Exercising harder and more often, yet still not losing weight?

When it comes to weight loss, it is actually more simple than it seems. If your experience so far has been the opposite.. That is not surprising. There are endless companies, brands and publications who stand to gain from making you believe that it is difficult, confusing and complicated.

To understand weight loss, you need to understand energy balance.

Energy in and energy out.

To lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit. You need to expend more than you take in.

To achieve this you can manage either or both sides of this equation.

Simple, but let’s see how it plays out in reality.

There are a few common ways that people approach this equation and then fail again and again at sustainable weight loss.

#1 Focussing aggressively on “energy out”

These are the people who complete very high intensity workouts or long endurance workouts every day.

The obvious problem here is..

When you go really hard or really long.

You get really hungry.

In your ravenous post workout state, it is almost impossible to not overeat. It doesn’t matter if you choose really high quality foods. If you overeat, you will not be achieving your goal of affecting the energy balance equation.

You will not be in a caloric deficit.

So you keep trying. When you realise it’s not working.

You blame yourself.

You go harder and longer.

See the problem?

We have seen this happen time and time again & it is a problem particularly in many CrossFit gyms. A sensible amount of training is never appealing to this group of high achievers. They believe they need more volume, they crave the muscle soreness, the feeling of being smashed. It’s the only feedback they recognise from their body that they have worked hard enough.

The problem is that with this really high amount of volume, it is really difficult to achieve that caloric deficit and therefore it is tricky to affect body weight using this extreme approach.

If you have been trying to lose weight exercising aggressively, our advice is to try a mix of strength training, low intensity work and only some high intensity or endurance training.

#2 Focussing aggressively on “energy in”

Restricting your calories too aggressively is also a recipe for disaster.

Almost anyone can manage it for a very short period of time and then their body fights back with an unstoppable appetite.

The body always wins, but it can leave you feeling like a failure for not adhering to a really restrictive diet.

Not only that, but people who restrict heavily can also develop a really poor relationship with food. Believing certain foods are good or bad and putting themselves at risk of disordered eating.

Most people who attempt to follow these approaches do so not because they want to and it works for them. But because they truly believe this is the only way.

It is not.

In our years of working with clients on different goals across many different training disciplines, what we have learnt is.

A modest and incremental approach is the one that works every time.

It is kinder on the mind and body.

It always gets better results.

The results can be maintained for the long term.

At Dalecki Strength we encourage everyone who is seeking to make a change, to focus on positive habit change.

Habit change and any type of weight loss intervention should be individually prescribed. Every person has different needs, limiting factors and are at a different place in the health and fitness journey.

Would you be interested in hearing more from a dietician?

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