leg day bodybuilding

Posted 2 years ago

Why fat loss stalls on prep

Have you got to a point where fat loss has stalled? You’ve tried everything but you just can’t seem to get leaner, right?

In truth, it is simply that your body has adapted to its current input and output; as such, staying there is no longer creating enough of a negative energy balance (calorie deficit) to continue to lose fat.

In fact, with each pound of fat you lose, it’ll become that little bit harder to lose the next one. Therefore, you’re going to have to move more and eat less to see your physique tighten up.

There are however some common things I see when people are dieting which contribute to fat loss stalling.


Firstly, it might be that you are simply eating too much.

If we look at women in particular, to get stage lean, calories will have to get very low, but for whatever reason people are scared to go below 1200kcals. Unfortunately, the reality is these that these will have to get a lot lower.

Is it healthy? Absolutely not. But no one ever said dieting to extremes was healthy, so don’t be afraid of going low with your calorie intake. My best advice is to simply spread your protein intake evenly throughout the day, and you’ll hold on to that precious muscle mass you’ve built whilst looking better every day.

Dietary Adherence and Hunger

Secondly, and to accompany the need to drop food that low, many simply do not realise the level of hunger they will have to deal with in order to get lean.

If it’s your first time dieting you may have never experienced this before, but it’s something you should be aware of. We are taught from early on to eat until we are full, right? You then pursue a competition prep and realise that you’ll never be full. As such, one of the major reasons fat loss stalls is simply because people give into these hunger cues and go way above their calorie limit.

When clients are dieting and they tell me they are hungry my response is often: “Good, it means the diet is working”. So, if you want to do a contest or shoot prep, put your big girl/boy pants on and suck it up. You’ll thank yourself when you get on that stage or in front of that camera.

Training/Cardio intensity

Finally, when dieting to extremes, there will be many days where your energy levels are going to be low. You will only get a few hours of sleep, and you’ll still have to go and get your steps in and train. Your logbook will demand you hit your numbers, but if you start to slack off, then the calories you expend will decrease.

The fundamental element of training and cardio/steps during prep is to expend calories. So, if we train very hard continuously, we know we are expending as many calories as we can. On the other hand, if we begin to slack off – take the weight down, drop the level on the stair master, miss our steps – then we simply cannot expect to burn the same number of calories.

In short, if you’re going to prep and want your fat loss to be continuous, know this:

-When the going gets tough, get tougher.

-It will all boil down to how bad you want it.

For many, calories will need to go very low, hunger will be high, energy levels will be low but you’ll still need to go smash your training, cardio and steps if you want to get lean.

Is it easy? Absolutely not. Is it worth it? 100%.

Vaughan Wilson Bsc Hons