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Not Losing Weight Despite Calorie Deficit

We all know how it works, to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you take in in a day. However, after your first weeks of dieting, you will no longer be able to progress. You end up on a platform and you can't lose weight, even though you have started to eat less and less. How is this possible?

I eat below my calorie requirement, but I can't lose weight anymore

Survival Mechanism You've probably heard those bizarre stories. People who are lost in the desert for weeks without eating anything and still survive. How can your body go so long without food?

This has everything to do with your survival mechanism, a mechanism that your body gets into when you eat too little for a long time. The mechanism that your body also ends up in when you follow a crash diet for a long time. Your body does not know the difference between a diet or starvation.


3 Physical reactions

Your body will slow down various functions in the body in this mechanism. It thinks: “Wow, I do get very little energy and nutrients, I better take it easy and lose as little energy as possible.” As a result, these 3 reactions so that you no longer lose weight.

1. If you eat less, you burn less. In other words, your metabolism slows down. Your metabolism rate drops by as much as 20-30% if you eat too little. If you drop extremely in your calorie intake, your Basal Metabolic Rate (which is what you burn at rest) may even drop by as much as 45%! In other words, you will lose weight less and less quickly, despite the fact that you eat less and less.

2. Eating too little promotes the activity of your fat storage enzymes. You have fat storage enzymes and fat breakdown enzymes in your body. As soon as your body becomes unbalanced by eating too little, the balance between these two enzymes also changes. Your body will produce more fat storage enzymes, in order to be able to use more fat for energy in the future.

3. As soon as you eat too little for a long time and there are no more carbohydrates and fats left to burn in your body, it will get the energy from somewhere else, namely your muscles. Which therefore leads to loss of muscle mass. You may not be aware of it, but muscle helps burn more fat. The more muscle mass, the higher your burn (even at rest!) So the loss of this promotes everything except weight loss.

All in all, it is not smart and also very unhealthy (!) to eat too much below your calorie requirement. I therefore recommend that you do not go more than 15-25% below your calorie requirement. This is to promote your progression but also for your own health

Do you know what your calorie needs are? Here we explain how you can calculate it.

To lose weight you have to burn more calories than you take in. To build muscle mass you have to eat more calories and if you want to maintain your current shape, it is smart to maintain your maximum calorie requirement. All very nice and nice, but these advices are of no use if you do not know what your calorie needs are. Fortunately, there is a calculation with which we can change that.

This is what you should do

1. You need to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) or the number of calories you burn in 24 hours without activity using the formulas below:

BMR Women -> 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilograms) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

BMR Men -> 66 + (13.7 x weight in kilograms) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)

2. Now that you know your BMR, you need to add a PAL value to it. Your PAL value is the amount of exercise that you meet on average per day.

Little or no exercise (in bed all day):

1.2 Light exercise (if your work is inactive and you don't play sports): 1,375 Normal exercise: 1.55 Vigorous exercise (physically active work, or daily exercise): 1,725 Very strenuous exercise (professional athletes): 1.9 3.

You now have your BMR and PAL value.

You can calculate your daily calorie requirement with these 2 numbers: BMR x PAL = your daily calorie requirement.

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