I’m training, eating low on calories, but not losing fat

  • We often think we’re calorie deficient, but we don’t actually keep track of it accurately, said Patrick Wilson, a fat-loss coach.
  • It’s easy to undo the calorie deficit in one meal and drink that wasn’t tracked.
  • Consider taking a break from the diet to reset the body, both physically and mentally.
  • Read more It’s working outside here.

Dear Rachel,

I get stronger and build muscle, but don’t lose any fat. What should I do to change it?

I teach high intensity rebound classes three times a week and weight training twice a week. I don’t think I could add more sessions without my relationship, friendships, and struggles with a healthy sleep pattern.

I’ve always been active, doing a movement that I enjoy for both mental and physical benefits, but I’ve always had excess weight (especially around my midsection) from comfort eating in my early teens.

I used to be a vegetarian and recently reintroduced meat into my diet and started increasing my protein intake. I have noticed an increase in muscle, but I am still experiencing fat loss. I wonder if I’ve been in a calorie deficit for a long time – eating 1,700-1800 calories a day (about 120 grams of protein) – or if there’s something else I should be doing. I do about 8-12 kilo steps a day too.

– Confused

Dear confused,

It’s great to hear that you’re enjoying being active, seeing strength gains, and keeping up your protein intake.

These are all great signs of healthy progress, but I understand feeling disappointed if your goal is fat loss, and you’re doing a lot of hard work without seeing results.

You’re right that more training isn’t wise though – our body needs time to recover between workouts.

Without knowing your height and weight or how long you’ve been in a calorie deficit, it’s hard to know what’s right for you, but I spoke with a personal trainer and fat loss coach Patrick Wilson To see what some options might be.

Make sure you match your calories

I was in a similar situation to what I was in a few years agoand it wasn’t until I really asked for nutrition and Calories Calculator For a while I was able to control my portion sizes, reduce overeating, and start seeing results.

The fact that you know your calorie intake suggests that you’re already tracking your food, but Wilson said clients often think they’re deficient but don’t actually track accurately.

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“Be very diligent in tracking calories from fast foods, drinks, and snacks,” he said. “It can be pretty interesting to track you daily for 2-3 weeks (even weekends) and see what your actual intake is.”

So yeah, eat your leftover crust from your niece’s sandwich, have a few of your friend’s potatoes, and have milk in your tea, it all counts.

You don’t necessarily need to reach your ideal calorie target every day to see results (pLoss coach Jordan Seat recommends aiming for 80% consistency), but remember that weekend calories matter, too.

I know from personal experience that it’s very easy to undo the calorie deficit you’ve spent all week making with food and drinks on a Saturday evening.

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You can still go out and enjoy yourself, but make choices that align with your goals. That might mean a light tonic over a cocktail, two slices of pizza at home as leftovers, or a side salad instead of french fries.

“If you realize you’re eating more calories than you think, make some adjustments — work in more vegetables, fruits, and protein sources to fill you up with fewer calories,” Wilson said.

Don’t set your target calories too low

If you are struggling to reach your calories, it may be because your goal is too low. 1700-1800 calories can be good

Weight loss

The goal for some, but as a very active person with good muscle mass, it may be too low to hold on to.

“Being in a smaller deficit will make it easier for you to keep going and will help you retain more muscle,” Wilson said. “You’ll have more energy during workouts to push yourself and you won’t lose as much muscle mass as you would in a more severe deficit.”

It’s easier to stick to a more subtle deficit, which is crucial to making progress that continues.

Consider a diet break to boost metabolism

If you’ve been trying to stick to a calorie deficit for too long, you may experience diet fatigue and fatigue as a result. A good way to get around this is to take a conscious break to reset both your mental and physical body.

Wilson recommends taking two to four months and aiming to eat the calories you maintain, perhaps gradually increasing them to rebuild your metabolism – when you’re in a calorie deficit, Metabolic adaptation occurswhich means our metabolism is slowing down.

During this time, Wilson said, you may gain weight and may gain some fat, but in the long run it can be beneficial — in the course of your life, a few months is nothing.

“After building your metabolism, aim for fat loss and deficit again, but your new maintenance will be higher so you don’t have to cut back on calories to make progress in fat loss this time around,” he said.

After a break from dieting, you will likely feel mentally and physically refreshed and ready to focus on your fat loss goal again. But be patient and kind to yourself along the way and make sure you enjoy the process.

wishing you good luck,


As a senior health reporter on Insider and a self-described fitness fanatic with a Nutrition Association-certified nutrition course under her belt, Rachel Howsey is immersed in the wellness scene and is here to answer all of your burning questions. Whether you’re struggling to find the motivation to run, confused about light versus heavyweight, or if you’re not sure if you should worry about how much sugar is in mangoes, Rachel is here to give you answers that don’t make sense. The advice you need, with no diet in sight.

Rachel has a wealth of experience in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and wellness, and she has the best experts on her fingertips. She regularly speaks to some of the world’s most popular and well-known personal trainers, nutritionists, and trainers, ensuring she’s up to date with the latest scientifically backed facts you need to know to live your happiest, healthiest life.

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