Stuck on a weight loss plateau?
I don’t think there’s anything more frustrating when your diet just isn’t working, when it’s supposed to work.
You feel like you’re just running around in circles and you’re just chasing your own tail.
Today, I’m going to go through 7 possible reasons why that is. Why you’re stuck on a weight loss plateau. Assuming you’re doing everything right.
7 Reasons Why You’re Stuck On A Weight Loss Plateau
There are multiple reasons why you’re stuck on a weight loss plateau. Let’s start with a pretty obvious that most people are guilty of.
1. You’re a little behind on your approach.
You’re just eating less and moving more.
I don’t blame you at all if this is your approach to fat loss. Because this is considered conventional wisdom by a lot of “experts” out there.
Just eat less and move more. Calories in versus calories out. You need to be on a calorie deficit, bro. If you’re not losing weight, you’re not on a calorie deficit. Duh.
And while that’s vaguely true, I guess. It’s a little bit more complicated than that. That is such an over simplistic way of looking at the human body.
Your body is more than just a mathematical equation. You need to factor in genetics, hormones, and your metabolism for starters.
Speaking of metabolism, you’re not losing weight because you might have a slow metabolism.
2. You have a slow metabolism.
If you’ve been dieting extensively for a long time or if you’ve been doing an excessive amount of cardio. Or worse, you’ve been doing both. Again, I don’t really blame you for doing it because it’s the definition of eat less and move more.
You’ve cut your calories really low and you’re not losing weight anymore. You’ve hit the dreaded weight loss plateau. You most likely have a slow metabolism.
Your metabolism can actually go up or down by as much as 40%.
The zealots of the calories in vs calories model just makes this erroneous assumption that your metabolism stays stable. It doesn’t. That right away exposes why that over simplistic weight loss model doesn’t work.
The good news is you can fix your metabolism through a process called reverse dieting.
It’s where you go back up to maintenance for a period of time so your body doesn’t adjust to the calorie deficit that you’re in by slowing down your metabolism. Because your body is an adaptation machine.
It doesn’t want to die from this makeshift state of famine you’ve put it in.
I made a couple of videos about reverse dieting recently so make sure you check those out. I’m also going to put some links in the description box.
Yes, if you’re trying to lose weight, the idea of eating more through reverse dieting might sound counter intuitive.
But time and time again with all the students I’ve worked with, they eventually lost even more fat though reverse dieting.
Think of it as taking one step back in order to take two steps forward.
The end goal is to end up with a faster metabolism. So that when you do go on a calorie deficit, it’s actually going to work.
3. There might be some underlying health issues you don’t know about.
I’m not a doctor but if you have an undiagnosed autoimmune disease for example, that’s going to heavily impact your body.
Losing weight is gonna be the last thing your body is going to respond to when it’s trying to fight something from within. The same thing applies if you have any other sort of health issue.
Going back to calories in versus calories out, yes it’ll work if you factor in hormones. And this is also assuming that you’re 100% healthy.
But if you have underlying health issues, it’s not just going to be as simple as going on a calorie deficit. Your body will always prioritize healing itself first, so you don’t die.
So even if you’re on a calorie deficit, whatever food you’re giving your body is going to be used to heal itself and it’s not going to want to lose fat. It’s going to be the least of its concerns.
I’ve seen people basically go on a raw vegan diet which is supposed to be “healthy” and not lose weight because they had thyroid problems which again is a type of autoimmune disease.
They’re not losing fat because their bodies are literally fighting themselves. Same thing goes if you have hormone imbalances or digestive problems.
If you have gut issues, PCOS, maybe you have low testosterone, or you have high estrogen if you’re a man, those things could cause your body to hold onto fat.
Again, please don’t consider this a diagnosis. But those are just a couple of possible examples.
4. You’re following the wrong diet.
If you’ve seen an unbelievably biased documentary like ‘What The Health’ or ‘Game Changers’, and you all of a sudden think that a plant based diet is the way to go. Well, you’ve been lied to.
None of the health claims in those documentaries are based on good science. They’re based on epidemiological studies that can only prove correlation but not causation. It’s got no legs to stand on.
But that’s how they can make ridiculous claims like eating an egg is as bad as smoking 5 cigarettes. Like, what? That makes absolutely no sense.
If you want to keep doing it, that’s your prerogative.
But there are no randomized controlled clinical trials that proves that a plant based diet is the “healthy” diet for humans. None. Far from it.
But let’s say you’re not aware. You have the right intentions, so you try it.
But you find yourself actually gaining weight because you’re eating way too much carbs. Which is very common for people eating a vegan or even a vegetarian diet. You’re eating a lot of vegan/vegetarian junk food. This is why.
Or maybe it does work at the beginning. When it mostly has to do with the fact that you’re eating less junk. This is when you hear people say they feel so much better. Well, anybody will feel better if they stop eating junk food.
But it all leads to the same path. You will eventually get stuck on a weight loss plateau. Not only that, but you start to feel horrible. You start having digestion issues, you’re fatigued, your hair starts falling off.
You get all confused because you’re eating this super “healthy” diet. Well, it’s not healthy.
Optimal health is impossible without animal foods. You need to eat meat in order to be a healthy and happy human being. This is why I’m flabbergasted when I see parents put their kids on a vegan diet.
Here’s some essential nutrients that plants don’t contain: Carnitine, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, vitamin B12, EPA, DHA, and cholesterol.
And no, you can’t just take a supplement pill. It’s not the same. You’re getting a synthetic version of that vitamin. The bio availability which is how your body actually absorbs the nutrients is also night and day.
So don’t even argue that you can get iron from spinach the same way you can get it from meat. It’s not even remotely close.
Long story short, there’s nothing healthy about a plant based diet.
Or maybe you go on the Keto Diet which I’m a big fan of. But that can also come with its own set of problems.
You start seeing a lot of these “keto” branded products and you automatically think it’s good for you. You eat these keto bars, keto balls, and keto bombs which are still highly processed foods.
Maybe you hear Joe Blow doing a dirty keto diet so you try it and it doesn’t work for you. Well, the fact that it’s called dirty keto should automatically sound alarm bells.
You can’t cheat the system. You can’t consume vegan junk food, go to town on keto protein bars, drink diet soda and use artificial sweeteners, and wonder why you’re not losing weight.
The key is to stick to real food. Single ingredient, mostly unprocessed, nutrient dense foods.
5. You’re still using crutches.
When I say crutches, I’m talking specifically about drinking diet soda or any beverage that’s branded as zero calories but is artificially sweetened.
I’m also talking about any artificial sweetener in general. This includes Stevia which gets a free pass from a lot of people. Sugar free gum is also suspect here.
I’m going to make this short because I’ve made a lot of videos about this topic.
All you need to know is that diet soda and artificial sweeteners is often linked to weight gain and obesity instead of weight loss. Because it destroys your gut microbiome.
Artificial sweeteners also trigger the cephalic phase insulin response or CPIR.
You can’t trick your body that something is “healthy” just because it’s branded as “zero” calories. Your body doesn’t know that. It will still have a physiological response to it. Nothing that sweet gets a free pass once it enters your system.
So if you’re doing intermittent fasting for example which I also talk a lot about on my channel. And you’re still relying on artificial sweeteners to get you through your fast because it’s “zero” calories. You’re actually inadvertently breaking your fast because all artificial sweeteners trigger the CPIR
Notice how you’re always hungrier after drinking diet soda or after chewing on sugar free gum?
Also, do you know anybody who got to their goal weight by drinking diet soda or using artificial sweeteners? No. Oftentimes, it’s usually what’s holding them back.
Next, this is a big one that always ruffles some feathers. But I have to mention it because you deserve a fighting chance if you’re stuck on a weight loss plateau.
6. You’re eating “healthy” food that aren’t actually healthy.
Maybe you’re still eating low calorie and low fat versions of foods because you think that the low calorie and fat free version is healthier. It’s not. It does more harm than good.
The more processing your food goes through, the worse it is for you. Fat and cholesterol isn’t bad for you.
Your body makes its own cholesterol for crying out loud. It’s essential to every cellular function in your body. You would die without it.
Fat also plays a key role in your satiety. It’s not bad for you. Fat doesn’t make you fat. If anything, if you’re not eating enough fat, you’re probably fat.
Another popular “healthy” food that gets a free pass is fruit. Okay, before you start coming with pitchforks in my direction, because I already did that with the vegans, hear me out. There are levels to this.
If you replace Doritos with fruit. Then, yes. Fruit is the better option. But it does’t make eating fruit optimal by any stretch of the imagination.
Why? Because fructose, which is the type of sugar found in fruit, is extremely lipogenic. Because your liver is the only thing that can process it before it becomes usable energy. Lipogenic means it’s fattening.
Also, the fruit that’s available to us today is nothing like the fruit that our ancestors ate back in the Paleolithic times. They’re genetically modified to be bigger and sweeter.
Think of a honey crisp apple for example. That wasn’t a thing back in the day. There are also endless varieties of oranges you can buy and they’re all unbelievably sweet.
Fruit was also seasonal back in the Paleolithic times. Our ancestors ate fruit to fatten themselves up for winter.
Nowadays, you can get fruit all year round. Time and time again when I’ve worked with my students. The less fruit they ate, the more weight they lost.
Fruit does’t contain any special vitamin or mineral that you’re not going to find in meat. Think of fruit as nature’s version of candy. There’s no such thing as natural sugar. THat’s a pipe dream. Sugar is sugar.
If you have a lot of hesitation about this, I totally get it. But just try it. What do you have to lose? If what you’re doing hasn’t been working and you’re stuck on weight loss plateau, it’s worth a shot.
7. Whatever diet you’re following is actually working. You’re just being impatient.
Let’s be honest.
It didn’t take you days or weeks to put on the weight you’re trying to lose. It took you months, or even years. Which means it’s not going to magically come off in just a couple of weeks.
Let me give you some stats and how this all works because I’m a numbers guy. Numbers don’t lie.
Let’s use the US. 3 out of 4 American adults is in the overweight or obese category. Childhood obesity is also at an all time high. Being overweight is the new norm in the US.
88% of American adults have some form of metabolic dysfunction. Part of having metabolic dysfunction is being insulin resistant.
Insulin, in case you didn’t know, is the hormone that controls your body weight.
The longer you’ve been insulin resistant, the longer you’ve been carrying that extra weight that you’re trying to lose, the longer it’s going to take for you to lose that weight.
Think of it as a spectrum. One end of it is insulin resistance. While the other end is insulin sensitivity.
If you’ve spent a lot of time on one end of it, the wrong end, it’s going to take some time just to get to a point where you’re just neutral. From there, you can work towards becoming insulin sensitive again.
What I’m trying to say here is it’s going to take some time. A 1-2 lb fat loss every week is what you should aiming for.
Even if it’s just a pound a week, it might not sound impressive at first, give it enough time and it turns into some staggering results eventually.
Here’s one of my coaching clients who lost 25 lbs of fat in 6 months. That’s about a pound a week. She followed the right system and she was patient about it. The best part is, she’s been able to maintain her results.
In the grand scheme of things, 6 months is not a long time. And if you want the same proven step-by-step plan she followed, then you should check out the link at the top right hand corner.
But this unrealistic expectation that we’re constantly told that there’s a magic quick fix out there. That if you just do this one exercise or take this one pill, it’s going to magically melt your fat away is what honestly sets so many people up for disappointment.
If you can wrap your head around the fact that it’s going to take some time. As long as you’re moving towards the right direction every day no matter how slow it may be, then you’re going to get there eventually.
As always, if this was helpful, share it with a friend who could benefit from it as well!
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