Breaking the Weight Loss Plateau

One of the most frustrating aspects of weight loss is reaching a weight loss plateau. Thankfully, breaking the weight loss plateau is a relatively simple task once you know what causes it. When we first undertake the weight loss goal we tend to reduce a lot of weight initially then the quantity slowly declines over a period of weeks or months until we reach the point where we stop losing weight altogether, and it’s really not that we don’t need to lose excess fat either. This is referred to as a weight reduction plateau. You know you’re doing all of the right things but you’re simply not losing the weight. In the first week of your program you tend to reduce the largest amount of weight. Much of the weight loss this first week is really excess fluid and can constitute as much as 9 lb (4 kg) or more depending on your starting weight. Fluid loss can represent as much as 50 percent of total weight lost in the first week. There are several factors that will contribute to a weight loss plateau including (but not limited to);

Insufficient Calories Consumed
Muscle Loss
Weight Loss
Lack Of Discipline
Physical Adaptation
Physical exercise Ability
Over Exercise
Enhanced Fitness Levels
Lets deal with these one-by-one.

Insufficient Calories Consumed The human body needs a MINIMUM of 1200 calories per day to operate. If you consume less than that (on a crash diet for example), your body will interpret that as being in a famine and will reduce your metabolism (the bodies ability to burn calories) to be able to protect itself and be able to survive for longer. This will stop it from burning fat stores. Answer: Maintain a reasonable calorie consumption. Use a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculator to determine how many calories your body requires daily to maintain itself. Once you have determined approximately how many calories your body requires to use, reduce you calorie consumption to 500-700 calories less than that without not making it 1200 calories. More than a 700 calorie deficit may lead to muscle loss which is the next cause of a weight loss level.

Muscle Loss All bodily cells requires energy to maintain itself, including fat. Muscle requires FIVE TIMES the amount of energy to maintain itself than fat does. The higher the muscles percentage in your body the greater your calorie needs. Unfortunately, diets sometimes result in muscle loss. The bodies major source of energy is carbohydrates, followed by proteins then fat. Your muscles are made of proteins so if your body runs out of carbs it may turn to muscle as an power source if those muscles are simply no being maintained by exercise. Unfortunately, muscle loss leads to a lower metabolic process. Solution: Eat a diet rich in protein and exercise in conjunction with your decreased calorie diet to maintain muscle mass and prevent muscle loss. If necessary, vitamin supplements may be utilized to ensure correct nutrition.

Weight Loss Huh? Isn’t losing weight the whole stage? Yes it is! But as you slim down the number of calories your body requires to maintain itself also reduces. As mentioned previously, even fat needs calories to keep itself. Solution: As you lose weight, check your BMR regularly to see how many calories your body requires per day and maintain a calorie consumption around 500 calories less than that. But remember, don’t consume less than 1200 calories.

Lack Of Discipline After several weeks of a new weight loss program many people tend to lose focus. They start indulging their cravings for processed foods more than they should and they cut corners on exercise, skipping one day beneath the pretense of exercising twice as a lot the next day etc . This decreases the BMR and increases calorie intake which usually effectively stops weight loss. Solution: Staying motivated during a weight loss program can be a challenge. One of the best ways to overcome this issue would be to find a weight loss buddy. Having someone to exercise with and be answerable to can be an effective motivator. Another great motivational tool is a printable weight loss goal setting tools worksheet. Print it out, fill it out and place it for the fridge, where you will see it frequently and it will remind you of that which you are trying to achieve

Physical Adaptation Your body adapt themselves to our calorie consumption plus physical activity levels. When we begin a workout regime, our body is required to make a number of changes to adjust to changing workloads. Our own muscles have to rebuild themselves and this requires many calories. But , over time the body finishes adapting and can burn less calories for the same activities. Alternative: Don’t allow you body to adapt. Vary your exercise program by changing the intensity, duration, frequency plus type of exercise. If you always do weights then go do some cardiovascular, grab a jump rope and by pass for 15 minutes. You can also utilize interval training workouts where you swap and change between different types of exercise for set amounts of time.

Exercise Ability Whenever you do an exercise frequently you become better at it and your body requires less calories to do it. A trained athlete burns less calories playing their sport than someone who isn’t trained in that sports activity. Solution: Once again, don’t allow your body to adapt to a single exercise. Mix it up, if you’re always doing weights after that go for a run, switch from the treadmill to a rowing machine etc .

Over Physical exercise If you exercise too much your body adapts and reaches a point where the additional energy consumed in exercise is offset by a DECREASE in the amount of energy used when not exercising. In other words, when you raise exercise intensity, your body decreases the number of calories consumed during the rest of your day. Solution: Allow yourself recovery period. Take a break for a few days with some low-impact exercise like swimming or tai chi. When you return to your normal exercise routine, pull back a little in support of increase intensity when needed to maintain weight reduction.

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