Not Eating Enough to Lose Weight Topic

Hi! I sometimes seem to go weeks without losing any weight even when I am eating well below my caloric allowance. Is it because my body thinks I?m starving so it?s holding onto fat?

Hi U1186254384- You pose an important and common question! There are several factors that can contribute to a weight stall. Several factors and not one main answer can lead to frustration for sure! First off, how much weight have you lost and how much do you have left to lose? The reason I ask is because the last "10 pounds" are the hardest to lose. Perhaps you have already lost a lot of weight and as you get closer to your goal weight, the weight loss has slowed down. To really address your question and common causes for a weight stall please consider checking out this article. I really like this article because it addresses the top reasons why weight loss has stopped.
Let us know how you are doing next week! Best, Joanna (Dietician)

Thanks, but I already read this article and it doesn?t list under-eating as a cause of a stall. Is it true that your body can go into starvation mode and hold onto fat?

Hi U1186254384-That's awesome you are up to speed on our blog and articles!
It is quite rare that someone will be under eating as reason they have hit a weight loss plateau. If you were eating very low calories for days on end this could happen, though in clinical practice I have not seen it occur. Thus we at MND suggest, in order to meet your micro and macronutrient needs as well as have enough energy to complete moderate planned activity each day, we suggest members do not dip consistently below 1200 calories a day and 60g of protein. Hope this helps! Best, Joanna (Dietician)

Thank you! I?m a 46 year old female height 5?6? weighing 118 and my goal is 108. I?m small framed so although based on my height you may think I?m at a healthy weight, my clothes don?t fit well and I don?t feel good at this weight. Before I had kids I was always around 105, so 108 is a reasonable concession for me. In my case I need to eat around 1250 a day to lose the weight but I often eat closer to 800 or 900. It can take weeks for me to lose 1 pound, so I thought maybe it was due to low caloric intake.

Hello U1186254384,

Thanks for providing that detail. It can become more difficult to achieve the weight we used to be at "pre-kids", especially with the extra weight that likes to change around the mid-section. Both women and men struggle with weight changes as we go through the life cycle (me included).

As a clinician, the concern I have is that 800-900 calories per day is not enough to obtain vitamin and mineral needs to maintain health. The risk is gradual loss of muscle mass, bone mass, and putting oneself at risk of micronutrient deficiencies, such as iron, vit B12, folic acid, etc. People who do this may achieve their weight goal, but at a health cost that can result in not feeling well, with loss of energy and having other health issues.

Sometimes re-evaluating our weight goal is important. (I know, easier said than done, right?) Is a slightly higher weight reasonable to both be healthy, fit, and have good energy? Just a thought.

You are not alone. I will never forget when I took my two teen kids for their wellness visit. They had both grown 4-5 inches over the summer. That same week, I went to my wellness check and found myself arguing with the nurse that I was 5'7", not 5' 5 1/2" that she measured. My kids had grown and I had lost height. I found myself looking up to hug my son. What a shocker!

Also, many people find that re-evaluating their exercise routine to incorporate a blend of cardio, strength, and core exercise is useful to help maintain fitness.

Hope this helps!

Best of health to you! Brenda (Consulting Dietitian with MyNetDiary)

Not Eating Enough to Lose Weight