Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Weight loss is rarely linear….

Weight loss is rarely linear…. 📉

Most people measure their fat loss progress by stepping on scales. This can create an all or nothing mentality and can impact not only your happiness but your behaviour. If the scales don’t go down when you’ve been ‘good’ then what’s the point? You may as well throw in the towel and enjoy that cake!

Weight loss is rarely linear. It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis. There will be days where your scale weight goes up, just like there will be days where your weight will drop, and there will also be days (maybe even weeks) where your weight will stay exactly the same. Your weight can fluctuate up to 6kg during the day depending on what you eat and drink, and how you exercise. If you drink 2-3 litres of water a day that’s up to 3kg. Then how much do you pee, sweat and breathe out over the day? It’s impossible to measure. Our bodies are mainly water so changes in hydration cause significant weight fluctuations.

In addition a bowel full of food, a big meal the night before, fibrous or salty meals, and menstrual cycle hormone changes can all influence weight and cause greater daily fluctuations so real change can be hidden. Exercise can affect the scale both ways; if, after a workout, you’ve refuelled properly your muscles will be full of glycogen and water. On the other hand if you’ve sweated loads your weight will drop due to dehydration. Alcohol does the same; it’s a diuretic so will dehydrate you initially, but can cause cravings for salty foods leading to water retention.

For many of us, seeing that weight go up, despite ‘being good’, can make us give up. It’s vital to trust the process and think long term. The graph above is real client data. Look at how the weight fluctuates and look at the overall trend. By trusting the process and not giving up when the scales went up they’ve continued their weight loss over time.

We’re conditioned to focus on weight but instead try to use other measures e.g. items of clothing and how they fit, or cm measurements etc. If you must step on the scales then look at averages over time rather than daily variations and focus on long term trends.

🤗 xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Why Weight Loss Plateaus

Tuesday Tip: Why weight loss plateaus 📈

Usually a few months into a new diet (or eating regime) we start to see plateaus – this is despite people claiming they are still eating the same amount (at a calorie deficit) and exercising the same. Why?

It could be that you’ve lost so much that your caloric requirements have dropped slightly and therefore you need to adjust your calorie goals, but there’s another more common reason.

A couple of recent studies found that as weight (fat) loss dropped participants subconsciously increased their calorie intake. For every 1kg of fat lost, they were consuming an extra 100 calories per day, without realising they were doing it. This is due to increased hunger in response to weight loss, and as the kgs drop, the extra calories sneak back in. So after losing 3-4kg that’s an extra 300-400 cals a day which puts you back at maintenance calories, stalling weight loss.

Another study also fund that for every 1kg lost participants expended 20 – 30 cals less energy per day. This is a subconscious reduction in NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) such as standing less, walking less etc and a decrease in bodily functions e.g. blinking less, breathing slower etc

Over the course of several months, with a fat loss of say 4kg you could be unknowingly consuming an extra 400 cals, and burning 120 cals less, that means a extra 520 cals a day which wipes out your deficit, can stall any fat loss and even cause weight regain.

So what can you do?

Usually a few months in, with fat loss going well, people go back to eyeballing portion sizes and that’s where those extra calories will sneak in from slightly larger portions, an extra 5g here and there etc so I encourage my clients to go back to basics and measure portions. Also be mindful of extra mouthfuls of things you’re not tracking (grabbing the odd handful of cereal, crisp, etc).

Focus on more filling foods to help combat the hunger too – foods high in fibre, protein and good fats.

In terms of energy expenditure – try to be as active as possible – add a few more steps to your day for example, be mindful of standing more than sitting etc.

Happy Tuesday 🤗