What To Do When Your Weight Loss Has Plateaued?
You have been working very hard to follow a low-calorie diet and improve the habits of your exercise. Watching your weight going down is a reward for all the hard work that you have put in. This makes you feel quite good. But at times the scale stops bulging and identifying the reason for this might be a little difficult. You have thus hit a weight loss plateau. But make sure not to get discouraged at this point.
Understanding What The Weight-Loss Plateau Is All About
Getting stuck at a weight-loss plateau is quite normal. This happens to all people who are trying to lose weight. People tend to get surprised when it happens to them because they are still exercising regularly and eating carefully. The most frustrating part is that even when you plan out the weight loss program in the best way, the weight loss efforts can still stall.
How Does Weight Loss Occur?
During the first few weeks when you reduce the intake of calories, it is quite normal for your weight to drop suddenly. This is because when you cut down calories, the body gets the energy from the glycogen stores. Glycogen is made of partly water and so when this is burnt for energy, water gets out. This is a temporary effect.
When you lose weight, along with the fat, you also lose muscles. It is the muscles that keep the rate of calories burning up. Therefore, when you lose weight, your metabolism also tends to decline. Thus, there are fewer calories that are burnt in comparison to the number of calories burnt when you do heavy weight training. If the rate of metabolism is slow, it will also slow down the weight loss. This will happen even if you eat the same amount of calories that had previously helped you to lose weight. When the amount of calories you burn and the amount you eat becomes equal, you tend to reach a plateau.
If you want to increase more weight, you will have to either increase the amount of physical activity or decrease the amount of your calorie intake. If you follow the same strategy that you used during the weight loss, it will help you maintain the same weight, however, will not help you to lose calories.
Steps That Will Help You to Lose Weight After The Weight Loss Is Plateaued
If you want to overcome a weight loss plateau, you need to adjust the intake of calories. When you lose weight, your body will need much fewer calories for maintenance. If you consume the same amount of calories on day 1 and day 60, it will not be able to help you lose the same amount of weight on day 60 as it did on day 1.
If you are interested to know about a few steps that will help you to start losing weight once it has plateaued, you can go through the discussion given below:
Eat More Fiber
You must have heard that the best way to lose fat is with the help of fiber. Researchers say that if you include a lot of fiber in your diet, it will certainly help you to lose weight even after the weight loss has plateaued. Aim for at least 30 grams of fiber each day from fresh fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. Some of the best sources of fiber that defeats the weight plateau are:
- Nuts and Seeds ( almonds, peanuts, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax)
- Berries ( Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
- Beans ( peas, black beans, chickpeas)
If you are still not convinced about whether you should add more fiber to your plate, you can check out a study that was conducted in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It says that if you simply aim to eat 30 grams of fiber each day, it will help you to lose weight. This will also increase your insulin sensitivity. If you want, you can swap cookies with berries and white rice with barley. This certainly seems quite appealing.
Increasing the Exercise Frequency Or Intensity
A person can break through a weight loss plateau by making progressive and small changes in the levels of their activities. Exercise helps people to build muscles that can help in improving the rate of metabolism in an individual. The amount of exercise a person needs depends on several different factors. These include both your age and weight.
According to the Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans, adults should at least do 150 – 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week and 75-150 minutes of vigorous or high intensity exercise each week. There are again some people who need more than 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week and this helps them to maintain proper body weight.
Studies show that if you reduce the amount of stress level, this can certainly help people to lose weight. In one of the researches, it has been found that there are two groups of people with obesity issues. One group of people received advice about a healthy lifestyle and also participated in a stress management program. The other group only received advice. The participants in the stress management group were able to significantly reduce the BMI as compared to those in the control group.
Make Sure That You Get a Good Sleep
Sleeping adequately for an adequate number of hours will improve the outcomes of weight loss. People who have slept for less than 6 hours in one night had lesser changes in the circumference of the waist in comparison to people who slept for 7 to 9 hours. If you improve the duration and the quality of the sleep, it will allow you to break through the weight loss plateau.
It is normal for weight loss to slow down and halt. If you can find out the reasons as to why the weight loss has plateaued, you will be able to take a proper decision to avoid backsliding on the new healthy habits.