Q: So I’ve been on a calorie deficit for months now, and I feel like I need to drop it down some more because my weight won’t budge. What do you think?
A: What inevitably happens through the course of any calorie restricted diet is the reduction in your daily energy expenditure (how many calories you burn). Past a certain point, and this is largely contextual, you become less responsive toward actively losing weight. It’s only natural for your body to adapt that way the further along you’re in a diet. You can’t be in a calorie deficit forever.
Needless to say, there are strategies to attenuate the drop in your energy expenditure, but in the interest of keeping things simple, this is exactly why you should never stop strength training.
Equally important, too, is getting in sufficient protein. Both are vital as packing on muscle plays a significant role in your metabolic rate.
Q: Several of my friends are on the ketogenic diet, and they lost a lot of weight. It’s kind of discouraging because my rate of progress isn’t as fast as I’d like it to be.
A: Try not to compare your results to someone else’s. Everyone has a different starting point. In addition, genetics, lifestyle, and dietary habits affect one’s rate of progress. Therefore, the outcome is highly individual.
Fact is, anybody can see a pretty significant drop on the scale in the initial phase of their weight loss. It’s not unheard of to lose five pounds within a week or two. Most people are fairly adaptive. However, it’s important to note beyond that, if you’re losing weight at an extremely rapid rate that is a prime indication you’re losing a greater proportion of lean body mass, not fat.
This isn’t to discredit the utility of the keto diet. We just need to appreciate the value of being more judicious with our approach.