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3 Reasons Your Calorie Deficit Isn’t Working

3 Reasons Your Calorie Deficit Isn’t Working
Joni McMullen
Writer and expert11 months ago
View Joni McMullen's profile

Meet Siobhan O’Hagan — talented PT and mum-to-be whose honest and open approach to health and fitness has opened the eyes of many.   

She’s coached thousands of women into maintaining successful calorie deficits. Here’s her take on why your calorie deficit might not be working.  



Here’s why you are going over your calorie deficit

Siobhan explains there are many reasons why your calorie deficit might not be working for you. 

One could be you have more important things to worry about, making it difficult to stick to a calorie goal.  

Here are three more of the most common reasons she’s seen over and over again... 


1. You don’t want it enough

Before you come for Siobhan, let her explain.  

“Sorry, that sounds like old-school PT talk, but what I actually mean is that if you prefer enjoying nice foods or socialising with friends and family or you just enjoy not being hungry over being leaner, then it’s OK to not want to lose body fat.” 

Sometimes having a strict goal for yourself means restricting other parts of your life. And if that’s not something you want to do, then don’t force yourself. 


Siobhan’s Solution 

If you do want to lose body fat but you struggle to maintain your motivation, write out your goals daily. This will help remind you when you’re faced with tough decisions about what’s most important to you.  


2. Your calorie goal is too low

Put simply, you can’t stick to your calories because your calorie goal is too low. Siobhan breaks it down:  

“Yes, you need to be in a calorie deficit, but if you are setting unrealistically low targets, not only are you sacrificing your health, but your body is going to be craving food and you’ll find it more and more difficult to deny those cravings.” 


Siobhan’s Solution

Increase your calories to a level you feel you can stick to day to day. You’ll probably notice that you’re more disciplined overall because you’re not starving all the time. 


3. You don’t need to lose any more weight

Siobhan knows this is something people often forget because of the huge expectations that we place on ourselves.  

“The smaller you are, the fewer calories you need to be in a deficit. Once you are a healthy weight, you’re actually fighting your body when you try to push below your maintenance weight because your body will want to hold on to your body fat.” 


Siobhan’s Solution

Practise acceptance of your body the way it is and ask yourself if the sacrifices needed to your physical and mental health, as well as to your social life, are really worth it.  


Take Home Message  

You don’t have to be in a calorie deficit all the time and you don’t always have to chasing fat loss — but if it is an important goal to you, you can do it in a happy and healthy way, without pushing your body to its limits.” 

Want more advice? 


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Joni McMullen
Writer and expert
View Joni McMullen's profile