You are following your diet and training hard but the scale is not moving. Here are 3 reasons why this may be going on and
solutions to address them.
Hormones & Sleep
Sleep is HUGELY underrated to the point where people are proud of being sleep deprived “I’ll rest when I’m dead” or “I get up at 4 am to train” “or pulling an all nighter” is all considered hardcore. The bottom line is, if you are not getting enough sleep, especially REM sleep, then you can pretty much forget about seeing results. Why? The 3 most influential hormones in terms of fitness are growth hormone (GH), testosterone, and cortisol levels. In adults, growth hormone secretion is at its peak shortly after the onset of sleep– that is during the first phase of slow-wave sleep (SWS) or Stage 3 sleep. Sleeping 7-8 hours per night can help to ensure you get enough cycles of SWS to promote
GH secretion. Fewer hours of sleep and not receiving enough bouts of SWS will also deprive your body of testosterone. This means trouble because the testosterone hormone is associated with increasing muscle mass.
Cortisol, or the stress hormone, is widely misunderstood. Cortisol does a lot of great things for us including helping control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, reduce inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. It also has a controlling effect on salt and water balance and helps control blood pressure. All of these functions make cortisol a crucial hormone to protect overall health and well-being. The issue with cortisol is when it is CHRONICALLY ELEVATED for prolonged periods of time. This can result in a metabolic disaster. So what happens when cortisol is elevated for a prolonged period of time? From a physique standpoint inflammation will drastically increase causing water retention or bloatedness, recovery time will decrease, energy can be low, sleep suffers, and you just feel blah and puffiness, not good!
Water & Squishy Fat
Second to our first point this is the second most common reason why the scale doesn’t move when we think it should. Lyle McDonald proposed a theory several years back that pointed out that our fat cells will temporarily fill with water as we never oxidize the fat itself but what’s “burned” is the triglyceride inside the fat cell. As these fat cells fill with water 2 things happen. The first is there is not any net weight loss and the second is your fat deposits go from semi firm to squishy looking (water is not as dense as fat) This alarms a lot of people as it may look like cellulite. This phenomenon is reported to occur especially in circumstances where rapid fat loss is occurring. Generally a large increase in water for 2 days will flush they water out of the fat cells and the scale drops however in leaner individuals it can sit for awhile.