If you feel like you have hit the dreaded ‘weight loss plateau’ then do not despair. When your weight loss slows down to nothing this is only natural.
You are eating fewer calories than you used to so your metabolism has slowed down to suit and conserve as much as possible. Bear in mind that if you stick with healthy eating and doing your workouts then your weight loss will recommence within about three weeks.
Even though you may not always lose weight you will probably notice positive changes to your body like a smaller waist, more toned stomach and stronger arms etc. If you don’t want to wait however for the plateau to break on its own there are a few things you can do:
I personally believe plateau’s to be a myth, anyone who thinks they have hit one is not paying enough attention. When you first start a diet and fitness program you make big changes, maybe you cut out chocolate, started counting points etc. whatever it was your body responded well to it and you lost weight fast.
To continue to lose weight you need a constant calorie deficit which does mean you will have to start paying attention to what really maters, how many calories you consume and how many you burn. To do this efficiently you need to keep track of calories at every meal, this can be time-consuming and tedious but research has proven it to work time and again.
The American Journal Of Preventative Medicine did some research that showed a dieter who regularly kept a diary food log lost more weight, really if you aren’t keeping logs then that may be the reason for your ‘plateau’.
Try a personal arm band that monitors how many calories you burn in a day, some of these monitors have apps that also monitor how many calories you consume a day and realise how many calories you burn day-to-day.
If your goal is only to lose around 10-15 pounds you’re tying to achieve something different to someone wanting to lose several times that, you are not obese you are just trying to look better, this is what some people refer to as vanity pounds. The human body does not want to carry around excess weight so will respond well to diet and exercise.
When there is only a small amount of weight to lose you body is already healthy so the process is harder, people in this situation often amp up their workout in the gym or cut further calories but this won’t work, all it does it slow you metabolism down and put your body into starvation mode, a good quick fix is to give your body a little more food so it feels secure.
Varying calorie intake is the best way of avoiding plateauing, vary your calorie intake for the next three days between 1,800-2,400 calories, this may sound odd but after three days drop back to your normal calorie intake, never allow daily calorie allowance to fall below 1,200 calories if you are a woman or 1,500 calories if you are a man, going below these markers can really damage your metabolism and result in excessive loss of muscle tissue.
If you are overweight and not just trying to lose vanity pounds, you are tracking calories in and out everyday and still not losing any weight then here’s what to do. First switch up your workout, your body generally adapts to any exercise.
The first ever time you run a mile it will be tough but by the 40th time it will be pretty easy, getting used to any exercise makes it much less challenging and gradually less effective so it is important to mix it up. Change the amount of weight you lift, go heavy one week with less reps then lighter the next with more reps. Change what type of exercise you do for each muscle group, for instance on your chest one week do push-ups, then chest flies, then chest presses, they all workout the same part of the body but in different ways.
If you’ve tried all of the above and still no joy then it may be a hormone imbalance causing the issue. Thyroid disorder, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome, these can all make your body hold onto excess pounds. Don’t instantly think that this is the problem but if you have tried everything then it may be worth visiting a doctor and explore this issue further, a professional can evaluate you individually.
Overall there is no reason to let any weight loss plateau stand in the way of success for you.
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