Nothing is worse than putting in tons of effort and not seeing results. When it comes to weight loss, there are a few sneaky things to check to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your effort buck.
Here are five things that could be standing in the way of your weight loss and body composition goals:
1. You’re Not in a Calorie Deficit
… and you think you are.
As a WAG coach, I know two things to be true.
- Most people eat more calories than they think they’re eating.
- Most people think they’re burning more calories during exercise than they really are.
What does this mean?
Even if you have an accurate calorie goal, you probably eat more calories than needed unless you diligently weigh and track what you eat. Then, you likely compound this with a “treat yourself” mindset after a tough workout or stressful day (or when there is a big plate of brownies on your countertop).
What can you do about it?
Work with an experienced coach or download our macro calculator to determine your ideal calories and macros and build consistent habits (A WAG coach and the macro calculator consider your exercise when determining calorie needs). Then, download a food-tracking app like MacrosFirst to build portion size awareness and hone in on your daily needs and intake.
2. You’re Not Eating Enough Calories
On the flip side, if you’ve been rocking the 1200-calorie diet wondering “why isn’t this working” (and then beat yourself up after overeating chips and salsa when you finally give in to your hunger), you probably need to eat more to lose weight.
Your body needs adequate energy intake (read: food!) to stay active, support day-to-day activity, grow or maintain muscle, and keep you from experiencing fat gain or weight plateaus. Supporting your metabolism with adequate food intake is a must if your goal is fat loss (especially if you want to continue feeling strong in the gym).
3. You’re Not Eating Enough Protein
Even if you’re eating enough overall calories, you’re doing yourself (and your fat loss) a disservice by skimping on protein. Here’s why:
- Satiety: Protein helps keep you full; eating more protein means fewer cravings and trips to the pantry looking for junk food.
- Muscle maintenance: Protein supports your muscles, and muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in your body. The more muscle you have, the more calories you can eat without gaining weight, or the easier it is to get and stay lean.
- TEF: TEF stands for the thermic effect of food—the energy required to break down and utilize fuel. Protein has the highest TEF with a 20-30% calorie utilization during digestion and metabolism.
4. You’re Tracking the Wrong Measures of Progress
If you’re ONLY measuring progress by the number on the scale, you could be stressing over nothing. You can lose fat without losing substantial body weight—especially if you’re working with an experienced coach, eating enough protein, and following a strength training program.
Utilizing other metrics like weekly measurements, photos, and strength gains in the gym will help you get a more accurate picture of what is going on in your body. At WAG, our coaches keep tabs on over 15 measures of progress—the scale is just one!
5. You need more accountability
If you’ve ever caught yourself thinking, “I know what I need to do, but I can’t get myself to do it consistently,” I’m talking to you.
Most of us need some kind of external accountability to stick with something that challenges us. Weight loss and habit building definitely qualify as “challenging,”... especially if nutrition and macro tracking are new to you.
At WAG Nutrition, our clients check in with their coach once a week (and some even have a once-a-month video call) and share their weekly measurements, mood metrics, food logs, and weekly write-ups to create that accountability. Then, they get personalized feedback and suggestions from their coach based on their goals, obstacles, and questions.
There you have it! five things to consider if your weight loss has felt slow (or stagnant). Happy tracking!