If you have been on a weight loss journey for a while, you may notice that you reach a point where you are stuck. Your progress toward your weight loss goal seem to come to a screeching halt and you can’t shed any more weight no matter how much you stick to your program.
For example, if you weigh 225 pounds and have a goal to get to 185. You may find that after losing 25 pounds you are finding it difficult to shed the next 15. You have reach what is referred to as a ‘weight loss plateau’. Most of us have experienced this and it could be discouraging.
Ever heard the expression ‘what got you here won’t get you there’. This is very appropriate for plateauing.
Let’s define weight loss plateau
A plateau or stall in your weight loss progress can be directly related to a slowing down of your metabolism. You see . . . when you experience rapid weight loss you are actually losing water in the glycogen stored in your liver and muscle tissue. You are also losing a little muscle tissue with each drop in weight. We all know by now that the more muscles you have the more calories you will burn.
This loss of muscle tissue will cause our metabolism to slowdown which leads to a stall in weight loss. Water lost as a result of rapid weight loss will be replaced as we consistently hydrate. Muscle loss however is another matter.
So how do you jump-start your weight loss after a plateau?
We are all unique. So, you will need to find the right solution for you to break this stalemate with your body. If you have been following the same weight loss program for weeks or months now is the time to do a reassessment. Here are some steps you can take starting today to get back on track . . .
- Do a dietary adjustment. It has been shown that cutting carbohydrates and increasing the amount of fiber will be effective in losing weight. It will help you feel fuller and more satiated causing you to not to have to constantly deal with Mr. Hungry.
- Increase the amount of good quality protein in your diet. This is what I did to help me get pass my weight loss plateau.
- If you haven’t done so yet now is a good time to start keeping a food journal. You would be surprised at the little things we nosh on that could be stalling our weight loss progress.
- Now is the time also to ramp up your exercise routine. Incorporate HIIT (high intensity interval training) into you cardio workout. Also, start doing more strength training exercises. This includes using dumbbells, body weight workouts, resistance bands and fitness machines. If you are working out three days per week try increasing to four or five and observe the results.
- Seek the help of a fitness expert such as a Personal Trainer who can show you the latest techniques to speed up weight loss.
- It’s important to add more movement as part of your daily activity. Reduce the amount of time spend sitting. If you have a job that calls for extended sedentary behavior then make time to get up from your desk regularly and go for a walk or do stretching type movements at your desk.
- Don’t starve your body. The more you restrict your food intake is the more your body will try to hold on to fat. Eat smaller meals more often throughout the day and this will force your body to burn more calories.
- Stress must be managed properly. We all go through stressful situations, either daily or often enough that it will affect our bodies. Stress cause us to produce more cortisol which is a direct cause of weight increases . . . especially around the waist.
- Intermittent fasting has also been one of tools I use when I am stuck at a plateau. Get more information here.
Yes – we will periodically experience a weight loss plateau at one time or another but the important thing is to not get discouraged. It’s only a bump in the road so – refocus and follow the steps outlined above and you will be back on track in no time.
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