Whenever you make the decision to start losing weight, eventually you’re going to reach a place where you want to lose more, but seem to be stuck at same level no matter what you do. You have now entered the Weight Loss Plateau Zone! Fret not. You can still reach your goal and here’s how.
How To Avoid Weight Loss Plateau
Before we discuss how to get you out of the rut, let’s explain what the rut is.
What is a Weight Loss Plateau?
When you first start out on a new exercise plan and start eating healthier, the weight can seem to come off quickly. Then, all of a sudden, no matter what you seem to do, the weight loss stalls. You’re doing everything the same as before, but there’s no variation in weight. This can be a really frustrating feeling. It’s actually here that people tend to give up. Don’t.
What Causes a Weight Loss Plateau?
Here’s what’s happening. When you start out, you’re burning fat. As you continue though, a small amount of muscle is also lost. About 25% of body tissue lost during weight management comes from muscle. Our bodies NEED that muscle to keep your metabolism humming. As a result of the slower metabolism, you’re not burning the same amount of calories as you were at a heavier weight.
Also, something to keep an eye on is that if the weight doesn’t come off, you might have a bigger problem than not eating right and exercising enough. Weight gain is a symptom of a couple of diseases, including thyroid disease. You might want to consider getting your thyroid tested.
Tips To Avoid a Weight Loss Plateau
So, if it’s not a sign of something more serious, there are things you can do to get off the plateau and start losing weight again.
You need to get the muscle back you’ve lost through your new health regimen. That means strength training. It doesn’t have to just be lifting weights in the gym to build muscle. Some people take up swimming, play a sport, take up yoga for core support, etc. But it doesn’t have to be that dramatic. Most people start balking at unrealistically long workouts, especially when they’re not used to them to begin with.
Do little things during the day. Park on the far side of the lot whenever you go to the store, adding steps to the errand. Take the stairs instead of riding up on an elevator. Little extra acts of exercise will build up over the course of a day. As an extra bonus, you’re not really eating up all that much more of your precious time as well.
Check Portion Sizes
A slower metabolism means you’re burning less calories. So, even though you are eating the same way, the calories aren’t being used up in the same way. Re-evaluate the portions you are eating. Usually, people find that the reason their weight isn’t coming off like it used to is because they’ve been adding to their portion size subconsciously rather than keeping to the new diet plan.
Important note, do not cut your calories below 1200 a day. That’s the level needed to not feel constantly hungry. If you do, you are most at risk of overeating.
Keep A Diary
Keep a food journal and keep track of your workouts. It’s hard to make tiny adjustments necessary if you don’t have a solid basis of what you’ve already done. Not only that, but the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that dieters who record their meals shed twice as much weight as those who did not.
Switch Things Up
Even the biggest creatures of habit can get bored in a routine. The two main components to weight loss is exercise more and eat better. That doesn’t mean it has to be the same exercise and food. Try a new cookbook. Look for new ways to exercise. Once something becomes rote, we start slacking in our execution. Those slips might be contributing to your weight loss plateau.
Know Your Numbers
Like keeping a journal, it’s important to know what state your body is in prior to starting any radical physical exercise regimen. Take advantage of our Fitness Panels to know where you’ve been, so you can figure out the path of how to get where you want to go. And once you’re on that journey, use our Weight Management Panels to make sure everything going on inside your body is working properly.
Probably the best advice we can give if you hit a weight loss plateau is don’t give up. Don’t let the frustration overwhelm you. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you can get there!