If you're consuming too few calories your body essentially goes into starvation mode and receives the message that it needs to protect itself. This means holding onto weight for protection's sake. The body perceives reduced calorie intake as a stressor.
At the most basic level, not reaching your weight loss goal can occur when calorie intake is equal to or higher than calorie use. Try strategies such as mindful eating, keeping a food diary, eating more protein, and doing strength exercises.
Not eating enough calories every day also causes you to lose muscle tissue. This loss of muscle weight may cause you to think your diet is "working," but the loss of muscle tissue slows down your metabolism, soon stunting your ability to lose weight.
The causes range from thyroid malfunction to hormone imbalance, sleep deprivation to food intolerances or digestive imbalance, and more. Because there are many potential sources of the problem, there isn't a one-size-fits-all treatment that works for all weight loss resistant individuals.
Many factors can contribute to unintentional weight gain. Poor sleep, sedentary activities, and eating too many processed or sugary foods are just some of the habits that may increase your risk of weight gain.
You will not gain weight from eating too few calories.
There are many reasons why it can seem like under-eating can lead to weight gain. But, science has shown over and over again that this isn't physiologically possible.
If you're a man, woman weighing over 164 pounds or a female who regularly exercises and you aren't losing weight eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories daily, it may be time to see a doctor. Hormone imbalances – such as underactive thyroid – can decrease your body's metabolism and inhibit or prevent weight loss from occurring.
Glycogen or sugar that your muscle cells convert to glucose is the energy source for your muscles. When you exercise regularly, your body stores more glycogen to fuel that exercise. Stored in water, glycogen has to bind with water as part of the process to fuel the muscle. That water adds a small amount of weight, too.
When the scale doesn't move, you are losing body fat while gaining muscle. Your weight may stay the same, even as you lose inches, a sign that you're moving in the right direction.
Hormonal weight gain affects different areas in men and women. Men tend to gain excess weight in the abdominal area. However, premenopausal women add pounds around the hips and thighs. After menopause, women usually gain weight in the abdomen and develop a "menopausal belly."
Vitamin D is actually a hormone that communicates with your other hormones, making it especially essential to help balance hormones. So, ensure you're getting enough vitamin D2 and D3 to ease and prevent hormonal fluctuations.
Generally to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular physical activity. Depending on your weight, 5% of your current weight may be a realistic goal, at least for an initial goal.
Following this, you'll have established a different set point and your body will respond like that's the 'new normal', which means you can begin losing weight again if you want or need to. A plateau can last anywhere between eight to twelve weeks, but it also varies on an individual level.
If you've been consistently eating 1,200 calories and working out for at least a month, you may be trading fat for a bit of muscle weight. Check how your clothes fit -- you may notice that despite the lack of change on the scale, the waistband is looser and pant legs fit less snugly.
Any extra water being held in the body is referred to as “water weight.” When water builds up in the body, it can cause bloating and puffiness, especially in the abdomen, legs, and arms. Water levels can make a person's weight fluctuate by as much as 2 to 4 pounds in a single day.
Weight gain caused by fat happens gradually when you consume more calories than you burn off. If the weight is mostly around your tummy, ankles and fingers, the chances are, it's down to water retention.