5 Reasons Your Progress is Stalling

It’s inevitable in a dieting phase to reach a point where our body says, “enough is enough!” A plateau is actually a good thing in a sense, because it shows our body is working and doing it’s job! We were not meant to diet, rewind back to caveman days, they were always trying to find enough food and now we have the opposite problem. Food is available to us everywhere we turn and even worse? Most of it is poor quality and modified to be highly palatable and addictive.

When we go into a dieting phase, we’re purposefully putting ourselves in a calorie deficit, meaning we’re eating less energy than we’re expending on a daily basis. Doing this will produce weight/fat loss but because it’s our body’s job to survive, if it reaches a point where it it does, in fact, fear that it’s starving, it will stall the process of fat loss as much as possible to protect itself.

So you still want to make progress and your body is giving you the middle finger? Here’s some reasons why and ways we can combat them!

  1. You’ve been in a calorie deficit for too long. First, to know if you’re in a deficit you need to know what your maintenance calories are. If you aren’t sure, check out our Flex Fuel Mini-Course, we teach you EXACTLY how to find this and all the steps following to reach your goals! Once you know what your maintenance is, then you can determine if you’re truly eating in a deficit and how big of a deficit. Following a time frame for a dieting phase is most successful because it gives structure and an end goal so you don’t feel like you’re in a never ending state of dieting. A dieting phase can last anywhere from 6-18+ weeks, depending on how aggressive you are with your deficit. If you’re progressing through this phase and continue to cut calories and see no change in your body composition, weight or measurements, then this is probably a sign it’s time to take a diet break. A diet break is a period of time back at maintenance (we recommend a minimum of at least 2 weeks) to allow your body a break, remember we have to let it know that it’s not starving!!
  2. You have poor sleep. This one seems so simple and a lot of people don’t like to admit that this one thing, could absolutely change the course of their progress but it’s a huge reason why many people can’t achieve weight loss or body composition change. First, in order to lose fat, like we discussed above you must be in a deficit and a deficit naturally puts us in a state of under recovery and adds a level of stress to the body. Our body needs substantial, quality sleep in order to rest, digest, recover and regenerate. If we aren’t getting high quality, substantial sleep, we’re immediately adding more stress and inflammation and taking away from that crucial time our body needs in order to be in an optimal state to lose fat and/or put on muscle!
  3. You have high stress. For whatever reason, it has become almost praised to be that person that can do 1000 things in one day, run off 3 hours of sleep and do that 7 days a week. Our lives are truly busier than ever and then on top of that, we have these little things called cell phones that are attached to us 24/7. This might be unpopular opinion, but it’s pretty uncool to do 1000 things in a day and run yourself ragged. You shouldn’t feel like you’re being pulled 100 different directions everyday and you should have down time every single day so that you can recoup and re-energize yourself for the next day. The crazier thing is, that most people don’t even realize how high their stress is because they’ve adapted to living in that high stress state and it’s now just a way of life! If you constantly feel like you can’t fit it all in and you don’t have time to wind up and wind down from you day AND your progress is stalling or non-existent, it’s highly likely stress is the problem. If we look at our days, there’s almost always something that isn’t necessary and we can make room for time to de-stress. Taking a block of time in the morning and night to wind up and down, journaling, drawing boundaries around screen time (especially first thing in the morning & before bed), time blocking and scheduling your days, doing something for pure enjoyment, etc. are all great ways to de-stress.
  4. You’re not being honest with  yourself. This one can be a toughie, but it’s real talk. Asking yourself, Am I making excuses? If so what are they are how can I adjust to eliminate these excuses? Maybe that means grabbing an accountability partner so you aren’t  just relying on yourself. We are HUGE believers in accountability no matter where you are in your process because it forces us to be accountable and honest when we do have challenges, when motivation is low, when we need encouragement or to just process our thoughts and emotions. It can be easy to sneak some extra bites here and there or maybe even eat less than we should be trying to expedite the process (which can also cause plateaus!) or having that extra drink or two during the week that we try to pretend didn’t happen. We’re all human and we all have those moments, but making sure those moments don’t turn into something that’s truly holding us back, is why getting honest with ourselves is key!
  5. You’re not eating right for your body and activity level. If we aren’t giving our body what it needs and monitoring what it’s telling us, this could be throwing off progress. Yes, eating to lose fat means eating in a deficit but there is still that happy place of getting the right foods in the right amounts to make sure we are making our body as happy as possible to let it know, it’s safe and can go right along with losing the weight/fat!

It’s ALWAYS a safe bet, if progress is stalling, to revert back to maintenance calories. Take some time there and allow your body to take a breather from living in a deficit! If you’re unsure about what that looks like for you we are always happy to help! We have several different options for you guys to choose from to work with us and learn what the right intake is for you! Head to the links below to check them out!

1:1 Individualized Coaching

One-Time Macronutrient Setup

Flex Fuel Mini-Course