It’s an all too familiar dieting scenario. First, you drop a couple of pounds in a week, then you carry on losing a pound here and half a pound there. Until suddenly, your slow yet steady weight loss rate comes crashing to a halt.
That’s right, you’ve hit a weight loss plateau.
You’re still exercising, you’re still watching what you eat, so what gives? Why aren’t you continuing to lose weight? Unfortunately, this confusing conundrum has broken many a dieter. But it doesn’t have to be this way! By following our weight loss tips, you can break through your dieting plateau and start losing weight again.
Want to know how to get over a weight loss plateau? Keep reading to find out the five reasons why your weight loss has stalled and what you can do about it.
Your water intake might not seem that important compared to how many calories you’re eating or how much exercise you’re doing. But every cell in your body needs water to function, which means without enough of this essential fuel, things can start to slow down. Including your weight loss.
For this reason, weight loss tips often stress the importance of drinking eight cups of water throughout the day. Water is a natural appetite suppressant, making it excellent for staving off hunger pangs. Plus, a constant supply of water can help you avoid mistaking thirst for hunger when your energy levels dip.
Water also increases your metabolism, allowing your body to work harder at burning the calories you’ve consumed. And, water helps your body’s digestive and excretory systems work better, meaning it can expel waste and take in more nutrients for better health and faster weight loss.
Controlling portions and counting calories is the best way to ensure that you’re getting a good amount of nutrients without overeating. But if losing weight is taking you longer than you expected, this could be a sign that you’ve become lax about how many calories you’re consuming.
It’s very difficult for us to have an accurate idea of how much we eat if we don’t measure and weigh our food. Estimations are often way out, while dieters can soon forget handfuls of nuts and free-poured glasses of wine here and there.
But these calories all add up. And, while they might not be enough to cause a weight gain, those sips, nibbles, and bites are more than enough to lead to a dieting plateau.
Are you a cardio bunny who’s always sweating it out on the treadmill? Or are you also doing resistance training?
If it’s the former, your dieting plateau is likely a sign that your metabolism has slowed down following your initial weight loss. If it’s the latter, it’s time to check your measurements and body mass index. Chances are, you’re still losing fat but the muscle mass you’ve gained makes it look like you’ve hit a plateau.
What some people don’t realize is that you also lose a combination of muscle and fat when you lose weight. But you need muscle to burn calories, so losing muscle is a bad thing. Especially when you consider that a single pound of muscle burns up to 150 extra calories a day!
One way to compensate for this is to incorporate some weights into your workout plan. And we’re talking heavy weights that challenge you and leave you breathless, not two-pound dumbbells. That said, if you’ve never lifted weights before, ask a trainer at your gym for tips on form to avoid sustaining an injury.
Many dieting tips will emphasize the importance of cutting calories and hitting the gym. But all too often, gym regulars can become complacent about their activity levels, feeling that their hour-long workout is enough.
Wrong! Working out doesn’t give you a free pass to lie on the couch for the rest of the day. All activity, no matter what it is, contributes to your good health and weight loss potential.
If you have a sedentary job, try to incorporate as much non-exercise activity into your day as possible. Take a walk at lunchtime, take the stairs, take up gardening. Whatever activities you do to burn more calories isn’t important. What is important is to avoid too much sitting around between them.
No, we’re not contradicting ourselves. Just as it’s important to be as active as possible all day long, it’s also important to take time for healthy habits, including plenty of sleep and relaxation.
Stress and sleep deprivation can both stall your weight loss progress by increasing your body’s levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. When your cortisol levels rise, your body thinks it needs to conserve energy. This kills your metabolism and makes it harder to shift fat, especially in the abdominal area.
After an active day, take time to unwind and de-stress by meditating, reading, or soaking in a warm bath. Then, aim to get at least eight hours’ sleep for guaranteed sweet dreams and weight loss success.
As this list shows, there are several possible reasons why you’ve hit a weight loss plateau.
You might be an expert in how to stick with a diet, but weight loss depends on many different factors and functions in the body. From stress and sleep deprivation to muscle mass and water intake, overcoming a weight loss plateau can often be more complex than calories in vs. calories out.
Luckily, our weight loss programs can help you break through a plateau, while our team of professionals are equipped to help you with their wealth of advice and expertise. For more information or to book an appointment, feel free to contact us today!