When you are attempting to diet and get fit, you will find a disturbing phenomenon occurs that may begin to discourage you from continuing your efforts. Dieters around the world have come to know this as the weight loss plateau. After weeks of losing tons of weight and getting fantastic results, you will find that suddenly you have stopped losing weight, even though you are still eating right and exercising. Getting over the weight loss plateau can be a very difficult task if you don’t have the knowledge necessary to get to the next level of your health journey.
Why Does a Weight Loss Plateau Occur?
Once you can understand what a weight loss plateau is, you can better combat it. You have to realize that your body is an amazing thing. The very system processes that could save your life in extreme circumstances are the reason why you may be finding it hard to continue to lose weight in the first place. The human body works very hard to keep itself in balance as far as the energy that goes in and comes out of it. For example, if you drop your calorie intake too much, your body thinks that you are starving. Therefore, it tries to balance this out by lowering how fast your body uses the calories that you put into it. Now your body needs fewer calories to maintain the same weight, and it makes it very hard for you to lose the last few pounds.
For some people, fat loss plateaus are a sign that they have eased up too much on the restrictions that kept them losing weight so rapidly at the beginning of their diet. This, of course, simply means they need to get back to basics and follow their diets more strictly. For other people, a weight loss plateau means it is time for a change. Perhaps their body has adjusted to the lower caloric intake and now needs additional exercise to help burn calories. Or maybe a simple change in types of food eaten each day or diet break will help them push through.
So, what can you do to work through a weight loss plateau?
How to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau
There are weight loss programs now that have built-in systems to avoid plateaus in weight loss. These programs have had great results, but if you cannot afford the price, there are several things you can do on your own to get out of the rut. Before you begin, look closely at your weight loss, and exercise plan. Analyze what you are doing, and then put some of these ideas into practice.
1. To break your weight loss plateau, first, you should rest. Muscle builds best when it is resting, but rest does not mean laziness. Rest for about a week, and during this time, be active. Do activities such as Yoga, or go walking. Even housework or gardening are good activities to do while you are having a rest week.
2. Another thing you can do to break a weight loss plateau is to cut back on salt. Salt is tasty, but it works with the water in your body. As you take in more salt, your body builds up more water to balance it. This adds pounds. Cut back on high salt foods, and you will see results. Drinking water and staying hydrated will also help this issue.
3. Perhaps your trouble is because of what you are not eating. You may wonder how eating will help you to lose weight, but the food is what provides you with energy. If all you are eating is protein, then you will be full but not have the energy that good carbohydrates can give you. Also, look at if you are eating enough. If you are starving yourself, your body will not function correctly, and may even be clinging to the pounds in a natural concern of your self-induced food shortage.
4. Make sure that you evaluate your workout intensity. Is the intensity all the same? If so, you need to change it up. Decide what days will be high intensity, low, etc. During a workout, be sure to vary your intensity as well. Take a few minutes and work your heart out, then slow down a little. Do this, and your body will not get used to it. Exercise for 30-40 minutes with varied intensity. It is important to keep track of your heart rate. Either use a heart monitor or count your beats over six seconds and multiply the number times 10 to know what your heart rate is at.
5. Control your Portion Size. You might be eating healthy and non-fattening food, but do you take stock of how much you are actually eating? To cut back on the portion of food you have every day, the best thing to do is to swap your dinner plates for salad plates. Using smaller salad plates makes it impossible to pile it with food. This, in turn, tricks your brain into thinking that you are eating as much as earlier since the plate appears fuller. Exercising portion control is essential when you are trying to lose those last kilos.
6. Drink More Water. Sometimes in your eagerness to lose weight fast, you might forget to drink the required amount of water. This makes the body hang on to water leading to water retention. This might be one of the reasons why you do not see the scales budging from one position. It is very important to drink water so that the toxins are flushed out, and your body is not dehydrated. Just increase your water intake and see if it helps in breaking the weight loss plateau.
7. Keep a Food Journal. You might think that you are eating healthy, but without knowing you might be sabotaging your diet by taking a bite of snack here and a sip of coffee there. Keeping a food journal where you write about every single thing that you eat and drink will help you take stock of the number of calories you are actually eating. This will help you evaluate whether you need to make any changes in your eating habits.
Not losing weight when religiously following a diet can be hard to accept. Always remember that healthy fat loss will come in moderation and with some effort attached.