I remember, six months ago how one of my friends (Lynda) lost 9 pounds of weight within one week’s time. She was just overjoyed to see that her diet plans and workout schedule were working like magic in burning off the extra fat.
As her weight loss regimen continued over to the next couple of weeks, she noticed that she was not shedding weight anymore as it happened in the first two weeks.
She still had a lot more fat to be lost…she had hit a weight loss plateau by the end of the 7th week.
At the initial stages of the weight loss regimen that you have begun to follow, the weight sheds quickly and at a steady rate. But soon your weight loss progress will get stuck in all possibilities.
Almost every person trying to lose weight might experience the same. After certain stages, the weight is stuck in spite of the right diets and workouts they follow.
Some people even lose hope in their diet and workouts…and they go back to their old style of life, and they soon become fatter than before. Diet Plateau diminishes the chances for further weight loss.
If you are discouraged with the slowing down of your weight loss results… it is all over for you.
Please know that it is a normal thing that happens to most people who are trying to lose weight.
In the following paragraphs, I am going to share with you the basic details on the weight loss plateau and how to overcome this stumbling block in your weight management plan.
What Exactly Is This Weight Loss Plateau?
This usually happens to most people after a few weeks of steady progress in losing weight. They notice that suddenly the fat loss has slowed down or completely stuck for days or even for a week or two in spite of the same diet plan and workouts they rigorously follow.[3,4]
It is a frustrating situation. Some may even give up the weight loss regimen altogether as they feel it is not working.
However, this is a temporary phenomenon that can be easily overcome with some adjustments and changes in the fat loss plan.
Reasons For Weight Loss Plateau
It is very natural to lose weight faster in the first 2 or three weeks for your weight loss efforts with dieting and workouts.
When you make sudden or drastic changes to your diet, the body is unable to adjust to the changes, and it goes into a fire-fighting mode to get energy by quickly burning the fats stored in the fat cells.
Due to a sudden shortage in the supply of calories, the body produces the required energy by releasing its stores of glycogen.
As the body burns stored fat for energy at a rapid speed….along with the fat, some amount of muscles too are lost. This leads to fast weight loss especially at the initial stages of your weight loss plan in action.
As you make progress with your weight loss plan, there is a steep decline in fat and muscle mass. This results in a low rate of metabolism; which usually happens after a few weeks into the weight loss plan.
As the metabolic rate slows down, the weight loss also results in drop because of reduced calories burning. When the calories you eat and calories body burn becomes equal; your body is in a weight loss plateau.
So the weight loss diet plan and workout you have been following are not sufficient for further weight loss as the number of calories consumed and burned has become equal.
You have not lost all the extra weight you wanted to lose due to the ‘plateau weight loss’ that your body has hit upon.
The most effective method to lose weight is to cut down on calorie intake. However, after a few weeks, the body begins to use the muscle tissues for energy due to the shortage in fresh calorie supply. The decrease in muscle mass also contributes to the slowing down of metabolism.[12,13]
It gives rise to a situation in which the weight loss stops, in spite of the low calories food you are maintaining.
How Can You Overcome A Weight-Loss Plateau?
As we have discussed above, it is certain that most people trying to lose weight with a fixed diet plan and workout schedules will hit a weight loss plateau soon.
Here are some of the common solutions to overcome the diet plateau in weight reduction.
Readjustment in Calories Intake
After a person has already shed a substantial amount of body weight, the energy needs of the body also decrease. So it is important to lower the calorie intake according to the current weight of the body to continue with shedding more pounds.
Improve The Quality Of The Diet
When you see your weight loss progress was stuck at a point, reorganize your diet plan with more of fiber-rich vegetables and lean protein.
Rotate Your Workouts
The muscles get familiarized with the same set of workouts if continuous followed for more than a week. Try to include more verities of high-intensity exercises and a different set of workouts on different days to continue with the steady reduction in body weight.
Discipline Your Eating Habits
Most people lose track of their diet plans after a few weeks. True to the saying ‘the old habits seldom die,’ we might unconsciously start munching on the forbidden snacks and processed foods especially when your friends or family members have it. Constantly remind yourself of your diet plans and resist the urge to eat the forbidden diets at all costs.
Under Go, Routine Medical Check-Up
Many people stop losing weight in spite of a stringent fat loss plan they follow. It could be because of hormone disorders or some ailments affecting the person. In such cases, medical intervention is required for further progress in weight loss.
Proper Sleep And Rest
The excess weight gain in an individual could also be caused by a lack of sufficient sleep and rest. Stress and tension also can make the person fat. When a person does not sleep for 6 to 7 hours daily, this will elevate the cortisol hormone levels, and it destabilizes the healthy level of blood glucose. Rising cortisol levels also adversely affect the metabolisms of fat, protein, and carbohydrate.
Correctly Assess The Calorie Needs
One of the reasons for the weight loss plateau is the overestimation of the calorie needs of the body. It is better to make use of metabolic rate calculator and BMI Calculator to assess the number of calories your body burns during workouts and other daily routine activities and have the calorie intake to be adjusted accordingly.
Drinking Sufficient Water
Dehydration of the body causes a rise in craving for food and increases appetite. You should be drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water daily to remain fit and also to reduce the intake of food.
Do Exercises For Muscle Building
Muscle building exercises like strength training and weight lifting burn a lot of calories and at the same time reduces the extra flab or fat. It tones and shapes the body with the muscular build up.
The Bottom Line
The weight-loss plateau occurs when the calories a person consumes and the calories that the body burns daily are more or less in equal proportion.
And if the person desires for still more weight loss, then it calls for a readjustment of current daily diet plan and workouts.
Steady weight loss or weight maintenance also requires a balanced diet with fiber and protein-rich foods, sufficient sleep, a well-hydrated body and regular rotation of diet and workouts.
For weight loss, it is also important to have a regular medical check-up to ensure the healthy levels of hormone balance and for the prevention or cure of diseases.