Weight Plateau Explanation
A diet plateau happens when your metabolism, the rate at which calories are burned for energy, slows down because of muscle loss. Weight loss is at a new balance because you are carrying less weight. Your body is also programmed to prevent weight loss in case of an emergency. In order to lose more weight, you must increase activity or decrease calories or both. It has become time to shake things up a little bit.
Re-arrange your diet or workout routine. Exchange aerobic exercise for weight training or swimming for kickboxing. Take a day off your diet once in awhile to “shock” your body or eat the same number of calories but eat more frequently. Have a high calorie day where you splurge to try and get your body out of prevention mode. If that doesn’t work go the other way and decrease calories. Maybe try and break your meals into 5 or more smaller meals a day. Same amount at the end of the day, just consumed at different frequencies. Try to decrease the amount of carbs and increase the percentage of protein you eat every day. Or separate your proteins from carbohydrates when eating. If for breakfast you eat protein, do not go eat another meal for at least 2-3 hours. It has been scientifically and medically proven to speed up your digestive process. Try eating most of your calories earlier in the day giving them time to be burned as the day goes on.
Don’t Fall off the Edge of the Plateau
When attempting to lose weight, everyone is bound to hit that weight plateau where you don’t shed any pounds for a few weeks. Don’t get discouraged though. Think of this as a good thing because obviously you have come a long way and to the point now where your body thinks it should go into protection mode. There are things you can do to get over this hump. Understand that coming to this point is normal but can be frustrating. Here are a few suggestions in how to get over a weight loss plateau:
Make sure you are not cheating. If you are not carefully watching what you are consuming, before long you will realize you have gone back to your old habits again.
Make sure you log absolutely everything you eat, from diet soda to a granola bar. If you don’t normally keep a food journal, then start. You just might find out where you are stuck. You have hit a weight plateau where your metabolism, the rate at which calories are burned for energy, slows down because of muscle loss.
Weight loss has become a new balance because you are carrying less weight. Depriving yourself and getting frustrated may lead to overindulging. This can be frustrating because you feel your efforts are not paying off but in order to have gotten to a diet plateau, you had to have lost weight. Right?
You Can Overcome Weight Loss
If your body is at the least amount of calories you can consume a day then you will know it is the physical activity you need to increase. Make sure your fitness routine is intensive enough to balance your new weight. Consider adding some sort of muscle building exercise since muscle mass burns more calories. Try a new activity like bicycling or yoga. Something you wouldn’t normally do. Even adding 15 to 30 minutes extra of exercising a day might do the trick. Think outside of the box and do some vigorous house cleaning, rough house with the kids, take the dog for a walk in the park or ride your bike instead of driving your car. At this point your body is storing calories faster and is burning fewer to stop further weight loss.
Shatter the Scales
Most of all, mental support. If your motivation is on a downward spiral, try to log all of the reasons why you wanted to lose the weight. Keep the list in plain site and let family and friends know you need a little extra support. Addressing one of these issues, or both, should help you see results and never revisit another weight plateau again.