I remember six months ago when one of my friends (Lynda) lost nine pounds in 2 weeks. She was overjoyed that her diet and exercise routine worked like magic to burn the extra fat.
As her weight-loss regimen continued over the next couple of weeks, she noticed that she had lost less weight than she had in the first two weeks.
She still had a lot more fat to lose. By the end of the seventh week, she had reached a weight-loss plateau.
At the initial stages of the weight loss regimen that you have begun to follow; the weight sheds quickly and steadily. However, all of the possibilities will quickly stifle your weight loss progress.
When the scale refuses to budge, then there’s something more than the diet that hinders your progress.
Almost everyone trying to lose weight may go through the same thing. Despite the best diets and workouts, weight loss plateaus after a certain point.
Some people lose faith in their diets and workout routines and revert to their old ways, becoming even fatter. Diet plateauing diminishes the chances for further weight loss.
If you are discouraged by 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 will share the basic details of a plateau condition. Also, here you can read about the ways to overcome this stumbling block in your weight management plan.
What Exactly Is a Weight Loss Plateau?
A “weight loss plateau” is a stage in the fat loss plan when you notice no tangible progress.
This usually happens to most people after a few weeks of steady progress in losing weight. They notice that the fat loss has suddenly slowed down or stopped for days or even a week or two, despite the same diet plan and workouts they rigorously follow. Despite your best efforts to burn more calories, your body eventually slows down the process.
It’s a frustrating situation. Some may even give up the weight loss regimen if they feel it is not working.
But this is only a temporary thing that can be easily fixed by making a few changes to the fat loss plan.
Reasons for the Weight Loss Plateau
With dieting and workouts, it is natural to lose weight faster in the first two or three weeks of your weight loss efforts.
When you make sudden or drastic changes to your diet, the body cannot adjust to the changes, and it goes into a fire-fighting mode to get energy by quickly burning the fat stored in the fat cells.
Due to a sudden shortage in the supply of calories, the body produces the required energy by releasing its glycogen stores.
The glycogen, stored in the muscles and liver, is partly in liquid form, and the conversion of glycogen into energy also leads to the release of water.
Excessive release of water and glycogen is one of the factors that contribute to a rapid loss of body weight. It is a temporary phenomenon that will last for a week or two.
As the body burns stored fat for energy at a rapid speed, some muscle mass is lost along with the fat. This leads to fast weight loss, especially at the initial stages of putting your weight loss plan into action.
The muscle mass in the body has a good influence on deciding the metabolic rate (amount of calories to be burned) for the body’s energy needs.
As you 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 journey.
As the metabolic rate slows, the weight loss also drops because of reduced calorie burning. When the calories you consume and your body burn equalize, your body enters a weight loss plateau.
So, the diet and exercise plan you’ve been using to lose weight aren’t enough to help you lose more weight because the number of calories you eat and burn is now the same.
You have not lost all the extra weight you wanted to lose due to the “plateau weight loss” that your body has hit.
The most effective method to lose weight is to reduce calorie intake. However, the body uses muscle tissues for energy after a few weeks due to a lack of fresh calorie supply. The decrease in muscle mass also contributes to the slowing of metabolism.
It gives rise to a situation where the weight loss stops, despite the low-calorie foods you maintain.
How Can You Overcome A Weight-Loss Plateau?
As we discussed above, most people trying to lose weight with a fixed diet plan and workout schedule will soon hit a weight loss plateau.
Here are some common solutions to break through a weight loss plateau.
1. Readjustment of calorie intake
After a person has shed a substantial amount of body weight, the body’s energy needs also decrease. It is critical to reduce calorie intake per current body weight to continue losing weight. Eat fewer calories than your body mass requires and also try to burn more calories than you eat. Take the help of your dietitian to readjust your diet to burn calories.
2. Improve the quality of the diet
When your weight loss progress has stalled, regain the momentum by reorganizing your diet; include more fiber-rich vegetables and lean protein. Do not depend on dietary supplements.
3. Rotate your workouts
The muscles get familiarized with the same workouts if they are continuously followed for more than a week. Try to include more varieties of high-intensity exercises and a different set of workouts on different days to continue the steady reduction in body weight. Different types of physical activities have been shown to reverse the metabolic slowdown.
4. Control 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 our friends or family members have them. Always remind yourself of your diet plans and resist the urge to eat the forbidden foods at all costs. Allowing portion sizes to creep up or decreasing the intensity or frequency of workouts should be avoided.
5. Routine medical check-up
Despite following a strict fat loss plan, many people stop losing weight. It could be because of hormone disorders or some other ailment affecting the person. In such cases, medical intervention is required for further progress in weight loss.
6. Proper sleep and rest
A lack of sufficient sleep and rest could also cause excess weight gain in an individual. Stress and tension can also make a person fat. When a person does not sleep for 6 to 7 hours daily, this will elevate the cortisol hormone levels and destabilize the healthy blood glucose level. Rising cortisol levels also adversely affect fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolisms. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep every day.
7. Calculate your calorie requirements correctly
One of the reasons for the weight loss plateau is the overestimation of the body’s calorie needs. Use a metabolic rate calculator and a BMI calculator to determine how many calories your body burns during workouts and other daily activities. Then, adjust the number of calories you eat to match.
8. Drink sufficient water
Dehydration causes an increase in food cravings and an increase in appetite. To stay fit and reduce your food intake, you should drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
9. Exercises for muscle building
Muscle-building exercises such as strength training and weightlifting burn many calories while reducing flab or fat. It tones and shapes the body with muscular buildup. Experts suggest that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
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.
To break a weight loss plateau, you must modify your current daily diet and workout routine.
A balanced diet with fiber and protein-rich foods, adequate sleep, a well-hydrated body, and regular rotation of diet and workouts are also required for a long-term weight loss program or current weight maintenance.
For weight loss, it’s also important to see a doctor regularly to ensure your hormone levels are healthy and to prevent or treat diseases.
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