We thought we would start with the somewhat obvious answer to your question of “what is limiting my progress”. That answer is food. Now food can be the culprit in a lot of less obvious ways than you can think of.
Culprit #1: Eating 'healthy'
This is one of the most common ways food can be the culprit... “but I eat healthy”. Eating healthy is a great start to your journey but it is not the be-all-end-all. In fact, we have seen so many people start to eat healthy and just gain and gain weight they did not want. Why? Because although healthy food is full of the things your body needs like vitamins and minerals, some of it can be much more calorie dense leading to a much higher caloric surplus than your body needs, in turn leading to weight gain.
The perfect example is people who start eating nuts as a healthy alternative. Nuts, like almonds and cashews, are super healthy. But they also contain 9 calories per gram, more than twice that of their protein and carbohydrate macro-counterparts (which contain 4 calories per gram). So people tend to overindulge in foods like this without realizing how fast these calories can add up. Nevermind in they're salted or seasoned.
Culprit #2: Snacking, not tracking
A chip or two here, a small cookie there, licking the spoon of the peanut butter. These are all classic examples of how small amounts of snacking can sneak calories into your diet causing you to gain weight or stall your progress. We know, tracking can be mindless and annoying but you need to account for everything that goes into your mouth. Lets give you a little example to make this feel more real.
Let’s say you have a total of 10 chips, 1 cookie and you lick that peanut butter knife you used 3 days out of the week. If we add that up, each time you do that would add at least 250 extra calories to your day. If this is done 3 days a week you are putting yourself in a 750 calorie surplus every week. It’s no wonder you are not seeing any results. It is time you either cut the minor snacking out or track it so you can adjust what you eat every day to make sure this type of eating does not stall you from reaching your goals.
Culprit #3: Miscalculating your daily calorie goal
Ok so you are counting your macros and still not losing weight. Things that may be going wrong:
1. You have your caloric goal set too high. Obviously if you are eating more than your body needs you will simply put on weight.
2. You have your caloric goal set way to low. We know we always say a caloric deficit is the road to weight loss, but not if its too low and for too long. Over time this causes your body to stop wanting to let go of your fat. Do not just blindly use the calories My Fitness Pal sets for you when you sign up. Use a proper macro calculator like ours (click the image to the right to check it out) to find your appropriate macro split.
3. You're simply eating more junk than you should be on a macro diet. When counting macros the idea is to eat 80% whole foods and 20% of the things you love. Now, will you still lose weight if you eat more junk but still hit your macros? Yes. However, the more crap you eat the more likely this could be leading to inflammation and lack of much needed micronutrients. This could lead to you not seeing the results you want. If your body is not getting the things it needs from foods to function properly it will not be as inclined to drop the weight. Think of your body as a machine. If you give it too many processes to do at once, it will do each process less efficiently and will put the more important processes first. So if you are eating a ton of crap leading to inflammation, your body will first want to fight that inflammation. Weight loss will be far down the list of processes at this time.
There you have it. Food is always going to be the number one thing leading to stalled progress. Do you feel you have all of these food culprits under wraps but still are not seeing the progress you want? Tune in next week when we discuss how sleep can affect your progress.