Day 9 of my weight loss journal, 1500 calories. Have you ever been frustrated because you’re in a calorie deficit, but not losing weight? That’s what today’s weigh in looks like, but here’s why I’m not worried. (See the other days in this weight loss journal here)
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Day 7: 117.2
Yes you read that correctly! 117.2 lbs. I’m trying not to freak out. I’ve told so many people over the last two years that it takes awhile for me to start to see results, even when I can be 100% compliant to a calorie deficit.
I also tell people to not put any drama around what the scale says each day.
I also tell people this journey is not a linear progression.
But it still stings a little bit. I’m not going to lie. But, it also makes me glad that I weigh every day, and not just once a week. If I saw that number after not knowing that yesterday I was 115lbs, I’d be freaking out right now.
The bottom line is, there are so many reasons for the scale to fluctuate. And there could be reasons you truly aren’t losing weight in a calorie deficit. (*read this article, How long it takes to lose weight)
2 Reasons you aren’t losing weight in a deficit
1) You aren’t in a deficit and 2) you aren’t being patient enough.
So, from my personal experience, I will expand on those two MAIN reasons
1- You aren’t in a deficit
- You are subtracting your calories burned from your calories consumed. If you are running for an hour, and your smart watch tells you that you’ve burned 600 calories, so you add 600 calories to your food tracker, you probably aren’t in a deficit. Calculated calories burned are rarely accurate. If I’m trying to lose weight, I would not try to guess how many calories I’ve burned in a day. In fact, the more you exercise, the less you might be fidgeting during the day, resulting in lower calories burned through NEAT.
- You are selecting the wrong foods to track in your food tracker. I see this in 9 out of 10 food logs I see. Here’s an example: I was looking at my sisters food log and noticed she had a hamburger for dinner. She searched Myfitnesspal for “hamburger”, selected one, and added it to her tracker. Except the hamburger she selected showed 110 calories. Now, I look at a LOT of food labels, and I’ve never seen a hamburger patty that low in calories. I called her out on it. She checked the label from the bag she got the hamburger patty from, and sure enough, it was over 300 calories, for the patty alone. Even a 200 calorie difference in your tracking might mean
- You forget to add the true amount of something you ate. My sister, again, finished her food log for the day. I saw she added a hot dog. I SAW her eat 2 hot dogs, so I called her out on it. She simply forgot to add the “2” to her listing. It’s SO easy to forget about something we’ve eaten unless we record it in real time.
- You aren’t measuring your food, you are estimating the size.
- You’re using recall to remember what you ate, and try to enter your food at the end of the day. I can 10000% tell you you are going to miss something. It’s so easy to forget because we eat so unconsciously!
- You are eating out and use the restaurants nutrition guide to include calories in your tracker.
- You aren’t counting BLT’s – Bite’s, licks and tastes!
- You aren’t counting gummy vitamins, low calorie drinks, zero calorie foods that actually have calories if eaten in large enough quantities.
2 – You aren’t being patient enough
I like to consider myself a “professional dieter”. Haha. I keep an excellent food log, and can be very meticulous about the food I weigh, measure and enter. YET- here I sit, 9 days into being extremely consistent, and it looks like I haven’t’ even lost a fifth of a pound. Why? Here’s some reasons the scale fluctuates for me.
- It takes several weeks of me being consistent to see change. Maybe cause I’m almost 50, maybe because my body has been a higher weight for four decades. When I think it’s unfair that I have to be “so good” for soo long, I realize, several weeks or a month really isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things. In fact, it’s pretty quick if you take a step back and see the bigger picture.
- I’m a sodium junkie! Yes, the more veggies I eat, and the lower my calories get, the more salt I put on my food. I have tried an experiment and didn’t add salt to any of my food for a day, and I was down several pounds the next day. Not only that, I pee’d A LOT on my salt free day. I still get PLENTY of salt naturally through food, but added salt is for sure a problem for me.
- Water follows carbs. I did have extra carbs yesterday to compensate for a 2 hour run (12 miles). Carbs get stored as glycogen in muscles, and carries water with it too. There’s nothing wrong with this type of weight. It will show up on the scale. But the long term benefits of keeping carbs in my diet daily is worth it.
- Excessive exercise causes inflammation. Remember that run yesterday (12 miles). Yeah, I can promise there was a bit of swelling and inflammation. That’s OK. It will go away.
- I haven’t pooped yet. Yes, this morning when I weighed in, I hadn’t had a bowel movement, and yesterday’s low weigh in, I did. Simple as that. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand, I probably have a FULL bowel. haha.
- Last nights meals matter. Your weigh in one day is sometimes a direct response to how late your meal was yesterday. I know Friday night I ate very early. So, my Saturday low weigh in was after a 12+ hour fast. Whereas last night I ate later, and got up earlier. So, just less time between eating and weighing in.
And to wrap it up, I LOVE this quote:
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.Thomas Edison
I WILL NOT GIVE UP!
Yesterday, I had 50 extra grams of carbs. I only do this when I run for longer than an hour. So, my final meals for the day were 1670 calories, 150 grams protein, 200 grams carbs, and 30 grams of fat.
For my meals, I ate
- An Omelet, toast, and a banana
- Wrap filled with lettuce, carrots, peppers, and chicken.
- This yummy Biscoff protein cheesecake!
- And spaghetti squash with chicken and parmesan.
That’s it for today. Be back tomorrow!