You’re exercising and you’re eating right, so why have you hit a weight loss wall? It’s frustrating and easy to start sliding back into old bad habits when it seems like your progress has come to a screeching halt, but don’t be discouraged. Weight loss plateaus are normal, but what causes them? Well, a few factors can play into this:
- You’ve lost your water weight due to the help of glycogen, partly made of water, being burned for energy. This weight loss effect is only temporary.1
- You may have lost some muscle in the weight loss process, causing your metabolism to decline. Muscle helps provide a higher caloric-burn rate, so when you lose muscle you slow your metabolism, causing the body to burn fewer calories than before.2
- You’re eating more calories than you’re burning. As you lose weight, you have to make sure you’re adjusting your workout and caloric intake to match the goal you’re looking to achieve. You may have to amp up your exercise routineand/or change up your diet. Sometimes the body will get used to a routine and stop giving the results you desire because it needs to be jump-started again with a new-targeted exercise. Try switching things up.
The main factor to remember is NOT TO SLIP BACK INTO BAD HABITS. Remind yourself daily that you’ve become healthier and stronger than before. A number on a scale does not define success. Some tips that may help you overcome the fitness funk can be found below:
- Focus on the quality of the food you’re eating, rather than just calorie count. Consuming protein burns more calories during digestion and it contains the amino acid leucine, which helps provide the body with energy.
- Make proper sleep a priority. Yes, it may seem counterintuitive, but allowing your body the time it needs to rest can reset your hormones.3 Also, sleep deprivation increases the risk of your body developing higher levels of cortisol (dubbed the “stress hormone”), and elevated levels of this hormone can lead to an increase in body fat – especially around the midsection!
- Have you tried drinking more water? If you find yourself hungry but you’re already consuming an adequate number of calories, opt for a glass of H20. That may help curb cravings and prevent overeating.
- Make sure strength training is incorporated into your workout routine along with cardio. Strength training will help the body build muscle, which helps burn more calories. Therefore, this can lead to more fat being
Still not seeing results? If you feel like your weight loss plateau is lasting a lot longer than expected, check with your physician to make sure there are no underlying medical issues.
- “Weight Loss Stalled? Move Past the Plateau.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 7 Jan. 2015, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss-plateau/art-20044615.
- Larue, Kristina. “10 Tips to Overcome a Weight-Loss Plateau | MyFitnessPal.” Under Armour, 17 Feb. 2015, blog.myfitnesspal.com/10-tips-to-overcome-a-weight-loss-plateau/.