FAT LOSS PLATEAU: “I’M WORKING OUT BUT NOT LOSING WEIGHT!”
We’ve all seen it…
That guy or girl who always seems to be at the gym running on the treadmill, lifting weights and taking spin classes… but who looks exactly the same week after week and month after month.
How is it possible that someone could put in so much effort at the gym and still not lose a pound of fat?
Simple: it’s known as the “law of energy balance”.
Working Out But Not Losing Weight? The Simple Truth…
Beyond specific workout principles, nutritional protocols, supplementation or anything in between, losing body fat ultimately comes down to one simple truth…
You must create and maintain a calorie deficit where you are consistently burning more calories than you consume.
It doesn’t matter how hard you train in the gym and it doesn’t matter how “healthy” you eat – if you aren’t in a calorie deficit, you aren’t going to lose an ounce of fat.
Body fat is simply a stored form of energy. By creating a calorie deficit (where the total amount of calories you consume is insufficient to fuel your daily needs) you force your body to break down that excess fat to use as a source of fuel.
It’s as simple as that.
This is why it’s perfectly possible to train your ass off in the gym 6 days a week and still not see any positive results from your efforts.
If you’re simply replacing all of those burnt calories through your diet, you’re not going to make any progress at all. And since weight training and cardio stimulate your appetite, those who aren’t aware of this basic foundational principle will very often over-eat without even realizing it.
Remember: it’s FAR easier to consume 400 calories than it is to burn 400 calories.
It might take 45 minutes of running on a treadmill to burn 400 calories, while a couple of extra snacks per day will easily replace that same amount.
Even if you’re following what you consider to be a “healthy diet”, it will make absolutely NO difference if the total calorie content is too high.
Speaking purely in terms of fat loss, the person who eats cookies, chips and ice cream but maintains a calorie deficit is far and away ahead of the person who eats brown rice, chicken and broccoli but eats at their calorie maintenance level.
Working Out But Not Losing Weight: The Solution
Start tracking your diet.
Even if it’s not with absolute precision, you still need to have a basic idea of your overall calorie needs for fat loss and what you’re consuming throughout the day.
If you don’t, it’s like shooting darts with a blindfold and you may end up wasting weeks, months or even years of effort getting absolutely nowhere.
The basic process is simple…
1) Determine your calorie maintenance level – This is the number of calories you need to consume daily in order to maintain your current weight.
2) Reduce that number by 15-20% – This will create a calorie deficit that is large enough to stimulate optimal fat loss while protecting your lean muscle tissue and without starving yourself.
For most people, the “Harris Benedict Formula” will work well to calculate this.
You don’t have to nail this down with 100% precision… but if you can at least hit these numbers with reasonable accuracy, your results will skyrocket in comparison to the person who completely ignores this aspect of their program.
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