Before IIFYM, before keto, before moderate protein intakes and high-intensity interval training, there was a gentleman called Lyle McDonald.
Gentleman is probably a bit of a kind term considering most would call him a raging asshole (he has a somewhat, rough, persona online). But regardless of what you call him or your opinions on his propensity for an argument, you simply cannot debate the quality of his work.
Lyle was not only putting out the best content on the internet 10-15 years ago, but it’s stood the test of time to be the best information n the internet about training and nutrition STILL, in my humble (and usually correct) opinion.
I was reminded of his “whooshes and squishy fat” post about why ladies lose weight at a slower and more unpredictable pace while looking for some information about why one of our members wasn’t losing weight on a 25% calorie deficit.
You can read that gem again here: https://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/of-whooshes-and-squishy-fat.html/
But the purpose of today’s mail is not that, it’s for me to paraphrase and mildly rip off this article: https://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/not-losing-fat-at-20-deficit-what-should-i-do-qa.html
So, if you’re “on a diet” or trying to lose weight but not getting anywhere, here’s some things to consider.
(and yes, you really should go read the article in full, but if you’re short on time, the cliffs are;)
– sometimes it takes the body time to “ramp up” to fat loss over the course of 4 weeks or so. no one really knows why it happens
– water balance in the body can mask weight loss over the first 3-6 weeks (and beyond), so if you’re dieting hard but the scales ain’t moving, once your clothes fit better and you’ve more energy, don’t worry
– to test if it’s a water thing, you can super load water for 4-7 days before returning to normal intakes to see if that “forces” some of the retained water out (drink approx. 2L per 25kg of bodyweight for 4-7 days)
– if on a long-term diet a big “fuck this I give up” carb refeed can have you magically wake up lighter the next day too
– you might have misestimated your maintenance calorie level and just be eating too much and not actually be in a 25% deficit
– there’s a chance you’re misrecording food and eating more than you realize
– on a TRUE 25% deficit, it’s almost impossible not to lose weight
– if you’re 100% sure you’re getting it right for 2 months on a 25% deficit and you’re not losing weight, drop 10% for another month and observe what happens
– if you still haven’t lost weight, drop ANOTHER 10% and see what happens, and if at that point after a month you’re still going nowhere you need to get blood work done asap because something is profoundly wrong
Weight loss is an art and a science. You need the numbers, method and theory to get the process started, but from there you’ll need to tweak and adjust on the fly to keep things moving.
Based on personal experience with hundreds (possibly even thousands now if you include online and in-person consultations) – the biggest reason why you’re not losing weight is because you’re eating more than you think you are either by miscalculating the foods you log or “forgetting” to log and account for the effects of pints and pizza at the weekend.
I’d love to hear back on this one – are you trying to lose weight? Are you tracking macros? Do you know how many kcals you’ve eaten each day for the last 3 months? Can you still not lose weight no matter what you try?