Why Did I Stop Losing Weight?

Picture this: you have fully committed to a diet that works. You have lost 5 or 10 or 20 pounds. You think you have finally discovered the secret to healthy weight loss. You feel great! And then something changes...

This has happened to me too many times to count. How about you?

The problem is not that diets suddenly stop working. The problem is that our bodies change as we lose weight.

Obviously, when you lose weight, your body becomes smaller. And this might mean all kinds of changes are happening internally. You might be losing fat, which is phenomenal, but also means you could be burning less calories because your weight has gone down. You no longer need to haul around those 20 extra pounds, and so your body is actually doing less physical work when you go for a walk or dance the night away. Of course, this is big win on the scale. But smaller people need to eat LESS. And you might still be eating for the size you used to be.

Another less awesome scenario is that you could be losing muscle. With less muscle, you are definitely going to burn fewer calories throughout your day, when you are active AND when you are resting. This is not a win, even though the number on the scale has gone down. Muscle tissue is crucial for health, fitness, strength, and well-being. If this is the case, try eating more high quality protein and add some resistance training to your workouts. Both of these fixes will help you burn more calories.

Maybe you stopped tracking your meals/calories/points. Maybe you thought you had this dieting thing down, and you no longer needed to measure your portions. Maybe you got sloppy. Beware of excess calories sneaking into your diet! You might think you are doing everything the same, but you have actually started cheating somehow. Are you snacking on the couch in front of the TV at night? Are you counting all those calories as part of your daily total? (Don't ask me how I know about this phenomenon...)

Maybe you are dealing with something hormonal. This could be a temporary glitch, something that will pass in a few days. Or it could be peri-menopause, something that will pass in ten years. If you're lucky. If you have concerns about your hormone levels, your thyroid, or other medical issues, it won't hurt to get tested. The solution could be as simple as a little daily thyroid hormone replacement pill. There are also dietary adjustments that might help you get through this phase.

Maybe you just hit a speed bump. Or a plateau. This could be a temporary stage in your weight loss journey and nothing at all to worry about. Continue to do all the things that you know have worked for you in the past. This is not the time to throw in the towel!

The bottom line: don't lose hope! Don't give up just because you've hit a rough patch. Everyone goes through this. And anyone who loses weight and keeps it off needs to make MANY adjustments along the way. This is part of the journey. Keep the faith and carry on! If you need help, leave me a message.