When you decide to start your health journey with eating right and exercising, you may experience almost immediate results. The pounds can fall off your body. Then, a month (or a few months), into your weight loss journey, something changes. You may notice that your weight has flatlined, regardless of how much you work out or how clean you eat. This is known as the infamous weight loss plateau.
Hitting your weight loss plateau can be extremely discouraging, but not all hope is lost. This is something everyone who is trying to tone up or lose weight encounters at one point or another, and there is a lot you can do in order to shorten your weight loss plateau and continue your wellness journey.
Why do weight loss plateaus happen?
- As you experience rapid weight loss, your metabolism begins to slow down significantly.
- When the body experiences weight loss, it tries to prevent the body from losing more weight. Set point theory explains that this phenomenon is due to the fact that there is a specific weight range where your body is comfortable.
- People become comfortable with their weight loss routines.
How to overcome a weight loss plateau
Increase or change your exercise.
In order to consistently lose weight and work through a weight loss plateau, you have to be constantly challenging your body. Every 3-4 weeks, you should change up your workout routine in order to physically push yourself. Your body builds up a tolerance to regular workouts, so it is important to change up the type of workouts you are doing as well as the frequency and intensity.
Keep track of your meals.
Keeping track of your eating and exercise habits can help you see where you might be going wrong in your routine. According to nutritional research, people who are dealing with a weight loss plateau tend to underestimate and underreport the amount of food they are actually eating. Not only does keeping track of your food help you recognize the number of calories you are eating, but it will also make you aware of the proportion of carbs, proteins, and sugars as well.
Reduce stress in your life.
Stress affects all aspects of our lives. It affects our minds and bodies, and with that comes our inability to lose or continue losing weight. Stress can be a huge inhibitor in overcoming a weight loss plateau. Find healthy stress-reducing tactics such as meditating, journaling, or anything that helps you manage your stress.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and it can very well help you overcome a weight loss plateau. Getting a full night’s rest will ensure that you have enough energy to continue all your activities and motivate you to continue eating healthy. It also impacts your hormone levels which determine your metabolism and your ability to burn calories.
When it comes to calories, think of quality over quantity.
Losing weight is not only about reducing the number of calories you are consuming. It matters that you eat the right kinds of calories. Make sure that you are opting for whole, healthy food options. Increasing the amount of lean protein and vegetables in your diet will maximize your workouts and is also a great way to work towards weight loss.