Everyone who has ever tried to lose weight can tell you just how difficult it can be. Just about the time you begin to see results your body can stop responding to what you’re doing.
If you are like most health-conscious people you have probably experienced this. As hard as you work at loosing weight your body works even harder to keep you from starving. Your body is concerned with keeping a balance of energy input and output. In other words your body has evolved to not like to lose weight. Once more your body will adapt to prevent you from burning further calories!
One of the primary problems we see with losing weight is reducing your calories too much.
Did you know that it takes calories to burn calories? When you decrease your food intake your body in turn simply lowers its metabolic rate and in response. To compensate for this your body still allows the itself to function properly, but because there aren’t any extra calories around to fuel all the other things you are doing your body may move into starvation mode thereby holding onto extra fat for fuel.
A solution for this problem is to keep your calories slightly below your maintenance calories so that your energy and metabolism remain high. Any deficit greater than 500 to 700 calories makes it much more difficult to maintain your lean body mass.
Here is one basic formula that we use to calculate your daily caloric needs:
• Men kg (body weight) x 24 = kcal/day
• Women kg (body weight) x 23 = kcal/day
Note: kg = pounds divided by 2.2 (i.e.: 180 lbs / 2.2 = 81.8 kg)
The second reason we experience a weight loss plateau is simply that muscle burns fat and losing muscle means burning fewer calories. Your lean body mass uses five times the calories as fat mass, so if you lose it your metabolism drops and your weight loss stops. A solution for this is to make sure your exercise program is combined with a fully nourished body. You can accomplish this with a diet that creates a safe calorie deficit along with some type of multivitamin to help you with any nutrient deficiencies.
A third common reason that most of us don’t fully understand is when we actually achieve what we are after. Yes, weight loss. We simply forget that when we lose weight it takes fewer calories to move your body. A loss of any amount of weight will lead to a reduced energy requirement. So make sure you start a weight-training program to help increase lean body mass, which can help compensate for the loss of calories.