So You’ve tried Everything and Still Can’t Lose Weight
Are you sure you've tried everything? Are you tracking all your calories? Are you tracking all your exercise? Every cracker and every step count. Have you miscalculated your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)? Are you already at your physical lower limit for body fat?
When it comes to an inability to lose weight, one of four things are true:
Your assumptions, calculations, or data are wrong
You are cheating
You have an un-diagnosed health condition
You are already at the minimum body fat composition
If you find you’re cheating in your weight loss journey, keep your weight loss goals to yourself. Be quiet about it. Do not talk to other people about it. That way, you will have only yourself to lie to, and that’s pretty useless. Then be honest with yourself. Acknowledge that you cheated. Then work cheating into your meal and exercising plans. That way they are part of it rather than outside of it, and you have no more cheating. I’ll do a more complete blog post about this in the future.
If it might be health related, then do not hesitate to go to a doctor and find out. Drop everything now, do not pass go. Get to the doctor. Thyroid problems can cause weight issues.
Finally, if you are at the minimum body fat composition, then maybe you shouldn’t be trying to lose weight. Maybe you should go see a doctor. The only legitimate situation where a person would lose weight and already be at the minimum body fat composition is they are a competitor in a combat sport trying to drop down permanently into a lower weight class, and they are doing this under a doctor’s supervision, and they understand these actions come with repercussions such as loss of muscle mass, decreased glycogen stores, and other such factors which can affect performance.
If it’s not any of the above, then you may have made a mistake somewhere in your calculations. Your BMR may be wrong, maybe your calorie consumption counts are off, or maybe your calories burned through exercise are wrong. Every formula is created for the average person. Every estimate of calories burned is created for the average person. There are actually not too many people right on the average point. 67.5% of the population rests within 1 standard deviation (whatever that is) of average, but right there on average does not have that many people.
If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably not average, so you don’t burn the average number of calories when you exercise, you don’t burn the average number of calories when you are at rest. As accurately as possible, you need to calculate your BMR.
First try one of these two formulas:
BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) - ( 6.8 x age in years )
Then, for one week, you need to come as close as you can to consuming the exact same number of calories, and record your weight on day one and day seven. At the end of the week, use this formula to determine which way to adjust your BMR:
If you lost weight:
New BMR = BMR + ((Weight Change in KG)/7700)
If you gained weight:
New BMR = BMR - ((Weight Change in KG)/7700)
There are 7700 calories in a KG, and your BMR is measured in calories.
You should now know your actual BMR. If you are using a smartphone weight loss application, enter this new BMR into the application.
From this point on, there are three very important things to remember:
Be honest with yourself
Calorie deficit equals weight loss
Being honest with yourself can be very difficult, which is why you should keep your weight loss goals to yourself. Guilty people lie. There is no guilt when you lie to yourself, just disappointment. If you’re continually disappointing yourself, you should restate your goals. Goals need to be achievable so that you can mark them off, and know you are making progress.
If you’re failing to record everything, then you can try one of two options: Gamify the process, or use psychological manipulation tactics to forcefully create the new habit. I have a few blog posts about psychological manipulation, and am planning on posting a few more. Gamification is something I have not written about yet, but will in the future.
Weight loss is all about physics. Energy in equals energy out. Energy is neither created nor destroyed, simply transformed. If you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you burn more calories than you consume, then you lose weight. Accurate tracking of burning and consumption of calories translates into predictable movement of the scale needle.