You might have (had) the experience, or you are even still in that situation. You have set yourself a goal: “I want to weigh that much at that time…” and you just cannot reach it.
There are a few elements that can be obstacles and can get you off track. Some may be applicable to you, some may not. As with many things related to fitness: “it depends…“.
Anyway, here are some common causes for stalling progress.
A very common mistake is that people underestimate the calories they consume. When you try to recall what you have been eating during a day, it is very hard to remember every bit of food you pit in your mouth.
But even when you would be journalling, when you count and register everything, you have to be extremely precise and include every ingredient you also use with preparing. There is a certain level of uncertainty with nutritional information on packages, lists or sites, but even more with the amount of food that you consume. This does not mean you should not count calories or not register everything, this is a really good indication. But it is not more than an indication and a guideline.
This is even without the fact that it is also depending on the amount of food you absorb. A lot of people do not even absorb all nutrients they consume. (See also Nutrition Uptake)
Anyone who is using activity trackers, might have seen the amount of calories that is indicated after an activity. Problem is that most of the times these calories are grossly overrated. For instance a smart watch or activity tracker has a certain algorythm for calculating calorie expenditure, but that is based on a certain activity. This does not transfer well to other activities, but might not be too accurate to start with (there has been a test of activity trackers that indicated that for certain brands/types).
Also when a treadmill indicates that you have just burnt more than 700 kcal, it is highly inaccurate. When you are skilled and experienced runner you might be more efficient and have burned less calories, but also when you have been running for several weeks you get more efficient. Your body will adjust to any kind of exercise in a timeframe of roughly 4-6 weeks. This also leads to the following part.
Your body is an ingenious system that will adapt to all it is exposed to (with some prerequisites like rest, recovery, nutrition). In the same way as your body will adjust to a training regimen in 4-6 weeks, it will also adjust to a certain way of eating. When all your nutrition is on point and you consume less calories than your daily expenditure (if your goal is fat loss) or more (if your goal is to increase lean body mass) for days on end, your body will adjust to the amount of calories that you have in excess or deficit by getting more active or more economical with fuel. This is a good reason to shake up your ‘system’ every few weeks: change exercises every 4-6 weeks (or sooner if you plateau) but also have a regular change in your nutrition to shake things up. Be aware, if your goal is fat loss, you should not take an excess of calories in one day that negates the deficit you were trying to get the rest of the week. For instance for myself I try to stay away from carbohydrates in the form of potatoes or rice for the majority of my meals. But every once in a while, like once a week or two, I eat that again. This way my body keeps responding to my regular meals.
These are just three aspects that could interfere with your process towards your ideal weight. There is not a specific and ideal solution. You and your body are unique, but you are also developing, adjusting and evolving. The road towards your ideal weight is not a straight highway, it is a curvy road where you constantly have to adapt and change things to stay on the road.
If you need help with your route towards your ideal weight, feel free to comment, get in touch (contact page) in order to learn what I can do to help you.
Start now, not tomorrow!