Your slower metabolism will slow your weight loss, even if you eat the same number of calories that helped you lose weight. When the calories you burn equal the calories you eat, you reach a plateau. To lose more weight, you need to either increase your physical activity or decrease the calories you eat.
Muscle is denser than fat.
While one pound of fat weighs the same as one pound of muscle, muscle occupies about 18 percent less space. In addition, muscle burns calories while fat stores them. So, if your weight isn't decreasing but your clothes are starting to fit more loosely, you may be building muscle.
Gradual weight loss, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a loss of 1–2 pounds per week, or eating 500–1,000 fewer calories per day.
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.
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.
Most people begin to see weight loss results in 3-4 weeks. If you're not losing weight in a calorie deficit you may need to adjust your stress levels, diet, and sleep patterns. Other reasons for weight gain during a calorie deficit are hormonal changes, aging, and other health conditions.
Lummus says that when your body goes into starvation mode, your metabolism slows to a crawl, burning calories as slowly as possible to conserve its energy stores. This is why people who cut their calories too much may reach a plateau and stop losing weight.
In terms of how your body looks, “it usually takes 4 weeks for your friends to notice weight loss, and 6–8 weeks for you to notice,” says Ramsey Bergeron, a certified personal trainer. “Your friends who don't see you every day are much more likely to see a change than someone you're around all the time,” he adds.
Being less active, losing muscle mass and the aging of your internal components all contribute to a sluggish metabolism. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to fight aging from slowing down your metabolism.
Behaviour and obesity hormones
Various studies have shown that a person's blood leptin level drops after a low-kilojoule diet. Lower leptin levels may increase a person's appetite and slow down their metabolism. This may help to explain why crash dieters usually regain their lost weight.
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.
You can't lose weight on 1200 calories a day because you're no longer in a calorie deficit. Your body has adapted to what it's been doing and plateaued. If you start your diet with a 500 calorie deficit per day, your body adapts to this in various way so that over time your energy requirements are reduced.
The diet doesn't have enough calories
Eating too little — say, 1,000 calories a day — can prevent you from losing weight, too. "When you don't eat enough, your body is starving and it's not going to lose any extra weight" because it needs those energy stores to keep you alive, Fakhoury said.
This inability to lose weight is known as a weight loss plateau or stall, and it can be frustrating and discouraging. However, several strategies may help you begin to lose weight again.
Mostly, losing weight is an internal process. You will first lose hard fat that surrounds your organs like liver, kidneys and then you will start to lose soft fat like waistline and thigh fat. The fat loss from around the organs makes you leaner and stronger.
Body-weight loss is usually noticed around the belly, waistline, and thighs first. This is because your body stores fat in different locations. For instance, men hold more fat around their belly, while women store it on their thighs and hips. Weight loss gradually starts with a reduction in belly size.