The Secret to Why You Can't Lose Weight

Why Most Diets Fail

Maybe you’ve tried many times to lose weight and failed. Most diets make a recommendation that actually prevents you from losing weight and slows your metabolism. And 95% of the diets recommended for weight loss rely on this misinformation!

The Problem with Most Weight Loss Programs

Most weight loss programs recommend a hypocaloric diet, that is, a reduction in your daily calorie intake. The reasoning goes: by lowering the number of calories you take in, your body is in a caloric deficit and will lose weight. Suppose your diet is normally 2000 calories, and you want to lose weight, the recommendation made to you suggests reducing your daily calories by 25% and so, you start consuming 1500 calories per day.

The problem here is your body does not interpret this as a method for weight loss, your brain interprets the quick reduction in calories as an indicator that there is no food in the environment. Over time, your body adapts to this new calorie intake of 1500 calories per day. Say you start a hypocaloric diet to reduce your weight. When you begin you weigh 250 pounds. Over the first or second month, you will maybe lose 5-10 pounds, until a certain point when it gets harder and harder to lose weight. Eventually, your weight loss plateaus and you can't seem to get off the plateau to lose the last few pounds.

Why Can't I Lose Weight?

When your brain interprets a calorie reduction as an indicator that there is no food in the environment, the body compensates by slowing metabolism. Your brain thinks: “if there's not enough food in the environment and we do this too long, we're going to starve.” So it slows down your metabolism to match the new caloric intake. This means the body also may reduce the tissues that consume a lot of energy per day, like a muscle. And instead, give preference to tissues that accumulate energy and do not require much energy expenditure, such as fat.

As a result, you may have lost weight, but if you do a good measurement of body fat percentage in that period of time, you will see body fat increase in relative value. Meaning that the body fat percentage actually increases even though you would imagine the opposite. So, you lost muscle and gained body fat to drop a small number of pounds before you hit this plateau. This plateau occurs, not to make our lives more complicated, but in an effort to keep our bodies safe. If you lower your caloric intake, you will also lower your metabolism.

How Can You Increase Your Metabolism?

Once your metabolism has stalled, you have two options: either you adopt an even lower intake that leads you to continued weight loss until a new plateau sets in. Or you can stay on the plateau, try to maintain your diet, until you drop the diet, and go back to eating as you ate before.

The problem is if you dropped 5, 10 or 15 pounds on your weight loss diet, once you go back to eating as before, you not only put on the weight you lost, but you may gain extra pounds. Finishing worse than where you started. But you can increase your metabolism without decreasing your caloric intake!

Two Ways to Jumpstart a Stalled Metabolism

  1. Intermittent Fasting allows you to increase your metabolism without changing your calorie intake amount and allows you to increase your metabolism and burn fat with the same amount of daily calories.
  2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) uses acceleration to alter key metabolic proteins.

These are two examples that jumpstart your metabolism without modifying your diet.

The secret is: don't starve yourself. It doesn't work, and it’s not fun. Vary the type of food you eat, eat when you’re hungry, and choose the right type of workout. A combination of factors contributes to weight loss, not just a reduction in calories. Making weight loss sustainable and realistic.

For more information, talk to one of our Fitness of Nutrition Experts and get customized advice by submitting a request in our Mavyn app or Mavyn Fitness page.