Weight Loss

Why Does Weight Loss Slow Down?

It all starts so well doesn’t it?

10lbs down in the first 8 weeks then for some reason, it slows down or in some cases, stops.

Yet you are doing exactly the same thing as when you first started.

Which leaves you scratching your head trying to understand why.

I am going to try and explain why this is and what you can do about it to continue to get results.


My aim in this blog is not to blind you with science but to put this into simple terms that make it easy to understand. There are in fact a number of reasons that weight loss slows down when you have started to drop the lbs on the scales. We are going to focus in on the main two reasons.

1. You have lost weight…

When you lose weight your daily calorie requirement for maintenance (to stay the same) reduces. This is because now that you weigh less, things become easier, all of a sudden your body is carrying less weight and so basic daily activities require less energy to do, therefore the number of calories expended reduces. E.g. Think of a 30 minute walk…

  • If you had completed that walk before you lost 10lbs your body would have had to work much harder due to the fact you are carrying more weight and therefore burning the required amount of calories to complete that activity
  • If you complete that walk after losing 10lbs your body is not working as hard as it was previously when it had 10lbs more to carry, thus resulting in fewer calories burned for exactly the same activity.

Basically walking 10,000 steps just got easier and because of that you will burn fewer calories.

2. You are getting fitter…

In order words as you repeatedly do the same exercise your body becomes more efficient at that activity. We all know that if we was to run 5km every day for a month that by the last day you would complete it much easier that you did on day 1.

We also know that if you perform a squat with a starting weight and do that 3 times per week, that very quickly that starting weight will feel much easier to complete for the same amount of reps.

As we get fitter, stronger and healthier our body becomes more efficient at these activities and essentially require less energy to do the same thing. If it didn’t do that then we would never see performance improvements so it is pretty important that it does. However, again this means that as we get deeper into our journey into weight loss it gets tougher to still lose weight which I am sure you can relate to as you are reading this.

In a nutshell, the more weight you lose, the less calories you will burn (in most cases).

What can you do about it?

So we now know that as we lose weight and get fitter, our body will expend less calories along the way, but the key question you want the answer to is what can you do about it?

The go-to for many will always be to reduce calories further which is a viable option. However, it is not where I would go first for sure. If you only ever opt to reduce calories you will eventually end up on an incredibly restrictive diet in order to achieve the same results.

I would always look toward overall activity first. We know now that 10,000 steps before is not giving us the same calorie burn as 10,000 after the weight loss. A simple way to adjust for this would be to increase the daily step count to 11,000 or 12,000. This doesn’t sound a lot and so is very achievable and it is also more than you did before which will result in you expending more calories as opposed to the 10,00 steps. This is essentially progressive overload for your step count.

There may come a point where you simply don’t have the time to keep adding more steps, a little tip for you here is something I have recently got some of my clients to do inside my coaching service. I have tasked them up to wear a rucksack with 5kg in, which is roughly the weight loss we are talking about here. So all of a sudden you are now hitting the same steps but you are carrying the weight you carried before to imitate how heavy you used to be. This is something you can continually progress by adding more weight week on week or month on month. I am not saying you have to do this but this is simply a tool and I would only use this tool once you have hit a plateau or maybe if you feel you are slowing down with results.

It would be important here to have a good quality rucksack which you can fasten around your chest also for maximum support.

This essentially leverages your time on the walk to expend more calories!

The other thing you can look to do is of course to make sure you are adding progressive overload into your exercise/training too. Can you increase the weight or maybe the number of reps in your resistance workouts?

Could you increase the intensity of your cardio workouts?

I would definitely do all of the above before you toggle with your nutrition intake. However if you still wish to play around with that, I would start by taking away maybe 50-100kcals per day and see what happens.

Whichever option or combination of options that you choose you must be consistent and you must closely track what happens when you make the changes to your weight, measurements and photos etc. This will give you the vital indicators that what you are doing is triggering the weight loss you want. If it doesn’t change after a couple of weeks, then I would re-address again and where possible look to find a way to expend more energy or reduce energy intake.

This is a level of detail that I work with my clients on, if you have enjoyed this blog and you feel like you need some help with your weight loss goals, I am looking to work with a few more clients in an online capacity and I have a programme starting on June 29th which GUARANTEES RESULTS. This programme is a ladies only programme where clients are expected to lose 10-15lbs or more in 8 weeks or less.

If you need that extra accountability, support and knowledge to achieve your goals and you can afford to invest £2.73 per day to achieve what you want, click the button below and let’s chat!

Before you do…

Here’s some feedback from the current ladies on the programme…

“Well what a treat, my jeans fit. Whoop!!”

“Well I’ve just tried a pair of trousers on that I bought 2 weeks into lockdown, they were snug, incentive to lose a bit. Tried them 4 weeks ago, not a chance, I couldn’t even pull them up, tried them today and they are a bit loose!”

“Couldn’t have done it without your amazing advice!”

“Nice surprise, I was going to throw a skirt away that I have kept for a while just in case I lose weight. I thought I would try it before I eventually got round to throwing it away and it fits lovely! I never thought I would get back into that skirt, it has not been the faster approach but slow and steady. Previous weight loss, I lost the weight (Slimming World, Weight Watchers) but then after getting to goal never maintained the weight and usually it came back with additional weight. I have lost the weight and maintained then saw a plateau so needed to increase the N.E.A.T. (steps) even using the lingo now! Then now seeing results again. I would recommend you as a coach to friends and colleagues as you provide an individual approach but also empower and educate me. Thank you for getting me to my goal.”

Lisa Haywood

Like I say, that’s the level we are playing at inside my programmes… What are you waiting for?

The DotheWork Coach