In a Calorie Deficit but Not Losing Weight? 4 Steps You Should Take

If you are going through, or even went through a weight loss journey, chances are that you know very well the stressful walk to the scale to see if the numbers have changed in your favor. However life is unfair, and sometimes the numbers stay the same or even go up, although we think we did all the right things. So, if you are in calorie deficit but not losing weight, here are 3 things you should do.

Wait, my friend – Patience is king

Whenever they stop losing weight at a calorie deficit, some people rush to conclusions and think “calorie deficits don’t work”. This is scientifically impossible, let me explain why.

Whenever you are in a calorie deficit, in order to function your body’s only solution is to start using up the energy reserves it has built up over the time – your fat. This is why, in terms of weight loss, the only way to do that without surgical intervention is through a caloric deficit.

However although scales are your best friend on a weight loss diet (and enemy), they don’t show the composition of your weight. For example, if you think that on a certain day you haven’t lost any weight, this might be true and false at the same time. You might have lost fat, but because of your sleep schedule or an increased consumption of sodium your body held on to more water, increasing your bodyweight. The scale doesn’t reflect what kind of weight you hold, making you believe you haven’t lost any fat. Water weight, on the other hand, will come off a day or even a couple hours later, unrelated to your calorie deficit.

This is why I recommend you wait 1-2 weeks before jumping to conclusions about your caloric deficit. But what if you waited 2 weeks, and the weight is still there, unchanged?

In a calorie deficit but not losing weight? Count again.

Sometimes you might think that you are in a caloric deficit, but you aren’t. If this is the case, it is time to go through your diet again and check the calories you are consuming. Here are some tips for doing that:

  1. Buy a food scale: Your eyes might be fooling you. Many measurements used in nutrition, like “handful”, “cup” or “spoonful” are really dependent on extraneous factors like the size of your hand or the way you measure, and in some instances, the difference between the indicated caloric value and the real caloric value might be in the hundreds of calories.
  2. Carefully read the nutrition labels: We all know how much food companies lie about how much food is a serving, right? Once I was eating a cookie thinking it was only 150 calories until I saw that it was 150 calories per serving, and a serving was 1/4 of a cookie. Truly a sad day in my life.
  3. Count everything that goes into your mouth, except water. Many people tend to not count some foods they consume, thinking that they are so minor they don’t count. This might be the reason for your problems. A simple salad dressing that so many people tend to ignore might be 100+ calories if it has oil in it, but it can ruin your weight loss progress.

Cardio – are you really burning those calories?

Using cardio to burn calories can be a very tricky process. Although you might have read on google that “skipping rope burns 1000 calories per hour”, this might not be the case for you, as your calorie expenditure really depends on the way you perform the activity.

For example, if you make pauses when you are out of breath, or are skipping at a low intensity – the blanket statement of “1000 calories per hour” might not apply to you. And I am not only talking about skipping rope – I am talking about any cardio activity in general. So much of the calorie expenditure depends on extraneous factors like your body’s characteristics and the way you perform the activity.

Bonus – Weight Loss Supplements

If you are stuck in a weight loss plateau, there are other, more unconventional ways of breaking through it – like using weight loss supplements.

Now, when picking a weight loss supplement, there are things you should look out for as there are many chemical supplements that can potentially severely damage your health, and this is why I recommend natural weight loss supplements, such as Tea Burn, as it is based on scientifically proven but natural substances like green tea extract that increase the rate of your weight loss.

If you are interested in weight loss, check out my recent article on the correct method of losing 1 kg per week!

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