The journey to achieve a certain weight loss can be a challenge, being made even more difficult by reaching something referred to as a weight loss plateau. While these events can be frustrating, they are usually easily overcome if you understand their source.
Reasons for Hitting a Weight Loss Plateau
Some of the main reasons a person may hit a weight loss plateau include:
–Not enough variety in physical activity: If your body becomes accustomed to your activity regimen it may stop responding over a period of time. To overcome this you may have to switch up your routine and try a variety of activities to spark your body into weight loss mode once again.
–A reduction in muscle mass: You may have lost some muscle mass through your diet. When you lose any amount of muscle mass it will cause your metabolism to slow down and cause you to stop burning fat efficiently. To overcome this issue try incorporating weights into your exercise routine.
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–Water weight deception: When you first begin a weight loss program you may see a significant amount of weight loss, which is usually due to water weight. Once your body has lost all the water you may see a stall in your weight loss progress. This is quite common so don’t let it discourage you! Continue on with your diet, even though you may not lose weight as fast as you did in the beginning.
–You have increased your caloric intake: After dieting for a while you may have grown tired of your “fitness foods.” As a result, you may be eating more than you should, thus stalling your weight loss progress. Start counting your calories diligently again and try new recipes to avoid eating the same foods.
– Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) has gone down: Your BMR is the energy you need to perform basic bodily functions such as pumping your heart and breathing. Since BMR depends largely on body mass, as your weight goes down, so does your BMR. Since you are not burning as many calories naturally as you used to, it will gradually take longer to lose the same amount of weight. If you wish to keep losing at the same speed, you will need to either reduce your calorie-intake further or increase your activity level. Use the weight loss calculator to determine how much weight you can expect to lose depending on your calorie intake.
– Not eating enough: Every day, you should be consuming at least 1200 calories if you are a woman and 1500 calories if you are a man. If you consume less than these amounts, your body will likely enter into starvation mode, burning as little calories as possible. This may cause a stall in weight loss. Make sure to consume the minimum amount of calories each day to keep your metabolism moving!
How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau
Once you have determined the cause that is making your weight loss stall you can begin taking steps to remedy the problem. Here are some more ideas to overcome a weight loss plateau:
–Start a food and exercise journal. Write down everything you do and eat each week and find ways to improve. This may include cutting down on snacking or drinking more water. Also, be sure your diet is composed of balanced foods to ensure you are receiving the nutrients you need for optimum weight loss.
–Picture your goals. By thinking about the future you will be motivated to continue on your weight loss path even when you are not actively losing weight.
–Stuff your diet with veggies and water. These will help you feel full, snack less and eventually aid in overcoming your weight loss plateau.
–Increase weight exercises. Increasing muscle will result in higher metabolism allowing you to burn more calories.
–Try reducing dairy products. Some people do not react well to dairy products from a weight loss perspective. Dairy products also tend to have high sugar content which may be hindering your weight loss.
–Try reducing fruits. You may be over-consuming sugar by eating too much fruit. Reducing especially high-fructose fruits will help in lowering your sugar and calorie intake immediately.
–Add a variety of exercises to your routine or begin working out with a friend for additional motivation.
Making small adjustments to your routine can help you break through any plateau you may have hit. Many times when someone hits a plateau they give up altogether. However, you can easily avoid this pitfall by changing your routine and being more conscious of what you eat and the activities you participate in. Overcome the speed bump in your plan by implementing the tips listed above.
Plateaus are common when going on a diet. Do not let a plateau deter you from reaching your goals and having a happier, healthier and overall more active lifestyle!