weight (or put you in an “inch loss, weight gain” situation). For this reason, it’s crucial to be aware of your calorie deficit and to maintain it while you eat!

But if you aren’t binging and also aren’t losing weight and you find yourself saying things like “I can’t change even if I try,” STOP RIGHT THERE!

I’m about to tell you a fun fact that will probably surprise you!

Did you know that eating too little can make it harder to lose weight?

When we don’t eat enough, our bodies enter a state of metabolic adaptation, slowing their metabolism and storing the food they do consume as fat because of their innate need to protect themselves (so that they don’t starve, basically).

So while it’s true that you should consume fewer calories than you burn, eating too few calories can have negative consequences.

It requires balance!

Top Tip: If you’re unsure whether the quantity you’re eating is too much or too little, simply download the Healthi App, which sets you a daily/weekly bite amount to track your eating patterns and support you in your weight loss journey.


4. Are You Impatient?

Okay, I get it, there’s a vacation coming up, and I know you’d like to look good in your bathing suit!

To be honest, the odds are rather low that you will lose 3 pounds in a day if you wait until 3 weeks before your trip to start dieting. Forget about it!

You’ll need some time to see results from your fat-loss efforts. 

To put things in perspective, after the first few weeks of weight loss, a healthy and sustainable rate of weight loss is between half a pound and one pound per week. The progress will be slow, but if you keep at it, your efforts will eventually pay off. Therefore, if you really are in a calorie deficit but not losing weight, you may need to wait a little longer before you can lose enough weight to go down a size.


5. The Stress Is Just Too Much For You to Handle

If you’re feeling low because of stress at work or a recent breakup, it’s likely that your cortisol levels have gone up. Although the body needs and produces cortisol normally and regularly, prolonged exposure to this hormone can have severe consequences, such as the accumulation of fat that refuses to budge no matter how hard you try to get rid of it. You may therefore notice that your weight starts to drop once you have conquered your stress.

A little piece of advice: A sound mind equals a sound body. It’s all about striking a balance. Focus on maintaining your mental health, and you’ll feel better in your body too.

And lastly, I just want you to know that…….

……you’re NOT alone! I, and almost 40% of the world’s population, are also having trouble losing weight. Because most of us have trouble with it, self-criticism for lack of progress is counterproductive. It’s even more frustrating if you’re cutting calories but not losing weight.

However, before making any hasty decisions (such as quitting or reducing your food intake), it’s important to stop and think about what might be triggering this.

There is a seemingly limitless list of reasons why you could not be losing weight despite being in a calorie deficit. Talk to your doctor; they may be able to assist you in figuring it out if you can’t on your own. In addition, if you have a chronic condition, it is imperative that you see your doctor before beginning any calorie restriction or exercise program. Once you have a better idea of where you stand, we highly recommend finding a weight loss plan that works best for you.