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What to do when weight loss stops

Healthy breakfast with fruits

Ever feel like you’re “eating perfectly” but still not losing weight?

It’s possible. But it’s not what happens most often.

Usually, there are one of two things going on:

Problem #1: You’re eating more than you realize.

Problem #2: What you think is the “right amount”… isn’t.

Or, it could be both.

Here’s a fun example…

Let’s say you’re trying to lose weight and eating 500 fewer daily calories than you’d need to maintain weight.

Hypothetically, that’s enough to lose one pound a week.

That’s with no… hiccups.

Maybe you’ve got a great routine and consistently eat the same amount and nail your calorie intake goal.

You even have enough room in your daily diet for two glasses of wine (one with dinner and one after).

You like eating this way, and it feels pretty sustainable.

Perfect. Except for a couple of things…

Your two glasses of wine are actually 8 ounces each (200 calories) instead of the standard 5 ounces (125 calories). Those liberal pours give you an extra 150 calories a day.

This is incredibly easy to do; check out the photo below.

Two glasses of wine

The glass on the left has 8 ounces of red wine, and 5 ounces (a “standard serving”) on the right.

As you can see, the shape and size of the glass make it hard to eyeball portion size. There’s not much room for error.

But that’s not all…

On Saturday night, you have friends over and grab delivery from your favorite Thai restaurant. You order Thai Coconut Lime Chicken, which looks reasonable and healthy.

Chicken Soup

But… it’s 1,980 calories. And because your friends overstay (okay, you encouraged them!), you have four “servings” of wine instead of your usual two.

Despite your consistent eating, after the extra wine and the one meal, you end up with just a 70-calorie deficit for the week versus your planned 3,500-calorie deficit.

So you don’t lose weight.

Disappointing, for sure.

This is a pretty simplistic example, but it’s the same thing that happens to many folks who struggle to lose weight despite feeling like they’re eating exactly how they planned because they were—almost.

What about Problem #2?

Well, your body may also play a role in your challenges. For example:

► Your basal metabolic rate—the energy you need to fuel your organs and biological functions to stay alive—can vary by 15 percent. For the average person, that’s roughly 200-270 calories daily.

► Sleep deprivation can cause a 5-20 percent change in metabolism (the equivalent of 200-500 calories a day).

► For women, the phase of their menstrual cycle can affect metabolism by another 150 calories a day or so.

This is why all calorie calculations are just a starting point. You try to eat a certain amount consistently, and if after, say, 2-3 weeks, you’re not seeing changes, you can adjust.

But it’s not necessarily just about cutting more calories. It could be, for example, that “the fix” is getting more sleep. Or moving a little more.

This is where 1on1 coaching can be valuable. Because you don’t have to figure it out yourself, there are coaches on our team who can—and want to—help.