Are you stuck in a perpetual weight loss plateau?
Some of the most common phrases I hear women say are, “I feel like I’ve been dieting FOREVER! Nothing works!” or “I have been working out and eating healthy foods for years and no matter how hard I try the scale won’t budge!” or “All I do is eat clean and work out but no matter what, I’m stuck and can’t lose weight”…which leads to other statements like “I must just have a slow metabolism” or “Well I’ve heard that once your hormones change after age 30/age 40/age 50/having a kid/losing a job/being stressed/insert life circumstance here, it’s virtually impossible to lose weight.”
Let me be clear before we move on — I have said many of the above statements. For many years, I blamed my hypothyroidism or my insulin resistance for not being able to lose weight. But very recently I learned that one of the key components to weight loss– one that I’d been ignoring for years– was caloric deficit. You’ve heard me talk about this a lot on the blog. You can learn a ton in about this for yourself in my interview with Jordan Syatt. As I began to focus heavily on caloric deficit first and foremost- and stopped worrying about all the other stupid fitness myths and rules about food out there– I saw my body respond.
I started losing weight after a long time of not being able to.
While that IS a very important point that may in and of itself be a gamechanger for you in your weight loss journey (just adding back in counting your calories religiously and focusing on that caloric deficit as defined for. YOUR body and YOUR goals)- – there is a more important practice that in my opinion is missing for pretty much every woman who uses those phrases I shared at the beginning of this post.
So what’s the missing link? Here’s the truth. Whenever I talk to a woman who is complaining with any of the previously mentioned phrases, I always find out the same thing.
They are winging it. Yup. Winging it in every way.
What do I mean by that? When I ask what they are doing to lose weight they’ll say “I eat healthy! I barely eat any carbs, I have maybe one drink a week and I work out every day!“. Now, you might read that and think — HELLO KELLY HOW IS THAT WINGING IT? Here’s the truth that many women don’t want to face. To lose weight after the age of, say 30– it’s going to require diligence and focus, and a PLAN that you TRACK along the way. It’s NOT ENOUGH to just “eat healthy”. Nope. It’s NOT ENOUGH to just add in working out every day (sounds harsh right? A lot of people think that if they just start working out they are set– and for sure, if you’ve never worked out and you suddenly add in 30 minutes of walking per day- you’ll lose some weight. But it’s not a sustainable plan for weight loss. Inevitably your body gets used to that activity and more importantly– if you aren’t controlling your FOOD intake, you can overcompensate for your workouts and potentially GAIN WEIGHT.)
Are you thinking I’m going to tell you that you have to add more work in- in addition to eating healthy and working out? Are you thinking holy cow I am already doing enough and now she wants me to do more???
There is MORE to do but it’s not more restriction (necessarily) in your diet. There is MORE to do but it’s not hours more of working out.
The more is this. YOU NEED TO DO MORE PLANNING. You need to in some way – figure out your ultimate GOAL. (your goal weight or body fat percentage or clothing size etc.). Then, you need to REVERSE ENGINEER THE PLAN TO GET TO THAT GOAL. Lastly, you need to monitor your activity on the way- tweak as needed, and do the same thing until you reach your goal.
And if you DO THE ABOVE- you WILL reach your goal. If you keep being casual about your weight loss journey “I’ll JUST cut down on carbs” or “I’ll just start running again” or “I’ll just eat clean foods no packaged foods”– then you will get casual, random results.
If you want CRAZY AWESOME RESULTS- the kind where you feel amazing naked or in a bikini- that takes A PLAN.
I’ll use the story that’s been used time and again as an example– if you were invited to a friend’s house for dinner (pre-quarantine of course) and you had never been to their house– how would you get there? You’d probably pull up Google Maps or another Map app on your phone and it would tell you and your vehicle what to do along the way TO GET TO YOUR DESTINATION. Yet, why is it when we have a destination/goal we want to get to– we have no PLAN to get there? If we have no PLAN or way to measure progress – how do we know what is working and not working?
Here’s an example of what a PLAN is vs. winging it. If I am a female who weighs 150 pounds and my ideal weight is 125 pounds, I know I need to lose 25 pounds. A plan: I know that it’s doable to lose 2lbs a week but that losing 1lb a week is more sustainable. And will require less of an intense diet. So I decide I’m going to aim for losing 1lb a week. And I should expect that if I stick with a diet, it will take me 25 weeks or approximately 5 months to reach my goal. So I should get a planner or a notebook to record my food and my workouts- personal preference if you want it all in one notebook or to use different things. I use a wall calendar to record my workouts and a notebook for my food. Now- there are myriad diet calculators we can use to figure out what should be our daily caloric intake for reasonable fat loss. I use Jordan Syatt’s model which has you take your goal weight and multiply that by 12 to get your caloric deficit baseline. Then what I’ve done (click here to listen to my DETAILED 3 part podcast on this topic) is taken that caloric deficit number and figured out by tweaking the numbers and incorporating calorie cycling and intermittent fasting/fast days– how to have my cake and eat it too. I have made my diet so that on Fridays I have a cheat day of 2500 calories– and every week I have alcohol and “cheat food”- I eat carbs and sweets but I just make sure I’m in my caloric deficit. I WRITE DOWN ALL MY FOOD- so even when I go out to eat and enjoy myself it’s all being accounted for.
Ladies, if you are just randomly choosing healthy foods and not tracking them and further- you don’t even KNOW what your caloric deficit number IS– and you think — because of all the fitness BS out there that you can “Just go keto” and not have to track calories or “just eat whole foods” and not have to track calories or ” just go Paleo” and not have to watch portions- you are woefully misinformed. If you don’t have your caloric deficit number defined, and you don’t have a PLAN to FOLLOW each week to get toward your goal– and you aren’t weighing and/or measuring yourself and/or taking the body fat measurements etc. — then you are WINGING IT. And — you can GAIN WEIGHT– eating all organic. You can GAIN WEIGHT eating paleo. You can GAIN WEIGHT eating tons of vegetables! NEWS FLASH; TO LOSE WEIGHT YOU GOTTA BE ON A PROGRAM. You gotta track it like it’s your money in a new hedge fund and you want to ensure there’s no hanky panky going on.
IF YOUR GOAL IS IMPORTANT TO YOU- understand these 2 most important things. CALORIC DEFICIT TRUMPS EVERYTHING ELSE when it comes to weight loss. And a PLAN based on your goal and using your CALORIC DEFICIT- is how you reach your goal.
So tell me — after reading this and thinking about what you’ve been doing the past few years– are you able to tell me if you’ve been in a caloric deficit for all the time you’ve been saying you’ve been trying to lose weight? Can you tell me how many workouts you actually did in January?
What gets scheduled gets done, they say. Well I say, what gets PLANNED OUT gets executed and accomplished.
So how bad do you want it? If you want it bad and need help, I would love to help you figure out your customized diet/caloric deficit plan that lets you have carbs and alcohol and sweets– while dieting and losing weight. I’m happy to make workout recommendations and you can join me in my next workout challenge group. Comment below or fill out the contact me form– we’ll set up a time to talk and I’ll share what options I have. Make this the time you FINALLY make this work for you. I’m seeing amazing results after a month of really taking it up a notch– let’s roll together shall we?? P.S. Another thing that’s helped me in a big way is cutting out snacking- CHECK OUT THIS POST to listen in and hear what I mean. I think you’ll dig it. You’ll also like this post: CLICK HERE for how not to gain weight during quarantine and CLICK HERE for detail on what I’ve been doing to gain muscle and lose fat during quarantine.
My Favorite Go-To Products to Help With Weight Loss.
Weighing your food is a gamechanger. Don’t GUESS when it comes to your protein or things like cheese, avocado, salad dressing, nut butters etc. This Eat Smart Scale is my favorite– I even pack it when I travel. Want to start making a hujazz salad bowl for one of your meals- GREAT IDEA — I am obsessed with this container to keep lettuce fresh and not moldy.
Here is a great planner you can use to track your workouts and measurements and your eats. CLICK HERE to buy.
Note: this blog contains affiliate links that allow you to find the items mentioned in this post and support this channel at no cost to you. While this channel may earn minimal sums when a viewer uses the links provided, the view is in NO WAY obligated to use these links. Thank you for your support.
My aunt is over weighted and she tried hard in exercising and cutting down the calories but still she is over weighted. is Gym or guidance what is primary need besides dieting and exercise?
How old is your aunt? I’d need to know how many calories she is consuming and how she is exercising etc. to make some recommendations.
This is bull because I come from decades of eating disorder and all sorts of health issues and when I was into my early 40’s I could loose weight easily then in my 60’s nothing – can’t loose an ounce and I fight to stay at the weight I am now I’m 5 foot tall and 114 pounds- I’ve been as high as 209 and as low as 94 pounds. So at some point and many reasons weight loss can become near impossible.
Thanks for your comment Marie, however, my post is not “bull”. I both agree and disagree with you and can point you in some helpful directions based on my own experience. When I wrote this post, I was writing from my own “aha” experience of being a fitness fanatic person who was eating all the healthy foods and working out but not counting calories/tracking and I was stuck at the same weight forever. When I started tuning in to Jordan Syatt and his caloric deficit talk, I realized that MAYBE just maybe I was not in a deficit. And the truth was I was “winging it”. I believe many women have been doing just what I was doing and complaining about weight loss not happening. So I stick by what I say in this post– step one if you are not losing weight and haven’t been is to check to see if you are tracking your food and see if you are in a caloric deficit. IF YOU ARE– AND YOU ARE NOT LOSING WEIGHT– then, you are probably in the situation of hormonal imbalance/metabolic damage and need to see a functional medicine doctor/get bloodwork because there is something MORE going on.I am in that boat. You may want to start reading my more recent blog/podcast posts and checking out what I”m putting out instagram now because I am sharing EVERYTHING I am learning/doing with my functional medicine doctor-I’ve just come out of a reverse diet after 10 months– had to do that to heal my body (that might be GREAT for you too!!) then I have just started dieting and I am doing KETO of all things and it’s working like a charm….I’m learning that the keto diet is apparently extremely beneficial for women aged 40+ with hormonal imbalance and metabolic damage — combined with extended fasting on a regular basis. I’ll be doing a lot of educating on this on the blog/podcast and my YouTube channel– happy to help you. I’m sure you fit in this category: have you seen a functional medicine doctor yet? Have you had bloodwork done yet? are you on bio identical hormonal replacement treatment yet? Let’s get you rolling in the right direction!! A totally different future awaits you!
Im a 19 year old girl who weights about 130 points and Ive been going to the gym 4 times a week for the past year. As of the last month, i’ve been going consistently 5 times a week, 6 if I have time doing strength training and cardio. I eat around 1400 calories a day and track this, but I just can’t lose those last 10 pounds to my goal despite different food tracking apps and websites saying I should have hit this goal a long time ago based on my food intake. Ive lost a lot of body fat and am significantly slimmer and more muscular than before, but just can’t get to my desired (and medically recommended) weight and body fat percentage. I have one cheat day a week on Fridays, but still even then I only go over by about 500 calories. Any suggestions? Am I calorie deficiting wrong??
Hi Allie! Thanks for your comment– I just want to say before I reply, as I’m sure you know, I’m not a doctor or trainer or nutritionist, so I’m simply giving you my personal advice based on my experience. Do you mind me asking how tall you are? 130 pounds is not a lot, what is your goal weight?
Typically, based on what I know and what I’ve been told by trainers I’ve worked with, you may be eating TOO LITTLE based on your training. This is very common and I did the same thing for years- when I’d get stuck I’d add more working out and diet harder, but my body fat would not move. The problem is when we are training hard, our body needs fuel or then, what happens is your cortisol/hormones start to get jacked and that can cause you to not lose weight or experience a plateau. Tell me more and we’ll find a good path for you!