So you’ve been counting calories like a madwoman, eating every celery stalk in sight, running mile after mile—but the scale won’t move! Here’s a few reasons that might be happening.
1. Make sure you have a good idea of what’s going into your body. This doesn’t mean you have to measure and portion everything to death, but it’s important to understand that little extras can add a lot to your total intake at the end of the day, whether or not you counted it, things like: dressing, cheese or croutons on your salad, milk on your cereal, cream in your coffee, peanut butter on your toast, butter with your mashed potatoes, etc. All of these foods can be high in sugar and fat and don’t hold much nutritional value. While it’s okay to eat these things in moderation, eating them in excess without really paying attention to it can make you gain weight.
2. Remember that losing weight is 70% meal choices and 30% exercise. Your body responds the fastest to changes in diet. Exercise is still essential to any healthy-living plan, but running every day doesn’t mean you can ignore making good food choices.
3. That being said, starving is never an effective means of losing weight. Unless you’re obese, a zero or very low calorie intake will cause you to lose a much higher percentage of lean muscle (the good stuff) than fat (which you’ll hold on to.) You might need to up your intake and do cardio to lower your body fat percentage.
One pound of fat is significantly larger than a pound of muscle, so if you work on toning your body, you’ll definitely see a difference. This picture is a fantastic example of that difference (and a fantastic example of a gorgeous girl doing it the healthy way.) Click here to see exactly why starving initially looks like weight loss, why it might even seem like it’s working for you.
4. You might not really have much to lose. If so, your body might do anything it can to prevent weight loss because it knows you’re at your ideal weight. 11-13% of your body is essential fat—you could eat the healthiest food and run 800 miles every day but weigh the same because your body needs to weigh that much for optimal immune system strength and general health.
5. You may have reached a weight-loss plateau. This can happen if you lose a lot of weight at one time, or if you’re not eating enough to keep your body out of starvation mode. Click here for tips on breaking a plateau.
6. Permanent weight loss takes time, it’s a process. You aren’t going to see results in a day or a week, you might not even see them in a month. All bodies are different, and just because your best friend lost four pounds in a week doesn’t mean your body will respond the same way. Patience (however hard) is absolutely necessary when making changes in your lifestyle. Although it varies, there is a threshold for the amount of weight a single person can lose in a week, and any drastic drop in weight is the effects of water weight—not permanent weight loss. If the scale is moving slowly, you can be assured that that’s REAL weight loss, and feel free to give yourself a pat on the back. Pay attention to how your clothes fit, your measurements, how you feel, rather than the numbers on the scale.