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How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau

You have subjected yourself to countless and consistent dietary and body exercise routines for the sole purpose of losing weight only to discover that your weight loss mission gradually begins to decline after a period of time until it reaches a stall. If this describes you, be sure that this is the perfect article for you. 

Every dieter seeks to achieve one common goal – lose weight. However, as they progress to achieve this aim by sticking to routines, a time comes when they begin to experience a sudden decline and a subsequent halt in weight loss progression even before they achieve their desired body goals.

If you are a dieter, you sure can verify the above statement as facts and not mere assumptions. One thing you are probably not aware of however, is that this occurrence is common to all dieters.

You can overcome a plateau in weight loss by simply making some changes to your diet and exercise regimen.

What is a Weight Loss Plateau?

A weight loss plateau (or plateau) is an occurrence in which no weight loss is observed after a period of time (approximately 2 weeks) despite sticking to adequate diet and exercise routines that initially used to yield a loss of body weight.

This experience can be quite frustrating to many dieters and this has led many to give up on meeting their desired body weight targets - If you have at one point given up on attaining your desired body weight as a result of this experience, you have made a huge mistake. Do not beat yourself up as this article is here to help you regain that winning mindset you once lost. If you are planning on quitting as a result of this experience, I can assure you that you will reconsider after going through this article.

The first thing you need to know is that a weight loss plateau is always bound to happen. It is a normal part of your journey to achieving your desired body weight. In fact, that you are experiencing this simply shows that you are doing the right thing.

One fundamental thing you need to understand is this - Your body will usually react to changes that it is naturally not accustomed to. In this case, as you begin to lose some weight, your body begins to adjust itself and adapt to the change it is experiencing. Adaptation is an important characteristic of all living organisms. Wow! Isn't it amazing how the human body works?

Why Do You Experience a Weight Loss Plateau?

When you begin to adhere to a dietary regimen and do regular exercises, it is very normal for you to experience a drastic loss of body weight.

This is the simple biochemistry to it - Excess glucose from carbohydrate meals are stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. Glycogen which has some level of water composition act as an energy reserve. When you burn calories, your body simply breaks down glycogen to release energy and water and this is why you experience a drastic loss of weight. This weight loss however, is pseudo because your body is expelling water weight and not so much of fat loss takes place at the beginning phases of body weight loss.

As you continue to lose water weight however, the amount of calories you burn will begin to reduce. This is because, a gradual lose of weight implies that you are losing some fats and some muscles. Since your body muscles are important to achieve increased metabolism, you experience a decline in body metabolism which in turn results to a weight loss stall.

It is worth noting that regardless of your consistency in adhering to your diet regimen, a decline in metabolic activity will consequently lead to a decline in weight loss and after a period of time, you experience a weight loss plateau.

A few tricks that have been tested and proven to be true will however help you to make further progress on this beautiful journey to achieving your desired body weight.

How Do You Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau?

This is the question that is probably lingering in your mind. Go grab yourself a glass of water. The answer to this question is not so far away.

After reading and practicing these tricks, as you go about your daily routine, you'll be amazed at the results you'll get. It works like Harry Potter's magic!

The primary and probably the most important step to overcoming this big obstacle standing against your target is to ensure that you are adequately monitoring the food and drink you consume.  A question you should always ask yourself - "How many calories am I consuming daily?"

Achieving desired body weight is an art that you must master, if you truly want to achieve maximum results.

There is a high chance that you are probably new to this game; you probably just started your journey to maintaining a diet structure. If this is you, then there is also a high tendency (about 9/10) that you are not adhering strictly to your diet routine. You have probably found yourself sneaking some meals into your stomach as opposed to your laid out diet plan.

Don't feel bad about this, 90% of people are bound to do the same. That's just what being human feels like.

If you are one of the 90%, then you will need to make necessary amendments by sticking to your diet routine. This will help you get back to achieving weight loss.

If you do not fall into this category, then you should resort to any of these two;

  • Eat less
  • Exercise more

You have probably made up your mind on which way to go. Wait a minute! I can guess which option you chose to go for - Eating less

Did I guess right? I can bet 7 out of 10 that I read your mind perfectly and no, I am not a psychic!

Humans are generally wired to go for the easiest options which in this case, is the "eat less" option.

Well, nutritionists do not advise that you go for the first option. They'd rather advise that you do more of body exercises to lose weight as opposed to reducing your calorie intake.

You lose weight faster when you subject your body to regular exercises.

Asides from the slower results you get from dieting when compared to regular exercises, there are other side effects such as physical and mental retrogressions that are associated with eating less to lose weight.

It is advised therefore that you do more of exercises even before you begin to cut down on your calorie intake.

The question is how much of regular body exercise is recommended. It is very important to note this - Do not be so hard on yourself. Do as much exercises as your body can take. Do not go beyond the limits of your body strength. If you do more than is necessary, you will most likely experience insomnia, intense hunger and frequent fatigue.

Do you feel like you are engaging in adequate body exercise but you are still not losing weight? Here's why you are experiencing this;

  • Changes in water weight conceals the loss of fat in your body: The exact amount of water your body loses at the end of every exercise, when compared, will show inconsistent results. There are many instances where people (and you might be one of them), despite consistent body exercise routines, experience very little to no loss of weight. Very frustrating, right?

The reason this happens is because you simply are not paying close attention to your calorie intake. It is important to monitor the amount of calories you consume even as you workout. Do not be so broke that you cannot pay attention.

Increased calorie consumption usually upsets the body's metabolic process thus leading to a decrease in the secretion of a steroid hormone in the body called hydrocortisone. This in turn leads to increased water loss (which is a pseudo loss of weight, remember?)

Another reason you might be experiencing a weight loss plateau despite your regular workout sessions is that, your body is probably not expelling excrements and this can conceal weight loss since these excrements add to your body weight.

You should not consider cutting your calorie intake until you have undergone at least two weeks of consistent body exercises.

You can do well to check your weight loss progression every morning, without your clothes on. Compare your results after two weeks and find your mean weight loss.

Doing this should give you a clear view of whether or not you are indeed losing weight.

If you discover that you are experiencing a weight loss plateau, you can add some minor tweaks to your exercise and diet routines.

  • As a result of body adaptation during exercises: You lose lots of fat when you initially begin to exercise your body. You begin to experience steady decline however, as your body weight decreases. The reason is simple; the amount of energy required during workout for someone who weighs heavy is very much lesser when compared to his light weight counterpart.

Since energy is expelled as you burn fats, lower energy requirements will ultimately lead to less loss of fat.

If you fall in this category, then the only way you can continue to lose weight is by monitoring your calorie consumption.

Here is a disclaimer!!

Monitoring your calorie consumption should be systematic. Do not make a mistake of making sharp cuts to your daily intake of calories (about 100 calorie reduction every 14 days is recommended).

You can cut down your calorie intake by consuming less of carbohydrates than you are accustomed to. Do not make the mistake of avoiding meals containing proteins and fats.

The rate at which your body disburses energy per time will determine the amount of time that it will take to stick to the recommended calorie reduction routine. This rate differs with each individuals. 

A Gentle Reminder

If you have read through to this subheading, you must have been enlightened on the causes of your weight loss plateau and the tricks you can adopt in order to scale this hurdle.

Never forget these;

  • A weight loss plateau is not as a disease but a normal occurrence. Do not make so much of a big deal out of it
  • Although an obstacle to achieving the body weight you so crave for, a weight loss plateau can be a thing of the past if you make slight adjustments to your diet and workout routine.
  • Please, make sure that you are monitoring your calorie intake properly.
  • Start your journey to overcoming your weight loss plateauby working out consistently, bearing in mind the consequences of overdoing things. Do not shoot yourself on the leg.
  • You can always do well to follow a calorie reduction routine as recommended by a professional nutritionist.

When Should I Consider Making these Adjustments? 

  • When you can fully ascertain that you are actually experiencing a weight loss stall. You can do well to keep your body weight in check on a daily basis and determine your mean weight loss at every two weeks interval.

If you apply any of these tricks appropriately (depending on what category you fall into), you should overcome your weight loss plateau in no time.

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss-plateau/art-20044615

https://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/articles/2018-02-09/3-reasons-youve-hit-a-weight-loss-plateau-and-how-to-break-through

https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/plateau-no-more

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