Five Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight in Deficit - Dubai Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach Abhinav Malhotra AbhiFit

Five Reasons You Are Not Losing Fat In Deficit

The only method to lose fat is through negative energy balance, which is triggered by a caloric deficit and occurs when the body switches from external sources of energy (food) to internal sources of energy (stored body fat). One cannot lose fat without being in a caloric deficit.

If you are not losing fat then you are not in a deficit. To lose fat, one needs to consume less energy than burn every day. It’s the law of thermodynamics, and which applies to all of us.

If you believe that you’re in a deficit and yet not losing fat then understand what can be the reasons and how to fix this.

Do not binge eat - Five reasons you are not losing weight in deficit - Dubai Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach Abhinav Malhotra AbhiFit

Reason One

Binge eating on weekends.

You are consistent during the week, and then on the weekend you eat large amounts of food, often much more than your body needs.

The study, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, suggests that yo-yo dieting – eating well during the week and bingeing on food on the weekend – is just as bad for your weight gain as a consistently overeating diet.

You remain motivated throughout the week to lose fat and so you maintain a healthy diet and follow your workout schedule for the week. Then comes Friday and you go out for dinner and drinks with friends. You think that you’ll have healthier food and just one drink, however, you end up having several drinks and lots of high-calorie food and then continue doing this during the weekend.

Calories count on weekends just as much as they count during the week, and a few untracked days of eating can easily pull you out of a deficit or even put you in a surplus. To lose weight, your net caloric intake must be lower than your net energy expenditure.

The Remedy

Maintain consistency throughout the week. Set realistic goals for yourself. If you want to reduce weight, you don’t have to give up your social life or never eat what you like. Consider calorie cycling or having one maintenance day each week instead.

See how weekend binges can destroy fat loss efforts and my guidelines for eating out ­­­

Track calorie intake correctly using MyFitnessPal App - Five reasons you are not losing weight in deficit - Dubai Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach Abhinav Malhotra AbhiFit

Reason Two

Inaccurate tracking.

Proper tracking requires proper methods and which come with effort. MyFitnessPal is a popular app to track macronutrient and calorie intake, however, the data entered needs to be accurate. Make sure that the data you enter doesn’t leave any significant margin of error for each entry. You should weigh and track the food items either raw or cooked but don’t mix them to avoid problems.

For instance, a raw chicken breast say X grams after cooking will weigh less say Y grams (chicken loses water during cooking). If you’ll record it as ‘chicken breast Y grams raw’ then you’ve possibly reduced many tens of grams from the quantity you actually ate, and as a result, you’ve consumed more calories than you tracked. Heating will cause the chicken to lose fluid weight, however, not calorie or macronutrient breakdown, and this will be a reason for inaccurate counting of calories consumed.

The Remedy

Log food that don’t have a label such as meat and produce. In MyFitnessPal, you can search for such food by name and log them. You can scan the barcodes on packaged goods and compare them to the labels. Pick whether you want to track your food cooked or raw. To reduce marginal errors, be consistent with tracking approach. To learn how to use MyFitnessPal, see

Track the small stuff - Five reasons you are not losing weight in deficit - Dubai Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach Abhinav Malhotra AbhiFit

Reason Three

Not tracking the small stuff.

The number of nibbles, licks, and drinks you take in a day add up! Especially when it comes from foods with a high calorie per 100g value (peanut butter etc.). If you’re going to monitor something, track it all the way down to the bites, licks, and drinks.

The Remedy

Keep thoughtless munching to a minimum. When snacking is done intentionally, it isn’t considered ‘bad,’ but unintentional snacking causes many people to ruin their fat loss efforts. While tracking the small stuff, you should also look at my article on nutrition label catchphrases and deception

Do not overestimate TDEE - Five reasons you are not losing weight in deficit - Dubai Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach Abhinav Malhotra AbhiFit

Reason Four

Overestimating TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure).

A TDEE calculator can only give a rough estimate. The TDEE does not take into consideration one’s specific metabolic needs like mitochondrial efficiency, thyroid hormones, NEAT levels, and so on. Hence don’t seek the “ideal” TDEE.

The Remedy

Calculate your TDEE using After a few weeks on those calories, check how is your body changing. Don’t make any changes for at least 2-3 weeks and check if you are losing weight on a regular basis or if you are seeing a decrease in your measurements. If you’re achieving your goals then that’s good, however, if you’re not then it’s possible that your TDEE is less than what you had initially calculated given that you’ve been consistent with your calorie intake.

Do not overestimate activity levels - Five reasons you are not losing weight in deficit - Dubai Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach Abhinav Malhotra AbhiFit

Reason Five

Overestimating daily activity levels.

People substantially underestimate their daily calorie consumption & overestimate their level of physical activity.

The Remedy

Avoid calculating how many calories you burn throughout your workout when determining your daily activity level. Resistance exercise burns less calories overall than one would assume. Instead, consider how physically active you are during the day. Does your work require a lot of physical effort? Do you work a desk job or something similar? A major influence on how active you are throughout the day is your employment and overall lifestyle. If you’re unsure it’s better to underestimate your daily activity levels.

You can read my many articles related to nutrition on through which you will get a wide variety of information to achieve your fat loss goals.

Please contact me to learn what I and my team AbhiFit can do for you through nutrition and personal training services. We train kids, teens, adults, elders, athletes and models in Dubai and online across the UAE and around the world. We help our clients achieve their fat loss, weight loss, muscle gain, strength gain, rehab, figure / physique transformation & healthy living goals.

Many female and male clients including kids, teens, adults and elderly people have greatly benefited from Abhinav’s strong experience as the best personal trainer and nutritionist in Dubai, UAE. You can see some of our client transformations here.

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Calories in drinks Source.

About Author

Abhinav Malhotra

Abhinav Malhotra is an award-winning personal trainer, coach and sports nutritionist in Dubai, UAE. He also offers online services to clients around the world. A personal trainer par excellence, Abhi has worked with the world’s leading fitness chains, supplement brands and founded his own fitness academy in India. He has achieved successes for many clients from all backgrounds and has trained the Indian Army Rugby Team. He is the first International Kettlebell Sport athlete from India.

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