Six months ago, my friend decided to get rid of the effects of heavy late dinner, for the first time joined a fitness club and got on a rigid diet. Abruptly changing the style of life, she had hoped to lose three sizes in one month. However, quickly dropping a few pounds, she ceased to lose weight. Suffered and without waiting for results, she gave up. I decided to look into the causes of this failure. It turned out there where a lot of them, but they all boil down to two types: physiological and psychological. I’ll start with the first.
Sharp caloric restriction not only leads to the ideal shape, but may increase the amount of fat in the body. And here’s why. The main task of the body is survival. Mankind existed for thousands of years in conditions where they lacked food, so every time when we don’t get enough food our body goes into “survival” mode.
“Hormonal system slows down the metabolic rate, so that the body spends less calories”, – says psychotherapist and nutritionist Oleg Tern. – Increasing efficiency of absorption of nutrients entering. It also reduces the activity of the nervous system, a person might become sluggish and sedentary, so not to waste energy in vain. Metabolic processes are rearranged so as to spend as little fat reserves as possible. ”
The paradox: we have a dramatically reduced calorie diet and begin to engage in fitness, the body goes into survival mode and spends part of the calories coming on for life support and a minimum for movement, and the rest is trying to stock up as fat. As a result, weight loss slows down, or even stops – Nutritionists call this plateau effect.
Proven ways for weight loss
“When I am treated with the complaint, I always hear the same story, that they train ten hours a week, and the fat is not going away – I always ask about condition of the skin, hair, nails, and the frequency of colds – says fitness psychologist Jane Sukow. – And very rarely I hear that everything is in order. The fact is that when body is already panicking it does not pay attention to such a trifle as the skin, hair and nails. And that is particularly dangerous, because it sacrifices immunity. ”
To avoid these mistakes, it is important to create a balanced diet containing the necessary vitamins and minerals, and only consume about 300-500 less a day. “If the weight does not budge” – says Oleg Tern – “in a couple of weeks you can cut back on the diet for another 100-200 calories. So you will make a working power supply circuit that does not slow down the metabolism. ”
Even in this case we can eventually plateau. Then it is necessary to try to disperse metabolism using load days – to increase the number of meals and calories. Reassured, the body then allows to burn more of the fat reserves. Another way to trick your body is by changing up the intake calorie during the week.
Muscle is Heavier than Fat
If you are new to exercises and eating less, the cause of small weight loss can be that your body is replacing fat with heavier muscle. Many women are afraid of gaining muscle but they should not be. Muscle burns fat, even at rest. If you regularly do weight training, weight loss is better tracked in inches and not by the numbers on the scale. The most accurate way to measure your process is to continuously measure your body fat. Most gym’s have the tools and even offer free body fat measuring.
Do You Eat More Than You Think
Between oatmeal with water, low-fat yogurt, and vegetable salad you could easily afford three chocolates (in the morning you can), sausage sandwich (with whole wheat bread, so it does not count), a slice of cake on some special occasion in the office (not to offend a colleague), and so on. The easiest way to see the real picture is to start a food diary. Log everything that goes into your mouth and write it down right away. There are many apps available to download to your phone so that tracking is always available.
If you have tried exercise, balanced diet, food log and your weight is still stuck you should make an appointment to see a doctor to get yourself checked out for other possible reasons of why you have trouble losing the weight. There can be many medical factors that might prevent weight loss: thyroid disease, hormonal imbalance etc. If any medical conditions are found you should seek help of a professional in helping you achieve your weight loss goals.