Reasons Why You Are Not Losing In A Deficit - Hannah Dawson
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This topic comes up lost, I find, as a coach, especially with brand new clients or FCB members. I will be sharing six reasons you may not be losing, along with six tips to get you back on track. When you are finished reading, I would love to know what one stuck out to you most? Comment below this post.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to fat loss is that you must be in a deficit to lose weight. A deficit means burning more energy than you consume, which means you would be eating under your maintenance calories.

The second most important thing to remember is fat loss is a slow process. It doesn’t happen at the rate you see on the biggest loser on TV. If you want to lose the weight and keep it off, then slow and steady wins the race.

Don’t get distracted with quick fixes and gimmicks that will only sidetrack you from reaching your goal.


    If you are not losing weight, it means you are not in a deficit. There are many calorie and macro calculators that use different methods for giving you your TDEE ( Total Daily Energy Expenditure). Let’s say it’s higher than how active you are that can turn what’s supposed to be a deficit into maintenance. FUN FACT: 50% of people overestimate their daily activity and underestimate their food intake.
    If you are supposed to be in deficit but only tracking during the week and then living your best life on the weekends, this can put your weekly average calories back at maintenance or even higher. Weekends are not magical where nothing counts; when you are in a deficit, it will require attention to detail, preparation & consistency.
    Pay attention to serving sizes, and different brands of foods will have different nutrient facts. Try picking the foods with a checkmark on them( but even still, those can be off). Different brands other than what you are eating can have more calories to change what you log to what you’re actually consuming.
    Weighing your food vs eyeballing it or measuring it can total throw your calories off. Just use the spoonful of a peanut for an example; take a TBPS of peanut nutter from the jar of what you would typically eat, and then weigh out what an actual TBSP looks like. It’s a sad truth for all my peanut butter lovers, one weighed-out spoon of nut butter compared to scooping it out can triple the calories, and when you are in a deficit, you need those calories. Another one that goes with this and the #3 reason is weighing your food and inputting it into MFP for the same. EXAMPLE: You weight raw- you track it raw.
    Preparation is the key to success, and if you don’t have food prepared, that’s when you can eat from an emotional place, AKA hangry effect. A few meals that are not prepared and left to the hangry hunger can lead to the drive-through and throw your caloric deficit off.
    This one was huge for me, and I know many people. Those sips, tastes( eating off your kid’s plate), dips, sauces, and sweeteners add up and can take you out of your deficit.

OK, so those are why most people from my experience as a coach throw themselves out of their deficit. Does any of that resonate with you? If so, comment below!


  • Make sure your calories are correct for your activity level and goal:
     Again like I said, sometimes calculators can be off a bit based on our information being overestimated or understated. Don’t be married to the numbers, it’s all a part of the process sometimes; we have to readjust along the way ( most times, we do as we lose weight). Make sure you are putting in the correct information and being honest with how active you are. Numbers don’t lie if you’re not losing; this could be why also remember this is a journey of trial and error. Fix it and keep going. TIP: Once you adjust your calories stay there for at least 3-4 weeks to give your body time to adjust.
  • Track 7 days a week:
    Weekends count however, there are ways to have fun on the weekends and still remain in a deficit; you just have to prep plan. To be in a deficit, you have your daily total and your weekly total. The weekly total is what you want to match. This means if you go out or want more room for flexibility on the weekends lower caloires through the week and add those caloires to the weekend.This would be called calorie cycling or calorie budgeting. Remember it’s the law of averages, that’s most important. Another important thing I want to mention here is you are in a fat loss/deficit; your goal is to lose, so you will have to make trade-offs to reach your goal. That’s just how it works.

    If you calorie cycle so you have some room on the weekend to have a dinner out or ice cream, that’s fine. Just know you have to account for it and track it.

  • Incorrect inputting into MFP:
    Make sure you read the labels and nutrition facts, and you’re inputting the correct brands and serving sizes.
  • Weigh your foods:
    This is so important and easy once you get into the habit of it. This is a must if you are trying to lose weight; how you weigh it is how you input it into MFP.
  • Plan your meals:
    You can track on the go because when you do this at the end of the day, you will be like, how am I supposed to eat 80g of protein I have left over? The more you pre-plan your food, the better your results will be because you will be getting everything you need. TIP: The night before or in the AM, with your coffee, input all your food into MFP, so you know what you’re eating, how much you’re eating and hitting your requirements for day end. You cannot wing it when it comes to your goals. You must pre-plan everything.
  • Track everything that goes in your mouth:
    If you eat it, it counts. Those sips, tastes, bites, sauces, and dips add up. The better you get at tracking everything that goes past your lips; the more accurate your calories will be. Don’t cheat yourself; you have a goal, so if you want to eat something yummy, input it into your calories and have it but you must track it.

Now, if you read all of this and think I don’t even track my food! Well, tracking is your first place to start! If you go to this link and input your information, it will tell you your calories and your macro breakdowns for your goal.

Macronutrient Calculator

Track using My Fitness Pal (MFP) is an app, and it’s by far the best out there. I recommend using the 30-day free trial of the premium version as it’s much easier to track, and you can input your macros and calories.

I hope this post was helpful. If you feel stuck, I have my FCB all-in-one transformation platform, MACROS 2 MUSCLE COURS, and I’m currently accepting one-on-one clients; send me an email, and I’d be happy to help.

Make sure to come to hang out with me on IG so I can follow your journey and encourage you along the way.

Want more tips and motivation? Subscribe to the FCB Podcast it’s FREE.

Best of luck to you

I am Hannah Dawson from Edmonton, Alberta. I am a wife and mom of two girls. I am a transformation and mindset coach helping women around the globe change their stories. I am the creator of an online platform called the FIT CLUB, where I give women the tools to reach their fitness goals.

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