Surprising Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight

Posted by FiscusFitness, LLC on September 22, 2016

Are you doing everything right and the scale still won’t budge?  There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to diet and exercise. Here are some common ways people try to drop weight and why after a while... they stop working.

1.       Eating Pre and Post Workout

There are a lot of myths surrounding pre and post workout nutrition.  The truth is, very few people have to be concerned with getting enough calories before and after their workout. To lose weight, you want to be in an overall caloric deficit while consuming enough high quality protein throughout the day to ensure your weight loss in mostly fat.  Most recreational exercises do not need to be concerned with fueling their body right before exercise and eating in a certain “window” after their workout in addition to all their other meals. Otherwise, you are going to be eating too many calories throughout the day. On the scale it will reflect as a weight loss plateau or even weight gain.  Instead, try to time your regular meals around your workouts and add a high protein snack in if you feel hungry.

2.       Going Gluten Free

For some going gluten free is a matter of health; but for many others it is part of a diet fad.  You do not need to drop gluten unless you have celiac disease or medically diagnosed gluten intolerance.  But with celebrities, athletes and other famous people attributing their fast weight loss to a gluten free based plan… it’s very appealing to give it a try. Initially, the weight loss on a gluten free diet has to do with the reduction of dietary carbohydrates (pasta, bread, cereal, pastries, etc.) and the loss of water weight.  

However, companies are catching on to this diet craze and making gluten free versions your old favorites.  Gluten free breads, cookies, crackers, pizza, and pasta have just as many calories—if not more—as the regular versions.  Gluten free does not mean calorie free.  You are not going to lose weight just because you dropped gluten.  You can only lose weight if you drop gluten while dropping your calories.  If you self-diagnosed yourself with gluten sensitivity, realize the research shows there is no evidence the absence of gluten is alleviating any symptoms you had or causing weight loss. It is much more likely you are responding to a placebo effect influenced by food marketing and celebrity endorsements of gluten free plans.  To date, there are no randomized controlled studies that prove people without celiac disease or gluten intolerance need to drop it from their diet for weight loss or overall health.

3.       You Eliminated a Macronutrient

Usually when someone drops a macronutrient...it’s either carbohydrates or fats.  The no carb camp thinks carbohydrates make people fat and by dropping them-- they can lose weight.  The no fat group believes it’s easiest to gain fat while eating fat and by choosing no fat foods-- they can avoid excess weight gain.  But remember calories still count.  You can’t automatically eat whatever you want just because you eliminated something else.  You may initially lose weight on both plans, but if you find your weight loss slowing or stopping all together, evaluate your habits for two common problems.

First, if you dropped fat you are more likely to be hungry. You may find yourself reaching for "healthy" snacks to fill up. There is also a perception that you can eat more of a food as long as it’s low fat.  Even if you just snack on fruits and vegetables… all those calories add up and can easily put you in a caloric surplus.  

Second, most carbohydrate free plans encourage consuming unlimited amounts of protein and fat. Without keeping calories in check-- that is going to lead to weight gain. Most people don't realize excess protein converts to glucose in the body. The objective on a low carb plan is control the level of glucose and accompanying insulin surge. If you choose to eat an unlimited amounts of fats, you're more likely to put yourself over your daily limit... causing weight gain.  When studies match calories between low carb groups and low fat groups, the outcome usually leads to similar weight loss.  No single food is responsible for fat gain, just as dropping a food group is not responsible for fat loss.  

4.       You Eat Mini-Meals Throughout the Day

For quite a while, eating five to six mini meals was thought as a weight loss tactic.  And while more and more people know that isn’t the only way to lose weight… it is still a popular way to go about dieting.  There are two major problems you can run into when eating this way. First, you are always thinking about food.  If you are eating every two to two and half hours, no sooner are you done with a meal.. when you have to worry about your next one.  Second, if you are making an effort to eat six meals a day, it’s really easy to go over your caloric amount for the day unless each one is 200-300 calories.  You don’t get much food for 200 calories.  If you find yourself gaining weight while attempting a diet plan like this, re-evaluate your meal frequency.  You may do better on three large meals a day or four medium sized meals a day.  Meal frequency does not influence your weight loss results, it is the overall composition of your meals that determines whether you gain or lose weight.

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