Why You Aren't Losing Weight

I get many letters from frustrated dieters wondering what they are doing wrong with their weight loss program.

They are making a conscious effort to include more fruits and vegetables in their plan; they are being sure they don't eat after 8pm; they are event reducing back on the amount of alcohol they are consuming in hopes this will be what really gets fat loss moving quickly.

But yet, still no weight loss.

What's wrong with this picture?

The problem is likely not one of improper food choices, improper food timing, or dietary adherance, the problem is that they are not counting their calories.

The first thing I'd ask anyone who is struggling with weight loss is if they know how many calories they are taking in.

Often, the answer you get back will fall into one of two groups.

First, they are either someone who has no idea whatsoever.

If this is the case, it's no wonder they haven't lost weight. Unless you have a starting point to work from - an idea of how many calories you're eating each day, you have no way to determine where to move from there.

That calorie intake is what determines whether or not the body turns to fat for fuel. If food is coming in, even in the form of very healthy foods, if it's more than the body needs at any given time, you aren't losing weight.

You must count calories before you complain about not losing weight.

Secondly, the other group of people are those who will tell you they're eating some stupidly low number like 900 calories a day. When this is the case, chances are their metabolism is running at turtle speed or slower and that's why they just aren't losing weight.

When this is the case, they're going to have to go through a process of diet breaks for diet refeeds, following by calculating a more appropriate calorie intake because obviously they are of the 'starve-yourself-to-lose camp'.

It's not a camp you want to be in.

So, before you start complaining that you can't lose weight, ask yourself whether you know exactly how many calories you are eating each day. If you don't, start there, then see how it goes.

Oh, and remember that calories consumed while standing do count, as much as we wish this weren't the case.