posted in Weightloss Management // 2.25.16
Why You Shouldn’t Give Up When You Hit a Weight Loss Plateau
Just about everyone who has ever lost weight has experienced the dreaded weight loss plateau. This is where you lose weight at a steady pace for a while, and then the weight loss seems to come to a stop.
The weight loss plateau causes a lot of people to get frustrated and give up. The plateau is normal and it is just a bump in the road on your journey. If you work hard, you can get past it. You can overcome your weight loss plateau with some work and adjustments. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t give up once you’ve hit it.
Your Body Has Changed
There are many different reasons why people hit a weight loss plateau. One major reason is that they don’t change up their exercise and eating habits after losing weight. If you lost 40 pounds, you need to eat and exercise differently than you did when they were heavy. You might need to decrease your calorie intake, or you might even need to start working out harder and increase it a little. You can use a weight loss calculator to configure your calories with your current weight. You should be proud of the plateau. Your hard work has paid off, and your body has changed so much that you need to adjust the way you are doing things. That is a really big deal, and it should be celebrated, no matter how frustrating it can be.
You Need Rest
Another reason why a weight loss plateau occurs is because the body is overworked. It can be possible to over-train. As you work out, your muscle fibers break down and rebuild. If you don’t get enough rest, they don’t rebuild; they just continue to break down. If you have hit a weight loss plateau, your body might be breaking down more than it is rebuilding. Try taking three days off from training. It might sound scary after all of your hard work, but you’ll happy you did it. You can still go for a walk if you feel like you need some exercise, but don’t do anything more strenuous than that. After your three days, get back to work.
Try New Machines
Trying new exercise machines is a great way to get passed a weight loss plateau. Your body may have gotten use to your routine, and it’s making it more difficult for you to lose weight. Try going out of your comfort zone. Get off the treadmill and jump on the elliptical of vise versa. Try some different weight machines as well. Your new body needs a new routine.
Don’t Skip Meals
It can be tempting to skip a few meals throughout the day to try and jump start that weight loss again. However, skipping meals is only going to further hinder your progress. Eating right has worked well so far, and that isn’t going to change. Try to sneak in more healthy snacks and cut out any unhealthy options that you are still allowing yourself to eat. Cut the bread completely an only eat natural cabs such as fruit. Replace the empty carbs you were eating in those sandwiches with some green, cleansing vegetables.
Create a Reward Program
You shouldn’t give up on your weight loss because you need to meet your goals. A reward program might help you get there. Tell yourself that after 10 more pounds, you can buy yourself that new swim suit that you have been dying to own, or maybe you can get your hair died a different color. New hair is a great way to celebrate a new body. The extra reward incentives might give you that last burst of energy and focus you need to break through your weight loss plateau.
Be Honest With Yourself
You have to be honest with yourself about what you are actually doing to lose the weight. Did you get frustrated when the scale didn’t change and go to Taco Bell? Did you eat a cupcake while binge watching your favorite show on Netflix. You can’t do those things and then get mad when the scale doesn’t change again. Keep a food journal and write down everything you eat. The next day, go over it once you have a new perspective. If there is something in there that is holding you back, you can change it and get past your weight loss plateau.
Do More Strength Training
If you have been doing a lot of cardio and only a little strength training, this could be a big part of your problem. When you lose weight, your metabolism actually slows down. Your body doesn’t think it needs to burn calories as quickly because of your smaller size, compared to someone who is overweight. One way to speed your metabolism is to do strength training. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest. Strength training doesn’t mean that you need to bulk up like a body builder. Most body builders focus on strength training for hours per day and they take supplements to help their muscles get larger than average. If you are doing strength training for 30 minutes per day, your muscles will tone and not bulk to an unnatural size.
Get More Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can hinder your weight loss progress. A lack of sleep will slow down your metabolism and it will stop your muscles from properly repairing themselves. Use an app or watch the clock and see how much sleep you are getting each night. If you can’t seem to get to sleep early enough to at least land 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep, try a natural sleep supplement like melatonin or ask your doctor for a prescription sleeping pill. A sleep aid could help you get the rest that your body needs to break through your weight loss plateau.
If you hit a weight loss plateau, don’t let that make you give up on your weight loss journey. You have worked way too hard to throw in the towel now. Try each of these things to see if it helps you get through it. If you still have an issue, ask your doctor to take some blood work to check for a hormonal imbalance. Chances are, however, you just need to change up your diet and exercise regimen.