7 reasons why you’re not losing weight despite working your ass off & what to do about it

Updated on:17 November 2019, 16:13pm IST
Weight-loss plateau is the reality of anyone who is trying to lose weight. As difficult as it is to get out of this phase of your weight-loss journey, some expert some always helps.
Sonakshi Kohli
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What you eat matters a lot when it comes to weight loss. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, go down memory lane, and try to think of your first day at work. Can you remember your enthusiasm and zeal to conquer the world back then? Now, compare that feeling to how you feel about the same job now. Perhaps, the monotony of doing desk work has made you disinterested and stagnated your progress, hasn’t it?

Well, we hate to break this to you, but your body is as receptive to monotony as your mind. Yes, days and months of eating clean and working out might stagnate your weight-loss game and stop giving you the desired results after some time.

Validating your concerns, Kamal Mujtaba, national head and boxing coach at Cult Fitness Centre, says, “It generally comes as a surprise! You don’t see a difference on the measuring scale even though you are working towards it.” 

Sounds relatable? Congratulations! You’ve hit a weight-loss plateau

Sadly, the hope of losing weight could seem bleak at this point because despite your best efforts, the weighing scale might not show any changes. However, understanding the possible reasons for a weight-loss plateau can help you come up with solutions to overcome it. Take a look:

  1. Your portion sizes and calorie-count are off track

    Combined wisdom of several health experts and countless scientific studies have proven that maintaining a calorie deficit is important for weight loss. Just to remind you guys, when you consume fewer calories than you burn via metabolic and physical activities, you enter a calorie deficit–and that’s when your body starts using up the fat for energy. 

Plus, you don’t need to be a genius to understand the obvious fact that controlling portion sizes of the food you eat can help you cut down the calories and enter this calorie deficit. So, if you’re thinking that just because you’ve chosen boiled eggs instead of butter chicken, you can go overboard with the consumption of eggs, you’re only really fooling yourself. 

Solution: Well, you’ve got to control the portions of WHATEVER it is that you’re eating. Also, keeping a track of your calorie intake via health apps that are easily available for download on smartphones is the best way to go about it. 

  1. You forgot to drop the calories when you dropped the weight

    According to a study published in
    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the body needs fewer calories during physical activity as it becomes lighter. Don’t you remember those countless theories from science textbooks in school that explained how heavier things and people require more energy to move? It’s time to finally apply that knowledge.

Solution: “Understand your regime and eat fewer calories than you burn or burn more calories than you eat,” suggests Vicky Tulli, fitness expert at Get Fit Studio in Delhi. Long story short, you’ve got to reduce your calorie intake, but remember not to compromise on nutrition. So, eat healthy, but limit the quantity.

  1. Maybe you dropped too many calories

    A study available on PubMed Central found that regularly consuming fewer calories than your body requires can decrease the calories burnt by your body by 23%. Basically, your metabolism could slow down if you cut down too many calories—especially too for a long period of time.

Solution: How about fulfilling the dietary requirements of your body and upping your workout game a tad bit to burn those calories? Hell, even moving more daily helps. “Take the stairs instead of the escalator and go walking to the market instead of taking the car,” Tulli recommends. 

  1. You cut down nutrition while cutting down calories

    A review study in
    Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care talks about how your muscles are metabolically more active and burn more calories. Unfortunately, an inadequate protein intake in a bid to cut down your calories may result in your body drawing out the needed protein from your muscle mass and breaking it down. With that loss of muscle, your chances of burning more calories also decreases.

Solution: No points for guessing, you’ve got to maintain a safe calorie deficit. Plus, your protein, fruit, and veggie intake should be high to avoid any nutritional deficiencies. Relying on multivitamins could help, but do consult your doctor first.

  1. Your body is bored to the core

    Like we mentioned before, your body is totally capable of getting bored of the same-old workouts. Scientifically speaking, the human body is far too efficient and this efficiency backfires once your body gets used to a particular form of workout and finds a way to expend minimum calories to perform the same task over time.

Solution: A research conducted at the California State University in Chico, USA suggests that trying workouts that challenge your body in different ways can be more beneficial. Moreover, Tulli suggests increasing your workout intensity with the help of HIIT (high intensity interval training) and including more active time in your daily routine. 

  1. You’re not resting enough

    Now, there are two points to be considered here: First, in a bid to burn more calories, you could be exercising too much. The result? Your body considers that extra exercise as stress and increases the production of cortisol, the stress hormone which contributes to weight gain.

Secondly, a lack of rest could also be attributed to your sleeping habits. If you are not sleeping enough, you won’t give your body a chance to repair muscles and tissues. In fact, several studies have proven that inadequate sleep can slow down your metabolism.

Solution: Working out for 45 minutes to one hour, five days a week is what is suggested by most fitness experts. Getting quality sleep is the next step to break the fitness plateau, says Tulli.

  1. Your hormones could be to blame

    Mujtaba points out that low levels of oestrogen in the body, be it in women nearing menopause or suffering from hormonal disorders, could also be another reason for a slow metabolism.

Solution: Nothing can help a case of hormonal frenzy like a healthy lifestyle that includes eating a balanced diet and exercising adequately. Of course, consulting your gynaecologist and ruling out any underlying disorders is a must. 

Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.