Once the weight starts to disappear during a weight loss regime, it often seems as if it’s just falling off at an incredibly rapid pace. The individual who wants to lose weight has abandoned the sugary drinks and junk food and has turned their attention to healthier options and exercise. Unfortunately, almost everyone who starts a routine to lose weight will encounter what is commonly referred to as a weight loss plateau. A weight loss plateau refers to the time when an individual’s weight loss slows down to a crawl or even stops completely. But what happens if this happens to you and you are not done with losing weight? The focus must be on how to change things up to beat the weight loss plateau.
Not sure how to do this? Start reading for the best strategies.
Adjust Calorie Intake
Losing weight requires a caloric deficit, meaning you have to burn more calories than you consume to see the pounds drop. But what many forget is as they lose weight, their body needs fewer and fewer calories to maintain itself. What this means is consuming the same number of calories on day ninety of the weight loss regime as day one means you will not keep losing weight. A larger caloric deficit is needed to continue losing weight, especially at the same rate.
The best way to determine how many calories you should now be consuming to lose weight is by taking a metabolic test at a dietitian's office or a gym that provides the service. This test determines your body’s resting metabolic rate, which is how many calories it burns at rest. If you are unable to have this test done, try slowly reducing your caloric intake every few weeks until you are back on track. A reasonable estimate to start with is reducing it by one hundred to two hundred each time. With that in mind, do not go below 1,200 calories a day, as this can have the opposite effect and slow your metabolism, prevent weight loss, and put your body in danger.
As we know, calories are only one part of the equation when it comes to weight loss. Continue reading to learn how to use exercise to beat a plateau.
Change Up Your Exercise Routine
When individuals first decide they want to lose weight and are serious about their choice, they will often develop an exercise routine. This might be general, such as cardio on one day, core exercise the next day, strength training the day after that, and so on. Alternatively, it might be very specific activities, such as using the treadmill, elliptical machine, going to the same fitness class, or using the same workout DVD.
Though the initial exercise routine may have been effective, doing the same exercises day in and day out will eventually lead to a plateau. Your body will get used to the activities if you repeat them often enough. You will be fitter, and soon enough the exercises will not be challenging anymore, which means your body will be burning fewer calories, leading to less or no weight loss. Thus, trying new exercises and boosting intensity is a great way to shock the body and force it to start burning more calories, resulting in getting out of your weight loss plateau.
But the type of exercise isn’t the only thing you may wish to change. Continue reading to learn how exercise frequency can play into beating a weight loss plateau.
Reconsider Exercise Frequency And Times
Think about how often and when you have been exercising up until the point of the weight loss plateau. Once again, sticking to the same routine will at some point lull your body into complacency. It needs to have variety in order to keep burning calories at a fast rate. So if you go to the gym after work, try waking up earlier and fitting in a gym session before your day gets started. You can also consider switching the days you exercise to help shake things up for your body and metabolic rate.
Besides the timing of exercise, the frequency can also significantly influence a weight loss plateau. You may need to increase the frequency of workouts or even have shorter workout sessions more frequently instead of fewer, but longer ones. Even if the actual time you spend working out is the same, shorter but more frequent trips to the gym or time working out at home can still keep your heart rate going and burn more calories since your body isn’t used to the new routine. This is especially the case if you also increase the intensity at which you are exercising.
Continue reading to learn about how the food you are not eating can help you restart your weight loss.
Flip The Script On What You’re Eating
When you eat the same type of food most days, even if you are making healthy choices, the body will once again be lulled into complacency and stop losing weight quickly. Someone might be focusing a little too much on low-calorie fruits and vegetables, without enough emphasis on lean protein. Reports also indicate high fiber foods are great at restarting weight loss after a plateau has occurred.
As well, most diets include a ‘cheat meal’ or ‘cheat day,’ where you can eat what you want, even if it’s not included in the approved diet foods. In many cases when a weight loss plateau hits, people will cut out these cheat days to reduce the calories they eat. However, a cheat meal can be quite effective at confusing the body and forcing it to start burning more calories again. This is closely linked to the hormone leptin, which helps control our hunger and feelings of being satisfied. As we lose fat, our bodies will have less leptin, and less leptin can trigger the brain to start conserving calories to avoid starving, which means less weight loss, creating the plateau. Eating a meal high in carbs and with some fat, such as spaghetti and garlic bread, is a great way to produce more leptin and get your body back to burning calories at a reasonable rate.
Continue reading to learn how sleep can affect a weight loss plateau.
Adjust Sleeping Habits
How much are you sleeping? The average individual needs seven to nine hours a night, and if you are not sleeping enough or are waking up throughout the night, you could be negatively affecting your weight loss. Insufficient sleep or a lack of quality to your sleep increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to increased body fat around the belly. Additionally, sleep allows the body to reset its hormones, which is vital to maintaining weight loss. As such, look at when and how much you are sleeping. If there is an issue, now is the time to start working on fixing it!
Motivation is a crucial part of weight loss. Continue reading and learn how to make it work for you now.
When a weight loss plateau hits, the majority of individuals will start feeling frustrated and unmotivated. A prevailing thought is their routine isn’t working, so why bother with it? This is a significant mistake! The most critical time to persist or do something is when you do not feel motivated. Motivation will come after you exercise or make a healthier choice since motivation is the result of taking action. You can feel proud of continuing to do something, especially when you did not want to if its a healthy choice like exercising or eating healthy.
Get motivated to change up your exercise routine, your food choices, caloric intake, and fix your sleeping habits. By the end of it, your weight loss plateau will be a distant memory!