Have you ever noticed that you lose a good amount of weight as you first begin your weight loss journey?
But then it slows down?
I had a student email me the other day telling me she lost 3.2 lbs during her first week in my course- Flexible Eating 101. I calculated her calorie goal to allow her to lose 1.2 lbs/week.
Let’s talk about this rapid weight loss you might experience in the beginning because it’s important to have realistic expectations throughout your weight loss journey.
When you begin a calorie deficit, many people experience the scale drastically decrease in the first few weeks.
This is because you’re losing a good amount of water weight. You are also losing fat but because you’re losing water, the scale might show that you lost more “weight”.
To lose weight, you cut either one or multiple macronutrients to be in a deficit.
A quick refresher: there are three macronutrients- protein, fat, and carbohydrate. All three of these macronutrients provide calories from the food we consume. Anytime we eat, we are consuming one or multiple macronutrients.
With flexible eating, we cut a little carbohydrate and a little fat to create a gentle calorie deficit to lose weight.
When one begins a calorie deficit, many experience the scale drastically decrease in the first few weeks.
Flexible eating is all about balanced portion control to lose weight. We’re eating the foods we love but we aren’t eating endless amounts of french fries or chocolate bars at the end of the day.
We still need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight meaning portion control matters.
You can still consume a good amount of carbohydrates in your diet as a flexible eater but you’re naturally cutting some carbohydrates (and some fat) compared to what you were likely eating before you were trying to lose weight.
Going from a high-carb to a moderate-carb diet means you are decreasing your glycogen storage.
Glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrate in the body naturally surrounded by a lot of water.
Losing glycogen by being in a calorie deficit means you’re losing water.
THIS is why you lose a little extra weight during the first week or so on your weight loss journey.
Being mindful of portion sizes and being in a deficit means your glycogen storage is not as full as it used to be because it’s not getting replenished each day.
Your body uses glycogen for energy and as it gets used, you lose the water that is accompanied by that glycogen!
Remember this slows down after being in a calorie deficit for a few weeks.
I want you to know this because although it’s exciting to see the scale drastically change your first few weeks, it’s going to slow down and it’s not because you did ANYTHING WRONG, it’s just a normal part of losing weight.
A healthy weight loss is defined as 0.5-2 lbs of weight loss/week.
So don’t get discouraged if your weight loss slows down. You’re likely doing everything right as long as you’re consuming the right calories for weight loss!
Unsure of the correct number of calories to be consuming for fat loss? More info here about my course- Flexible Eating 101!