Your weight loss seems to have plateau-ed and you don’t know why?
You’ve diligently stuck to your healthy, low-calorie diet and cardio workouts and while the weight was dropping initially, the weight loss seems to now have plateau-ed. While it may seem frustrating and upsetting, a weight loss plateau is normal. Understanding what causes a weight loss plateau can help you to get past it and get back on track with your weight loss regime.
What causes a weight loss plateau?
In the initial few weeks of losing weight, it’s normal to experience drop in your weight. This occurs naturally as you reduce your calorie intake, your body gets the energy it needs by releasing its stores of glycogen, which is a type of carbohydrate found in your muscles and liver that is partly made of water. When glycogen is used for energy, it releases water, however this is only a temporary effect.
As you continue to lose weight, you will lose some muscle along with fat but muscle as we know is the one that keeps your metabolism up, ie the rate at which you burn calories. With weight loss, metabolism will decline leading to fewer calories being burned compared to when you were at your heavier weight.
Slower metabolism slows your weight loss despite consuming the same amount of calories as you did before. At some point you will reach a stage where the amount of calories you burn will be the same as the amount of calories you consume, this results in a plateau.
In order to lose more weight, you either increase your physical activity or decrease your calorie consumption.
How can you overcome your weight loss plateau?
When you have reached a plateau, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself if you are happy with the amount of weight you have lost or do you still want to lose more weight? If it’s the latter, perhaps you can try any of these tips.
#1 Reassess your habits
Have a good hard look at your food intake and activities. Have you loosened the rules when it comes to your weight loss regime?
#2 Reduce calories
Consider reducing your daily calorie intake as long as it’s not going to put you at less than 1,200 calories a day as anything lower than this magic number could cause constant hunger, and may not be effective in the interim to prevent you from overeating.
#3 Increase your workout
It’s recommended for individuals to exercise 30 minutes daily but when you are trying to lose weight, you should aim to exercise more often or to have a more intense form of exercise to help you burn more calories. Including more exercises such as weightlifting can increase your muscle mass which then helps to burn more calories.
#4 See a doctor
For a little nudge in the right direction, your doctor could offer professional advice on how you could lose weight effectively or even devise a treatment plan for you to lose those stubborn love handles.
#5 Make exercise a part of your lifestyle
Stopping one stop before your bus stop, parking your car further away from the lift, or choosing to walk rather than take public transport are all little ways to incorporate more movement and exercise into your daily life. Simply put, the more you move, the more calories you’ll burn.