We all witness the initial water weight loss that comes from dieting... it's so cool to drop 5-10lbs in one week when we start.
And then, it slows down... it even stops.
Some people get disheartened from this and believe that it's in their genetics... that the diet didn't work... that no matter what they do, it's useless.
I've been there.
In this post, let's talk about why fat loss is never consistent... and solutions that will aid you in dealing with these challenges.
When I first started exercising as an overweight teenager, I did not see any weight drop until over three months later, I started dropping pounds constantly.
Within five months, I dropped 40lbs... and for the first time in years, I felt healthier, happier, and more confident.
I never really thought about it at the time, because I was excited that months of hard work eventually appeared on my body... something that was brewing within my body.
Years later, I would get so interested in this because I had an obsession with bodybuilding. I would go through constant mass gain and fat loss phases to build muscle and shed the fat I acquired from building that muscle.
In fact, there were times when I was fat loss dieting that I would randomly expect a five-pound drop after a month or so after not losing a single pound.
Doing it so many times allowed me to dive into the fat loss processes and realize that the random weight drop I experienced when I was overweight was a natural process.
Let's talk about this inconsistency.
Just like muscle and strength growth can come weeks after the stimulus, fat loss works similarly. To give you a personal example, sometimes when I finished dieting, fat loss would continue slightly after as well, even though I ate more.
This inconsistency is a result of water retention and hormonal responses. When restricting calories, water retention is more common due to elevated stress levels.
Women have more inconsistencies as water retention fluctuates throughout their hormonal periods.
In addition, our appetite regulators significantly change as well: Leptin (appetite suppressor) is decreased, while Ghrelin (hunger elevator) is increased. While they both challenge us while dieting, leptin is a big cause of our fat loss inconsistencies.
Leptin is a hormone that is primarily released from fat cells. It does MANY things, but we are going to talk about it in regards to dieting.
Leptin influences your appetite, in that it helps with satiety or fullness. It tells our body we have enough food, so we can stop eating. When dieting, lowered levels of leptin makes you less satisfied or full.
Lower levels of leptin and high stress are a result of water retention and why fat loss is consistent.
Leptin also promotes fat oxidation (burning fat), whereas fat loss dieting reduces leptin levels. Your body will do this to slow down significant fat loss.
So how do we bring up those leptin levels? I would like to note that carbohydrate overfeeding improves leptin levels drastically. Knowing this, we can create solutions while dieting to bring up our leptin levels.
Let's look at the bodybuilders with this one. Bodybuilders are pretty decent dieters (most of the time). Their solution encourages carbohydrate refeeds and diet breaks. In fact, there have been several scenarios where I have taken refeeds or diet breaks, and my fat loss accelerated as a result.
Let's talk about a few of these strategies in the next section.
In this section, we are going to discuss two strategies that can help with fat loss - physically AND mentally. Before reading these strategies, consider the following: How long have you been dieting?
If you've been dieting for a long period of time without implementing refeeds or diet breaks, it's time to read up and implement these ASAP.
If you are just getting started, consider reading the following strategies, and be prepared to implement them.
Refeed days focus on increasing your calories by eating more carbohydrates, thereby improving leptin. Carbohydrate consumption (refeeds) also helps replenish glycogen stores and help reduce cortisol (stress levels) due to long periods of dieting.
This is done with the following steps:
Carbohydrate refeeds are usually implemented 1-2x per week (depending on how deep you are in the diet).
You may feel hotter or sweatier when doing this. You might feel more lethargic that day. Remember that this is a leptin replenishment strategy, and it may help accelerate your goals.
After 8-12 weeks of dieting, sometimes you are so exhausted that you need a diet break... and that's entirely ok!
A diet break is simply a break from dieting for 1-2 weeks, and then you will get immediately back on track. This strategy has been helpful for me and others over the course of months of dieting.
As you know you're going to immediately get back on track, you won't disrespect your dieting progress by gorging on foods.
Understand that fat loss isn't consistent... sometimes, there isn't anything really wrong with your diet. You may just need to be patient and more creative by implementing some calorie-increasing strategies.
As you can see here, fat loss can sometimes improve by having a brief period of an increase in calories.
If you haven't implemented any of these things while dieting, now is the time to do so. When you do, let me know how it goes!
Any other questions or comments? Throw them below, or email me at email@example.com.
Until next time, Reforged Legion!
One of the most difficult things to implement is a diet or exercise regiment. According to one study, more than 50% of people will drop out of their exercise program within 6 months. Most of the time, this is a result of our exercise program not meeting expectations. Our hesitations typically come from ourselves - and it's never always one reason.
There are typically multiple reasons as to why we drop out of our exercise and nutrition regiments.
In this post, we are going to go over the five barriers that hold most of us back from fitness.
Let's dive in!
I've tried Intermittent Fasting, Ketogenic, and low-carb diets way before they were cool. To be honest, most of these methods were never sustainable for me in the long-term: I would eventually always stop them. Being that I grew up with a family whose meals were Mediterranean-styled, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbs were always a part of my life.
Sometimes, having trouble eliminating food groups in diets is not because of willpower or discipline... it's because of adherence. To us, adherence is the most important thing in a diet, as it eventually breeds discipline and consistency.
It was not until I incorporated Flexible Dieting that my entire lifestyle changed for the better.
In this post, we will explore the Flexible Dieting system in its entirety. It's a system I have used through quite a few successful fat loss and muscle gain phases since 2013.