Transformed: Week 9, Day 61 - Pull/Challenge Workout
Does weight loss get harder as you get leaner? This is a question we hear all the time. The short answer is yes, but of course, the short answer doesn't say it all.
Speed of weight loss
So you're nine weeks in, and the scale is beginning to slow, despite your consistent efforts. That's the sight of your body actually working against you. This has been programmed in our bodies for centuries as an adaptation to survive. Our ancestors often went days without food. They survived because their bodies were able to adapt and conserve energy in the form of fat for an extended period of time. Without this ability, we probably would have died off long ago.
Assuming your nutrition plan has been on point, you probably noticed a steady drop in weight the first few weeks because you created a calorie deficit, meaning you were taking in fewer calories than you were burning. However, once you begin working at a new caloric level, your body adapted. That new calorie low ultimately becomes your new maintenance level.
Remember that fat is the ultimate fuel source. It contains more than twice as many calories as protein and carbohydrates, and we store much more fat than we do the other two nutrients. The longer you diet, the harder it becomes to get rid of that stubborn fat, because your body works overtime to conserve it.
This process becomes more pronounced the leaner you get. But unless you've gotten pretty lean—like, at or near 10 percent body fat for men, and 18-20 percent for women—the solution is probably just to stay the course.
- Keep working hard and crushing your workouts. Don't try to cut calories dramatically or quickly to "reinvigorate" the progress. Your body will only respond by further slowing down your metabolism, and your workout quality will suffer.
- Make sure you're getting a healthy balance of protein, fat, and carbs in your diet. Going too low on any of these three isn't going to help rectify the situation.
- Don't let the scale boss you around. Use progress pictures, your mirror appearance, workout performance, and the way your clothes fit to gauge progress as well as the number between your feet. Keep it up, and the scale will catch up!
Here are a few of articles to help you further understand the problems that accompany weight loss as you get leaner.
What happens in your body when you cut calories and boost your training? You may think you know, but the truth might surprise you! Dr. Layne Norton is here to pull back the curtain on the real cause of yo-yo dieting.Go Now
Stuck in a weight-loss rut, but tracking macros isn't your thing? Include these 4 strategies to keep the weight falling off without lugging the scale around!Go Now
Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that have a huge impact on your hunger levels and weight-loss success. Learn more about these hunger hormones and take control of your appetite!Go Now
Circuit 1: 4 rounds
Circuit 2: 4 rounds
Circuit 3: 4 rounds
Circuit 4: 4 rounds
* Ratings as of article's date of publication