Probably the most frustrating aspects of weight loss is getting to a weight loss plateau. Thankfully, breaking the weight reduction plateau is a relatively simple task knowing what causes it. When we first undertake a weight loss goal we tend to drop a lot of weight initially then the amount slowly declines over a period of weeks or even months until we reach the stage 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 loss plateau. You know you’re doing all the right things but you’re just not losing the weight. In the first week of your program you tend to get rid of the largest amount of weight. Much of the loss this first week is really excess fluid and can constitute just as much as 9 lb (4 kg) or even more depending on your starting weight. Fluid loss can represent as much as 50% 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
Lack Of Discipline
Enhanced Health and fitness Levels
Lets deal with these one-by-one.
Insufficient Calories Consumed The human body requires a MINIMUM of 1200 calories per day to operate. If you consume less than that (on a crash diet for example), the body will interpret that as being within 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 each day to maintain itself. Once you have determined around how many calories your body requires to operate, reduce you calorie consumption to 500-700 calories less than that without sinking 1200 calories. More than a 700 calorie deficit may lead to muscle loss which is the next cause of a weight loss plateau.
Muscle Loss All bodily cells requires energy to maintain itself, which includes fat. Muscle requires FIVE INSTANCES 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 main source of energy is carbohydrates, followed by protein then fat. Your muscles are made of protein so if your body runs out of carbohydrates 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 metabolism. Solution: Eat a diet rich in proteins and exercise in conjunction with your reduced calorie diet to maintain muscle mass and stop muscle loss. If necessary, vitamin supplements may be utilized to ensure correct nutrition.
Weight reduction Huh? Isn’t losing weight the whole point? Yes it is! But as you lose weight the number of calories your body requires to keep itself also reduces.
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As mentioned previously, even fat needs calories to keep itself. Solution: As you lose weight, inspect BMR regularly to see how many calories your body requires per day and maintain the calorie consumption around 500 calories lower than that. But remember, don’t consume less than 1200 calories.
Lack Of Discipline Right after several weeks of a new weight loss program many people tend to lose focus. They start indulging their cravings for unhealthy foods more than they should and they cut edges on exercise, skipping one day underneath the pretense of exercising twice as much the next day etc . This decreases the particular BMR and increases calorie intake which usually effectively stops weight loss. Solution: Staying motivated during a weight loss program can be a problem. One of the best ways to overcome this issue is to find a weight loss buddy. Having anyone to exercise with and be answerable to can be an effective motivator. Another great motivational tool is a printable weight loss goal setting worksheet. Print it out, fill it out and place it in the fridge, where you will see it regularly and it will remind you of everything you are trying to achieve
Physical Adaptation Our bodies adapt themselves to our calorie consumption and physical activity levels. When we begin an exercise regime, our body is required to make many 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 burns up less calories for the same activities. Answer: Don’t allow you body to adapt. Vary your exercise program by modifying the intensity, duration, frequency plus type of exercise. If you always perform weights then go do some cardio exercise, grab a jump rope and skip for 15 minutes. You can also utilize interval training where you swap and change between different types of exercise for set amounts of period.
Exercise Ability Whenever you do an exercise frequently you become better at it as well as your body requires less calories to execute it. A trained athlete burns much 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 up, if you’re always doing weights then go for a run, switch from the home treadmill to a rowing machine etc .
Over Physical exercise If you exercise too much your body adapts and reaches a point where the extra energy consumed in exercise is counter by a DECREASE in the amount of energy utilized when not exercising. In other words, when you increase exercise intensity, your body decreases the number of calories consumed during the rest of your entire day. Solution: Allow yourself recovery time. 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 and only increase intensity when needed to maintain weight loss.