Breaking the Weight Loss Plateau

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 reduce a lot of weight initially then the amount slowly declines over a period of weeks or even months until we reach the point where we stop losing weight altogether, and it’s not that we don’t need to lose more weight either. This is referred to as a weight loss plateau. You know you’re doing all of the right things but you’re just 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 actually excess fluid and can constitute as much as 9 lb (4 kg) or even more depending on your starting weight. Fluid loss can represent as much as fifty percent of total weight lost in the first week. There are several factors that will contribute to a weight loss plateau which includes (but not limited to);

Inadequate 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 requires a MINIMUM of 1200 calories per day to function. If you consume less than that (on a crash diet for example), your body will interpret that as being inside a famine and will reduce your metabolism (the bodies ability to burn calories) in order to protect itself and be able to survive for longer. This will stop it from burning fat stores. Solution: Maintain a reasonable calorie consumption. Use a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculator to find out 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 going under 1200 calories. More than a 700 calorie deficit may lead to muscle loss that is the next cause of a weight loss level.

Muscle Loss All bodily cells requires energy to maintain itself, which includes fat. Muscle requires FIVE OCCASIONS the amount of energy to maintain itself compared to fat does. The higher the muscle tissue percentage in your body the greater your caloric needs. Unfortunately, diets sometimes result in muscle loss. The bodies primary 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 energy source if those muscles are no being maintained by exercise. Sadly, muscle loss leads to a lower metabolism. Solution: Eat a diet rich in proteins and exercise in conjunction with your decreased calorie diet to maintain muscle mass and prevent muscle loss. If necessary, vitamin supplements might 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 keep itself also reduces. As mentioned earlier, even fat needs calories to keep itself. Solution: As you lose weight, look at your BMR regularly to see how many unhealthy calories your body requires per day and maintain the calorie consumption around 500 calories less than that. But remember, don’t consume lower than 1200 calories.

Lack Of Discipline After several weeks of a new weight loss program lots of people tend to lose focus. They begin indulging their cravings for processed foods more than they should and they cut sides on exercise, skipping one day beneath the pretense of exercising twice as much the next day etc . This decreases the BMR and increases calorie intake which usually effectively stops weight loss. Solution: Keeping motivated during a weight loss program can be a challenge. One of the best ways to overcome this issue is 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 up 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 The body adapt themselves to our calorie consumption and physical activity levels. When we begin an exercise regime, our body is required to make various changes to adjust to changing workloads. Our muscles have to rebuild themselves and this requires many calories. But , as time passes the body finishes adapting and burns up less calories for the same activities. Option: Don’t allow you body to adapt. Vary your exercise program by changing the intensity, duration, frequency and type of exercise. If you always perform weights then go do some cardiovascular, grab a jump rope and omit for 15 minutes. You can also utilize interval training where you swap and change between various kinds of exercise for set amounts of time.

Exercise Ability Whenever you do an exercise frequently you become better at it as well as your body requires less calories to perform it. A trained athlete burns less calories playing their sport compared to someone who isn’t trained in that sport. Solution: Once again, don’t allow your body in order 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 counteract by a DECREASE in the amount of energy used when not exercising. In other words, when you enhance exercise intensity, your body decreases the number of calories consumed during the rest of your day. Solution: Allow yourself recovery period.
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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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