At a certain point during your weight loss journey, you will reach a point where; any additional weight loss strategy or change in diet does not yield additional weight loss. This is when you will be told that you have hit a weight loss plateau.
To break through the weight loss plateau, you will need to reduce on your carbs intake, increase protein intake, getting enough quality sleep, drinking more water and more tips in this article that will get you losing weight again.
What is a weight loss plateau?
A weight-loss plateau is a stage in the weight loss journey where you do all the activities right including intake of weight loss-friendly foods and regular body exercise but still see no change in the scale figures. At this point, you will not be able to lose weight but stay at the same weight while you haven’t abandoned your weight loss plan.
Why is my weight loss stuck?
Some of the causes of a weight loss plateau are;
- The same workout routines may no longer be challenging for the body.
- Lack of motivation.
- Decline in metabolism due to a decrease in weight.
- Change in habits towards weight loss after seeing weight loss.
- Impatience and use of the scales as the main indicator for weight loss.
Will a weight loss plateau go away on its own?
A weight-loss plateau will not go away on its own but rather changing a few things in your weight loss plan can get you the results.
Changing the diet, workouts, and other habits as we shall in this article will see you through the weight loss plateau.
How to break through a weight loss plateau.
To get through that ugly time of no weight loss while doing what you have been doing can be overcome by re-adjusting your weight-loss strategies as seen below;
1. Reduce your carbs intake.
Carbs are always thought of as the cause of weight gain and obesity. All this is linked to the many calories that exist in carbs, especially refined carbs.
Low carbs diets like keto, Atkin’s diet show effectiveness towards weight loss. Low carbs diet also reduces hunger and promotes the feeling of fullness since they always recommend a high protein intake which has many advantages.
Additionally, a low carbs diet forces the body to burn fat for fuel which helps you break the plateau.
2. Increase your exercises, intensity, and variations.
Exercises and diets are sure-win weight-loss strategies. However, to lose weight with exercises, they must be challenging to the body.
Doing the same exercises every day can lead to a weight loss plateau when the exercises aren’t challenging anymore.
It is therefore important that you increase the intensity, try different variations, and increase the time you spend working out.
Additionally, resistance training promotes muscle mass that increases metabolism and thus should be included in your exercise routines.
Resistance training is effective for weight loss compared to other forms of exercise and thus should be added to your workouts if you haven’t been doing them.
3. Increase your protein intake.
Proteins are known for weight loss as they help keep you satisfied longer and increase metabolism rate more than other food groups like fats and carbs.
People who eat protein-rich foods and those who start their day with a protein-rich breakfast keep their satiety longer. These consume fewer calories during the day and can avoid unnecessary cravings.
Eating proteins also increases the leptin which is a hormone that makes you feel satisfied. This hormone will help you avoid cravings thus consume fewer calories throughout the day.
Additionally, eating proteins prevents muscle loss. Loss of muscle mass is linked to reduced metabolism. Therefore eat more proteins to increase muscle mass which in turn will increase your metabolic rate for weight loss.
4. Try to stay happy by managing stress levels.
Stress is associated with weight gain and plateau. Stress increases cortisol which is a stress hormone that increases belly fat storage and other weight gain associated with stress. From research carried out, it was discovered that managing your stress levels can help promote weight loss. Doing exercises such as; yoga, jogging, and other stress managing activities can help you control stress and break the plateau.
5. Get enough quality sleep.
Not getting enough sleep can cause a weight loss plateau by increasing fat storage, lowering the metabolic rate, and increasing hunger causing hormones.
Few hours of sleep also cause cravings when the body demands food to stay energized causing you to overeat.
To break a weight loss plateau, you will need to get quality sleep of 7-8 hours per night. To learn more about how sleep helps with weight loss read the article here that talks about how to lose weight while sleeping.
6. Choose fiber-filled foods.
If you happen to select carbs food sources, choose those with high fiber content. Fiber has many benefits for weight loss. for example, taking long for food to be digested, reducing appetite, and being low in calories.
These are usually whole foods that are nutritious, low in calories, and weight loss friendly.
Eating more fiber food sources will help you break the plateau.
7. Drink more water.
Plain water can boost metabolism by 24-30% for a whopping 1 and a half hours after drinking 500mls. Drinking water will also suppress your appetite, ease digestion, and reduce your general food intake.
While on a weight loss plateau, increasing your water intake helps to break it. Water is linked to many weight loss benefits which you can read here in the article Interesting facts about drinking water for weight loss. In this article, you will get to know more about drinking water which will help you break the weight loss plateau.
8. Try intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is alternating in and out periods of fasting and eating, all intended to burn body fat in order to lose weight. intermittent fasting reduces calorie intake, kick starts ketosis which is burning fat in the body for fuel and also boosting metabolism.
Therefore, involving intermittent fasting in your lifestyle can help break the weight loss plateau.
To learn more about intermittent fasting and its variations, read the article on intermittent fasting for weight loss. There are over 5 methods of fasting that will help you break the weight loss plateau.
9. Don’t skip meals especially breakfast.
Skipping meals is bad for weight loss and can lead to a weight loss plateau. When you skip meals, your metabolism slows making you burn fewer calories at rest. Additionally, skipping meals will also cause you to overeat on your next meal.
You can also choose to have weight friendly snacks so as your body ‘s metabolism doesn’t reduce due to low energy levels. The most important meal you shouldn’t miss is breakfast, where your body will get the energy to work effectively for weight loss.
When you eat at the right moments without skipping meals, you will be able to make healthy food choices compared to when you are extremely hungry and your body is so much craving for food.
10. Reduce your calorie intake.
”The calorie intake that got you to your weight may not be the same calorie intake to break the plateau.” As you lose weight, your body will need fewer calories for maintenance. This means that taking the same calories as you started your weight loss journey will not make you lose weight but rather hit a plateau with it.
It is therefore advisable to lower your calorie intake lower than that which you have been using for weight loss before you hit the plateau. Try cutting out around 100-2000 calories and see how it will affect the scale after a week.
11. Cut on your alcohol intake.
Most alcoholic beverages are high in calories and sometime when people get drunk, they may leave healthy eating which in turn causes weight gain and hitting a plateau even when other things are done right.
Reducing the amount of alcohol you take will help you overcome a weight loss plateau.
12. Plan your meals.
When you hit a weight loss plateau, try planning your meals accordingly. The plan includes your calorie intake, eating times, and also set a time for snacks.
This will help you avoid unnecessary eating, and making unhealthy food choices.
13. Track and count calories of everything you eat.
Taking a record of everything you eat can help you have detailed information about what may be going wrong. This helps you follow your diet and remind you when you are to stick to your calorie intake target.
14. Get off the couch and get more active.
A sedentary lifestyle can cause a weight loss plateau. To people who spend most of their time indoors sitting on the couch watching TV, spending more time in the office, or generally being less active can fall into a weight loss plateau.
Get more active even with little activities like walking the stairs instead of using the elevator, parking further from the store so as you can move a long distance to the store and others like fetching your own snacks from the kitchen while watching TV.
Those little activities change a lot as they help burn extra calories and break the weight loss plateau.
15. Get support.
Workouts or engaging in weight loss alone can be rather boring and this can lead to falling into a weight loss plateau due to lack of motivation.
However, recruiting a fitness friend into your workouts can help you stick to your workout routines, trainer harder, and stick to your weight loss plan.
Support can be in many forms for example a support group, friends or family, or an app that reminds you and keeps you motivated.
16. Eat more vegetables at meals.
Most vegetables are ideal weight loss foods that are low in calories, highly nutritious, and are packed with fiber which has a lot of weight loss benefits.
In case of a weight loss plateau, start eating more vegetables at all meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will help you fill your diet with low-calorie foods that are nutritious.
17. The scale is not the only indicator of weight loss.
If you’re working out regularly, you may build muscles that are denser than fat. On the scale, it will appear as if you aren’t losing any weight yet in actual sense you are losing the unhealthy fat. Lean muscles boost your metabolism which may help to break the plateau.
It is therefore not recommended to use the scale alone as a means of measuring your progress. Another effective way to see weight loss progress other than the scale is by using old clothes to see if they still fit as earlier. If they aren’t tight as they used to be, take that as a win and keep on with your weight loss plan.
18. Re-adjust your weight loss workout sessions.
When you hit the plateau, think about increasing your workout time. In many cases, workout routines that got us there may not the ones that will make us overcome the plateau. For exercises to be effective for weight loss, they must be challenging to the body.
Therefore, increasing weights and reps for resistance training, increasing distance you run or jog and the increments in exercise routines can help you reverse the weight loss plateau.
Why am I not losing weight when I eat fewer calories?
To begin with, in order to lose weight, one should be in a calorie deficit meaning that; burn more calories than he or she consumes.
It is therefore not obvious that eating fewer calories will lead to weight loss unless you burn those calories completely through exercise.
When you say fewer calories, it doesn’t mean that they are the calories you must consume for weight loss. Depending on age, sex, rate of metabolism, and physical activity, each person has a different number of calories he or she should consume for weight loss.
On average, women need about 1200 calories per day to lose 1-2 pounds per week while men need an average of 15000 calories per day to lose the same weight.
It is important to note that calories that aren’t burned are stored as reserve energy in the form of fat. Therefore, when you say fewer calories when you are consuming 2500 calories from the 3400 calories you have been consuming, you will not lose weight.
The bottom line.
When you hit the weight loss plateau, don’t get discouraged. Just change a few things in your weight loss pan starting from the diet, workout routines, and other habits. Dropping some activities while adopting others will help you break through the weight loss plateau.
Do you know weight loss foods that can help you lose weight? Read the article that talks about healthy foods for weight loss.
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