If a diet doesn't work, what then

13 reasons why you shouldn't lose weight despite a calorie deficit!

13 reasons why nothing is happening on the scales despite a calorie deficit!

Losing weight is actually very easy. Eating more exercise and fewer calories will reduce your body weight. However, frustration often spreads in the first few weeks of diet. We explain why nothing happens on the scales and why you do not lose weight despite your calorie deficit.

When am I in a calorie deficit?

Our energy balance results from the food we eat and the energy our body uses to maintain organ functions and to be active in sports. she is the one Equation of calories in and calories burned - and thus determines whether we gain or lose weight. When we consume fewer calories than our bodies use for physical activities and the supply of organs, we are in Calorie deficit. Basically, a calorie deficit is necessary to lose weight because the weekly energy balance decides on weight gain, weight loss or stagnation.

How high should the calorie deficit be for weight loss?

You can use a calorie calculator to determine how high your daily calorie requirement is. This varies greatly from person to person and depends on gender, age, body size, muscle mass, body fat percentage as well as the intensity and duration of your daily exercise. If your weight has stayed the same for months or even years, you are in a balanced energy balance. If you want to lose weight, you should get your reduce daily calorie intake by 250 to 500 calories.

Important: A calorie deficit of more than 500 kcal is not recommended, as it switches on the hunger metabolism and suggests a famine to your body, which it tries to fight with fat deposits. An extreme calorie deficit is counterproductive and prevents you from losing weight, as it causes physical and emotional stress and cannot be sustained in the long term.

Also interesting: 50 foods below 100 calories >>

13 reasons why you shouldn't lose weight despite a calorie deficit - and tips against it!

The decision has been made and you are highly motivated to change your diet, exercise regularly or do sports and lose some weight in the process. The first days and weeks are going great and you get the feeling that you can step on the scales again. But then the shock: increased! How can that be? The following reasons could prevent your body weight from changing.

1. Water retention

It is not always because of the fat if it does not work out with weight loss: poor or insufficient sleep, stress, salty food, foods rich in carbohydrates, insufficient fluid intake, as well as endurance and weight training can lead to water retention. This water is deposited in the gaps between the cells and causes us, for example, to look puffy in the morning or to have heavy legs in the evening.

Tip: Drink enough fluids daily to prevent water retention. This may seem paradoxical, but the body stores more water when we drink little to protect itself from a period of thirst. It should be at least two liters per day, and even more during exercise and on hot days.

Also exciting: Weight gain from medication - you should know that! >>

2. Hormone fluctuations

Women are more affected by hormone fluctuations due to the cycle than men. In the first half of the cycle, if that estrogen When the period starts to rise again and reaches its peak after about 14 days, very few have to struggle with water retention. In the second half, however, it increases progesterone which water stores in the body. This process is completely natural and cannot be influenced. This can result in fluctuations of up to four or five kilos.

Tip: Therefore, compare the weighing results of the individual Cycle weeks with each other, so week one with five, two with six, three with seven and four with eight.

Also interesting: That's why we put on weight during our period and that helps against it >>

3. Wrong weighing

Weighing after using the toilet for the first time, early in the morning, sometimes at noon or with clothes on, can have a negative impact on the result. Since your body weight fluctuates by several kilos every day, you should specify a time of day and, preferably, also the time when you weigh yourself. It is ideal to weigh in immediately after getting up and using the toilet for the first time, naked or in underwear.

Also look at the time. If you weigh yourself at 7 a.m. on workdays, the result at 10 a.m. on the weekend may be incorrect. Good body fat scales are now available for little money: either as 4-point scales with measuring points on the hands or as normal floor scales. Weigh yourself daily and at the end of the week calculate that average. You can compare this with each subsequent week and thus get a better overview. In addition to body weight, you should also consider other parameters: You can easily calculate your BMI yourself (body weight / (body height x body height)) or with a BMI calculator.

Tip: Also the waist circumference and the ratio of Waist circumference to Hip circumference are meaningful parameters when losing weight.

Helpful for this: The BMI is out of date - these methods are better >>

4. Too much stress

The hormone Cortisol is released more in the diet, as a diet always means stress for the body. In order not to get into a vicious circle, make sure that you provide your body with enough energy in everyday life, that you have a balanced diet and cover all nutrients, that you get enough sleep and that you take small breaks to cope with stress. The stress hormone cortisol ensures, for example, that you store water or get cravings and thereby lose the deficit.

Tip:Here you will find an interesting guide on the subject of "emotional eating" >>

5. Too high expectations of the calorie deficit

In order to lose one kilo of pure fat mass, you need to save 7000 calories. With a daily calorie deficit of 500 kcal, that's 3500 calories per week and "only" 500 grams less on the scales. Although the amount is already enormous, for many it is not going fast enough. However, depending on the initial weight, 0.5 to 1 kilo weight loss per week is ideal for following the diet, avoiding cravings, not slipping into malnutrition and, above all, maintaining the weight later.

Tip: Remember how long it took to gain your current weight. Accordingly, losing weight also takes time. Body fat can persistent but it will degrade sooner or later if you remain just as persistent.

Also interesting: only 500 kcal a day - that happens to your body! >>

6. Too little sleep and regeneration

During a diet, sleep is essential. At night, the body regenerates, repairs muscles, skin and cells, the stress level is lowered and the immune system is strengthened. Getting enough sleep increases the satiety hormone leptin and lowers the hunger hormone ghrelin. In addition, a sleep deficit lowers your basal metabolic rate because the body switches to economy mode. Therefore, sleep at least seven hours or more and rest regularly to prevent or combat obesity.

Tip: A poor sleep can disrupt the metabolism, cause cravings and make obesity more likely. Make yourself Evening ritualse.g. turn off all devices at 11 p.m. and meditate for 10 minutes to improve your sleep immediately.

Here we will tell you the optimal length of sleep for your age >>

7. Gut contents, carbohydrates and salt

In the evening there was pasta baked with cheese, after all, despite dieting, you can eat anything. The calorie deficit is correct and you have a good feeling for the weigh-in the next morning. But suddenly the scales show two kilos more. How can it be that you didn't lose weight, but gained weight? It's very easy:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrates binds 4 grams of water
  • 1 g salt binds about 80 to 100 milliliters of water

So that's the portion in the evening high in carbohydrates and salt, consider storing water overnight. The portion sizes in your diet also play a role. If you eat a meal that weighs 500 grams, you will see 500 grams more on the scales shortly afterwards. The intestinal contents therefore play a decisive role. Rely on fiber. They promote digestion and ensure regular and smooth emptying of the bowels.

Tip: Reduce your salt intake by never adding salt to the cooking water, but rather the finished dish first Herbs, othersspices and refine with salt at the very end if necessary!

8. Gain weight by building muscle

Especially for those new to exercise, the number on the scales can be frustrating. Although the body is breaking down fat, nothing happens on the scales or even a small amount of weight gain is experienced. The reasons for this are simple: muscle building and muscle soreness.

Muscle building ensures stagnant weight
Are you losing size, clothes fit better, but the number on the scales stays the same even after several weeks? Muscles can be the reason. Sports beginners build up muscles particularly quickly at the beginning, so that the weight likes to stay the same. You will also notice a gain in muscle when you can increase the weights during training or do more repetitions. You should therefore also measure the circumference of your body such as stomach, waist, legs, buttocks and hips so that you can compare better. Photos also help.

Consistent weight due to sore muscles
An intense workout can lead to micro-tears in the muscles. These micro-injuries concentrate water, which makes the muscle appear plump. The swelling and the small cracks lead to pain, which manifests itself as sore muscles. The stored water in this case leads to stagnant weight. After a few days, the sore muscles and with it the water will disappear again.

Tip: Loose movement, e.g. walking or cycling, promotes regeneration and helps against sore muscles.

Also interesting: can you build muscle and lose fat at the same time? >>

9. Incorrect calorie deficit

The most common reason you fail to lose weight is because you are not calculating your calorie deficit correctly. It is best to use a calorie calculator for this. With this you can find out your daily calorie requirement based on age, weight, height and range of motion. For healthy, long-term weight loss success, you should have a daily calorie deficit of between 300 and 500 calories. The best way to achieve this is with a high-volume, but low-calorie diet that includes a lot of vegetables and fruits.

Important: If you lose weight over time, you will need to adjust your calorie deficit to match your new body weight!

Would you like to eat sugar-free? This guide will help you! >>

Photo gallery: 7 foods that burn more calories than they contain

10. You have the wrong breakfast

The myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that one should eat breakfast "like an emperor" has already been scientifically refuted many times. Intermittent fasting, i.e. skipping breakfast or dinner, is a great way to lose weight and has other health benefits. If you are not hungry in the morning and have to "force yourself in" for breakfast, you should by no means do so. Because you could be one of the 20 percent who have high levels of insulin in the morning - a hormone that stimulates fat storage. If you still have breakfast in the morning, you store more fat than the calories would suggest! Better to skip breakfast, it activates your body's own cell cleansing program - the so-called autophagy.

Tip: If you enjoy breakfast and need lots of energy in the mornings, watch your ingredients. Sugary corn flakes or white flour rolls with nut nougat cream are counterproductive as they do not satiate you in the long term and cause a steep rise in blood sugar. This leads to a strong release of insulin with a rapid drop in blood sugar - the reason for tiredness and low concentration after a meal. Whole grain products such as oatmeal are much more suitable, e.g. as muesli, oatmeal or porridge. These keep you full for a long time and can be spiced up with fresh fruit.

Porridge even led to so-called "negative calories" in many scientific studies. The subjects were so full of breakfast oatmeal that they overcame lunch 400 fewer calories ate than usual, thereby saving more calories than they had consumed with the porridge. In these cases, breakfast was more effective than nothing to eat!
Book tip:The doctor and bestselling author Dr. Michael Greger in his nutrition guide "How Not to Diet". Recommended for everyone who is interested in health, nutrition and weight loss!

11. You ignore natural fat killers

Regardless of your calorie intake, a few ingredients can help you burn fat naturally and with no side effects. For example, certain ingredients in vinegar, paprika, green tea or chilli promote fat oxidation in the mitochondria of your cells. In this way, you can boost your metabolism through diet and automatically lose fat without having to increase your calorie deficit further.

Tip:Incorporate the following ingredients into your daily diet according to your taste and you will lose body fat without an additional calorie deficit: Fat burners - these 7 foods stimulate your metabolism >>

12. You ignore natural fat blockers

Just as some foods actively stimulate fat burning, there are also foods that hinder the absorption of fat in the small intestine. As a result, fewer fatty acids are absorbed and therefore fewer calories are ingested. There are tablets that work by the same mechanism, but these mostly have undesirable side effects and are highly controversial. Rather, incorporate natural fat blockers into your diet. The best fat blocker is actually darkgreen leafy vegetables. How come

Kale, leaf kale or rocket contain so-called Thylakoids. These are secondary plant substances that stay in our small intestine for hours after consumption. There they bind to the Lipase - the enzyme our body uses to digest and absorb fat - and paralyze it. According to researchers, thylakoids are therefore natural fat blockers.

Tip: Include at least one kind of green leafy vegetable in your diet every day in order to store less fat, e.g. with a spicy rocket salad or an exotic kale curry.

Also interesting: Lose belly fat - can you lose weight specifically on your stomach? >>

13. You are overlooking hidden calories

Just as mistakes can happen when calculating your daily caloric needs, so can mistakes when estimating the caloric content of foods. When losing weight, many overlook the fact that supposedly healthy products that are advertised in the supermarket as "low in calories", "low in fat" or with "less sugar" have significantly more kilocalories (kcal) than expected. The classic foods that prevent people from losing weight include ready-made foods Fruit yoghurts, muesli bars, muesli mixes and milk coffees.

Tip: Manufacturers often change the composition of their products and add sugar or fat in some places to improve the taste. You should therefore regularly check the calorie tables of those foods that are on your daily or weekly menu.

Video: How to Spot Hidden Calories

Editor's note: This article contains, among other things, product recommendations. When selecting the products, we are free from the influence of third parties. For a mediation via our affiliate links, we receive a commission from the relevant service provider / online shop, with the help of which we can continue to offer independent journalism.