One day you felt guilty about being overweight and found your health going down the drain. The next day, you follow a healthy, low-calorie diet, improve your exercise habits and you feel exuberant watching the weight scale display ample weight loss. Then, the inevitable happens! The scale stopped budging! The horror!
Well, you’ve hit a weight-loss plateau!
Weight-loss plateau comes as a discouraging element when you are still sticking to clean eating and hitting the gym. It happens to everyone who wants to lose weight!
What Causes a Weight Loss Plateau?
During the early days of weight loss, the scale moves quickly. Why? This happens because when you cut calories, the body enters a panic mode and gets its required dose of energy by burning stored glycogen. Glycogen is one of the many carbohydrates found in the muscles and liver. Glycogen is predominantly water, so the weight loss that occurs is of water being released and the effect, unfortunately, is temporary.
Along with water weight, you lose muscle as well. Loss of muscle leads to a slower metabolism hence causing the decline in weight loss.
7 Ways to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau
7. Reassessment of caloric requirements
As you lose weight, you require lesser calories. Evaluate your diet plan and remove those extra carbohydrates causing the decline in weight loss. However, don’t go below 1200 calories a day. It puts you at a risk of overeating and developing nutritional deficiencies!
6. Change your workout routine
Ideally, 30 minutes of workout a day for six days in a week is quite good. If you wish to continue losing weight, either increase the time duration or make your exercise regime more intense to burn more calories. Most people should exercise 30 minutes a day, every day of the week. Weightlifting to increase muscle mass will help burn more calories!
5. Pack more activity into your day
Think outside the gym. Increase your general physical activity throughout the day by walking more and using your car less. Try to do more yard work or vigorous spring cleaning. Any physical activity will help you burn more calories.
Besides overcoming the plateau through diet and exercise changes, you can get rid of the stubborn fat in areas such as the belly, thighs, and hips without going under the knife. That’s right. Celebrities including Kardashians are a huge fan of CoolSculpting – a revolutionary fat loss technique.
4. Keep yourself hydrated
Proper hydration is one of the most overlooked aspects of any weight loss programs, so do whatever you can to avoid making this mistake. If you forget to have enough water, get a reusable water bottle. Train yourself to drink as much water as you can throughout the day as it will ensure you do not feel as hungry as you normally would and you will plow your way through workouts with ease. Keeping yourself hydrated also flushes excess salt from your system.
3. Eat less, but often
Starving yourself will do you no favors in the long run. If your body is not getting the right nutrients, you will not reach your goals. Skipping meals slows down your metabolism and will cause your blood sugar levels to drop considerably. Now, this does not mean you eat whatever you want, and whenever you feel like it, but instead you will need to focus on eating a combination of healthy fats, carbs, and proteins after every 4 hours or so. This way you won’t feel hungry and you will have a consistent calorie-burn through the rest of the day.
2. Get enough sleep
Listen up, staying up late all night is hurting your weight loss progress. Apart from leaving you groggy, failing to get enough sleep consistently will result in long-term side effects. Your metabolism will suffer the brunt of it, while you will gain more weight, more specifically in your midsection, due to an increase in stress hormones. In fact, studies have shown that getting less than 6 hours of sleep can negatively affect fat loss by a staggering 55%.
1. Take a breathe
Apart from getting enough sleep, you need to take out the time to rest in between. You can rest for a day or two, but do nothing that hurts your overall progress. Sometimes, all you need to do to overcome a weight loss plateau is simply to rest. Working too hard on your weight loss goals can have a negative impact on you. For this reason, it is necessary for you to give your mind and body enough time to recharge.
When you are well rested, it will be easier for you to stay on track without burning out. Moreover, you will also have enough time to reassess your exercise regimen and diet, because they are not bound to remain the same forever.
The Final Verdict:
The weight loss plateau is a common occurrence – something almost every person faces when trying to get back into shape. It is important to look beyond the numbers. Celebrate those little achievements rather than hitting certain numbers on the scale. The idea here is to focus on the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle rather than worrying about ruining your weight loss progress. As long as you enjoy the journey, you will remain motivated to continue, thus guaranteeing you remain lean regardless of your age.