Why You Don’t Lose Weight on a Diet

Your friend has been on this weird diet lately - something about celery juice and white kidney bean extract...

They look tired as hell. Although they don’t say they are, they move less, fidget less, aren’t as eager to do anything physical, even their face shows a little less expression than normal.

This is just what happens when we diet - it’s something we can’t control.

When we diet we reduce our energy intake. The subconscious notices this and decides to stop any sort of unnecessary movement to save as much energy as possible. If you usually tap your foot while sitting your body will subconsciously stop doing that. Blasted efficient human evolution!

We literally stop moving as much.

Part of your energy expenditure comes from a thing researchers call NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). It’s the energy burned from all the other movement during the day which isn’t specifically exercise.

NEAT can be between 15% to 50% of your daily calorie burn.

These are like secret calories burning.

This actually happens - when you start dieting and losing weight your body responds by subconsciously moving less. Let’s say you reduce your calorie intake by 20% but your NEAT drops from 40% to 20%.

That’s the whole diet wiped out right there!

It’s the big reason ‘step goals’ and smart watches which tell you to get up and move are popular at the moment. They give us a direct way to counter the uncontrollable reduction in NEAT.

Next time you decide to diet for a while, remember this. If you can account for the inevitable movement decrease you’ll have a much easier time - with a lot less stress wondering why the scale isn’t budging.

A 12-week diet would look like this:

  • Week 1-4: 8,000 steps/day

  • Week 5-8: 10,000 steps/day

  • Week 9-12: 12,000 steps/day

This progressive increase in steps will counter the progressive decrease in NEAT you’ll experience as you diet and begin to lose weight.

Your body is a pain in the ass - it’s had thousands of years of adaptation to save as much energy as possible.

Use this knowledge to gain the body you desire.

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