We have all been there. When you started on the weight loss program the pounds came off effortlessly then suddenly one day, the scale came to a stand still. The day turned into months and that scale did not budge. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you eat right, you exercise every day, but when you get on that scale, you might be disappointed. This also means that you have reached a weight loss plateau. Our body is resistant to change, and that is why it becomes hard for some people to overcome the weight loss plateau. Weight loss plateau just means that your working hard towards your weight loss goal by dieting and exercise paid off , while your body adapted to that change, you hit the weight loss plateau. But getting past a weight loss plateau might not be as hard as you might think. Here are some tips and tricks to break a weight loss plateau.
- Be honest with yourself: Accept that you are human and there are going to be a few slip ups and you are going to fall off the track. Indulge yourself once in a while and if at all you reach a weight loss plateau, it is okay. It happens to the best of us. Realizing this is the first step in overcoming the weight loss plateau.
- Don’t Give up : When people see that they are have reached a weight loss plateau, very often they get disheartened, discouraged and revert back to their old habits. This is the worst thing you can do. Take a deep breath, revisit your goals and start all over again. Every thing is not lost yet!
- Increase your calorie intake: I know you might think that this is ridiculous, you don’t eat more when you are trying to lose weight, but the science behind eating more calories is that, when you exercised and took in fewer calories to lose weight, your body became accustomed to fewer calories and as a result your metabolism slowed down. Now what worked for you before, will not work now as your body adapted to eating fewer calories. To increase your metabolism you have to eat more so you can lose more weight.
- Increasing your physical activity: Increase the amount of time that you spend exercising by 10 to 15 more minutes or increase the intensity or the speed of your workout, this will help you to break the weight loss plateau.
- Realistic Goals: Make sure that you have set up realistic goals for yourself. Losing up to 2 pounds a week is realistic, but if you setup unrealistic goals like 10 pounds a week, you are setting yourself up for failure.
- Meditate: Reaching a weight loss plateau can be upsetting, but you should remember that this is not the end of it. Getting upset increases your cortisol levels and stresses you out, which is not good if you are trying to lose weight. The best thing is to relax your mind through meditation, and while meditating take a deep breath and imagine your self getting up exercising and those pound coming off. As wise men have said that if you want to actualize it, you should visualize it first.
- Keeping track of food: Keeping track of what you have eaten is very important when you have reached a weight loss plateau. This is important as we sometimes underestimate the amount of food we eat and get off track.
- Changing your habits:If you are the kind of person that reward yourself with food with food, change your habits. Go and reward yourself with a movie for a change for all the hard work.
- Eating more protein: Eating more protein or drinking a protein shake at a meal helps too as, it keeps you fuller helping with your weight loss plateau.
- Drink more water: Drink more water and cut your sodium intake. When you drink more water you are less likely to retain water as it flushes out excess sodium in the body, which can sometimes be the reason for the weight loss plateau. Remember weight loss will not differentiate between fat loss or water loss.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables: Eating more fiber is also very important as with protein fiber will help you keep full for a long time. Each gram of fiber will burn 7 calories. Fiber is a secret weight loss weapon.
- Change your exercise regimen: Don’t let your body get used to an exercise regimen, as it will adapt very quickly and you will reach a weight loss plateau. If you have walked, as a part of your exercise regimen, to break a weight loss plateau, exercise on an elliptical or run. As body gets used to a particular routine, the muscles get stronger you need to do something different to re programme your body to overcome the plateau. Switching these exercises will not only help you break the plateau but also help you by not getting bored by a monotonous routine.
- Know what works for you: Every body is different a 1200 calorie diet may work for one person but not the other. If a person does good on a 1200 calorie diet, other person on the same 1200 calorie diet may go into a starvation mode and instead of losing weight the body will hold on to the fat in the body. So it is very important to know your own metabolism and what works for you,some times 1600 calories may help you burn more fat then you were to at 1200 calorie diet.
- Interval training: Interval training will help you over come weight loss plateau.
- Weight training: Weight training also helps with the weight loss plateau. The increase in the muscle mass not only compensates for the loss of calories but also helps your body shed those pounds faster. It is said that muscle burns more calories and help you with the weight loss plateau by losing more weight.
- Time to rest: If you have worked out too hard, then it is time to rest and take a break. When you exercise too much your body spend the energy during that exercise and compensate it by not spending the energy through out the day which reduces the amount of calories that you burn through the rest of the day.
- Sleep more: Having more snooze time will also help you break a weight loss plateau. Sleep more to lose more weight is true. See that you are getting adequate amount of sleep, as the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin depend on the amount of sleep you get
Remember that plateaus are also important and sometimes inevitable. They teach you to reassess your health, if you want to lose more weight or if you are at a healthy weight then to maintain it.
Mayo Clinic on weight loss plateau
DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informative purposes only. Do not make any changes to your diet, lifestyle, or treatment plan before contacting your physician or health care provider.