Calorie Deficit and Still Not Losing Weight? 5 Tips to Help You
You’re in a calorie deficit and find yourself still not losing weight? It can be frustrating when you’re putting the effort and time into making changes and not getting the results you’ve set out. This article goes over:
- Realizing if you are in an honest calorie deficit (too much or too little can impact your results)
- How to be in the best caloric range to support weight loss
- What macro-nutrients have the most and the least calories per gram that can be impacting your results.
- Optimal eating window
- How to create a sustainable approach
Before we begin, I would like to preface by stating that it takes time and patience to find what works best for you (if you’re doing this without the guidance of a nutritionist). Be kind to yourself! Track your progress properly by using food journals or an app on your phone. Begin to recognize how you feel when you eat certain foods such as your energy or how you digest certain foods.
1 A Real Calorie Deficit
You may be thinking that your hormones are causing you to stall at a certain weight. Although this can influence your success, in many cases I notice an inconsistency between eating well and exercise that hinders the long-term success of a person’s results (or even getting results in the first place). We are quick to assume that our hormones are the cause of a weight loss plateau, when in many cases, you may just need to go back to the basic fundamentals of nutrition, exercise and general consistency. There is absolutely a useful strategy when going about weight loss to create sustainable results and to feel and look your best, including type of workouts and frequency.
When you look at your plate, how do you know you’re in some sort of “caloric deficit?” There can be confusion here. I do not practice with clients to look at food as calories or numbers. However, as a starting point, it is useful to understand what a plate should even look like that is most suitable for you (lifestyle, health needs and goals). If you are not working with a nutritionist who can plan these things for you to help create easy visuals, you will need to start somewhere. But first, read below.
Even if you are eating in a caloric deficit, it’s important to look at what foods you are eating most regularly. You can be eating the right amount of calories per day, but void of nutrients.
2 Be in the best calorie deficit range to support weight loss.
This can (and should) look different for almost everyone. We recommend consulting with one of our practitioners to find the best middle-ground (sort of speak) for you based on your health needs and goals. Book your free consult here. However, there is a useful tool that can help you visualize and understand what this can look like for you.
You can approach your nutrition in a 2-step process:
1 Eliminate all the processed food and refined sugar and replacing it with natural, wholesome foods that are rich in fiber, antioxidants, micro-nutrients, Omega’s and complete proteins. Reach for vegetables first at every main meal followed by a protein source. Add small amounts of healthy fats to make up the rest of your meals. If you find you’ve done this and are not yielding the results you’ve set forth, try step 2 or speak with one of our practitioners to do an assessment. Ask yourself first, have you been consistent with your approach before moving to step 2.
2 Calculate your BMR (basal metabolic rate) to understand what your absolute minimum caloric intake would look like in a day by doing absolutely nothing! This can help make sure you’re not in such a caloric deficit that is causing you to plateau (aka stress-mode). Use a nutrition-friendly app such as MyFitnessPal to help you record your meals and eating patterns. This approach is not recommended long-term, but can be useful to gauge as a starting point.
Weight loss articles that can help you:
- Intermittent Fasting: Who It Could Help and Who It Could Hurt
- Macro-Nutrient Counting To Support Weight Loss (Pros and Cons)
- Weight Loss Plateau: Factors That Can Be Impacting Your Weight Loss Journey
When it comes to the “best caloric range,” you will have to tune into your body and do a few important things.
- Gain control of your hunger. First, are you truly hungry? Craving particular foods? Used to snacking or eating bigger meals?
- What types of food do YOU find make you full? Vegetables won’t cut it! Do you respond better to carbohydrate-rich foods or foods richer in healthy fats? Protein will be at the same range daily to help support optimal health and do not account for your satiety. It does however, help with blood sugar regulation.
3 Macro-Nutrients That Have the Most and Least Calories Per Gram
Healthy fats or lipids, have the most calories per gram. They are at 9 calories per gram whereas carbohydrates and protein are at 4 calories per gram. That’s a whole lot! Ever wonder why you’ve heard a personal trainer say “only have 10-12 almonds during a snack,” or why we just drizzle olive oil on salad? Whether knowingly or not, lipids are caloric dense.
When trying to lose weight, having a higher carbohydrate to lower fat ratio is optimal. You don’t want your fats too low whatsoever though, especially as a female. Include healthy fats at every main meal, but in moderation. Healthy fats are the building blocks of our hormones and brain health, so it is imperative that you are consuming adequate amounts, regardless of weight loss goals.
Ways to incorporate healthy fats into your diet to support weight loss:
- Salad dressing on a grilled chicken breast salad at lunch with quinoa
- Grilled salmon with grilled asparagus and a sweet potato
- 1 whole egg mixed with egg whites for a large veggie omelette at breakfast
4 Optimal Eating Window
Intermittent fasting is an approach that has gained popularity. There are many great benefits to fasting for a slightly extended period of time whether it be at night or in the morning. I like to suggest that your eating window stops at least 2 hours before bed to support proper rest and digestion.
If the fasting approach isn’t meant for you, there are ways to modify to support weight loss, digestion and optimal health. Here are a few things you can start to practice in your daily routine:
- Stop eating at least 2 hours before bed
- Minimize evening snacking or reach for vegetables or a protein source
- Wake up and consume water or herbal tea before eating food
5 Create A Sustainable Approach
This is what our clinic thrives off of and constantly preaches to our audience: creating habits that are sustainable. I think it’s helpful to realize that even though sustainability is the goal, sometimes you need to be educated first. For example: what does it mean to “eat clean?” What nutrients and foods work best for “my body?” What should my plate look like or how do I begin to understand this?
Following our CE 7-Day Detox is an excellent starting point to help answer many of the questions you may have. You will follow a 7-day elimination diet, get rid of the bloat, sleep better, understand your eating patterns, support your gut and hormones, grocery shop wiser and understand your health in a new way.
I invite anyone who is reading this article to schedule a free consultation. It’s 100% free and can discuss your health needs specifically. We are here to educate and help you during YOUR journey.