One of the most frustrating aspects of weight loss is getting to a weight loss plateau. Thankfully, breaking the weight loss plateau is a relatively simple task knowing what causes it. When we first undertake the weight loss goal we tend to drop a lot of weight initially then the amount slowly declines over a period of weeks or months until we reach the point where we stop losing weight altogether, and it’s not that we don’t need to lose more weight either. This is referred to as a weight reduction plateau. You know you’re doing all the right things but you’re simply not losing the weight. In the first week of your program you tend to lose the largest amount of weight. Much of the weight loss this first week is actually excess fluid and can constitute as much as 9 lb (4 kg) or even more depending on your starting weight. Fluid loss can represent as much as 50% of total weight lost within the first week. There are several factors that contribute to a weight loss plateau including (but not limited to);
Insufficient Calories Consumed
Lack Of Discipline
Enhanced Health and fitness Levels
Lets deal with these one at a time.
Insufficient Calories Consumed The human body needs a MINIMUM of 1200 calories per day to work. If you consume less than that (on a crash diet for example), your body will interpret that as being in the famine and will reduce your metabolism (the bodies ability to burn calories) to be able to protect itself and be able to survive for longer. This will stop it from burning fat stores. Solution: Maintain a reasonable calorie consumption. Use a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculator to determine how many calories your body requires per day to maintain itself. Once you have determined approximately how many calories your body requires to use, reduce you calorie consumption to 500-700 calories less than that without sinking 1200 calories. More than a 700 calorie deficit may lead to muscle loss which is the next cause of a weight loss level.
Muscle Loss All bodily tissue requires energy to maintain itself, which includes fat. Muscle requires FIVE MOMENTS the amount of energy to maintain itself compared to fat does. The higher the muscle tissue percentage in your body the greater your calorie needs. Unfortunately, diets sometimes result in muscle loss. The bodies principal source of energy is carbohydrates, followed by protein then fat. Your muscles are made of proteins so if your body runs out of carbohydrates it may turn to muscle as an energy source if those muscles are no being maintained by exercise. However, muscle loss leads to a lower metabolic process. Solution: Eat a diet rich in protein and exercise in conjunction with your reduced calorie diet to maintain muscle mass and prevent muscle loss. If necessary, vitamin supplements may be utilized to ensure correct nutrition.
Weight Loss Huh? Isn’t losing weight the whole stage? Yes it is! But as you lose weight the number of calories your body requires to keep itself also reduces.
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As mentioned earlier, even fat needs calories to keep itself. Solution: As you lose weight, inspect BMR regularly to see how many calorie consumption your body requires per day and maintain the calorie consumption around 500 calories less than that. But remember, don’t consume less than 1200 calories.
Lack Of Discipline After several weeks of a new weight loss program many people tend to lose focus. They start indulging their cravings for unhealthy foods more than they should and they cut sides on exercise, skipping one day beneath the pretense of exercising twice as much the next day etc . This decreases the BMR and increases calorie intake which effectively stops weight loss. Solution: Remaining motivated during a weight loss program can be a challenge. One of the best ways to overcome this issue would be to find a weight loss buddy. Having someone to exercise with and be answerable in order to can be an effective motivator. Another great motivational tool is a printable weight loss goal setting tools worksheet. Print it out, fill it out and place it on the fridge, where you will see it frequently and it will remind you of everything you are trying to achieve
Physical Adaptation Your body adapt themselves to our calorie consumption and physical activity levels. When we begin a workout regime, our body is required to make many changes to adjust to changing workloads. The muscles have to rebuild themselves which requires many calories. But , as time passes the body finishes adapting and burns up less calories for the same activities. Remedy: Don’t allow you body to adapt. Vary your exercise program by modifying the intensity, duration, frequency plus type of exercise. If you always perform weights then go do some cardio exercise, grab a jump rope and by pass for 15 minutes. You can also utilize interval training where you swap and change between various kinds of exercise for set amounts of time.
Exercise Ability Whenever you do an exercise frequently you become better at it and your body requires less calories to perform it. A trained athlete burns much less calories playing their sport than someone who isn’t trained in that sport. Solution: Once again, don’t allow your body in order to adapt to a single exercise. Mix it up, if you’re always doing weights then go for a run, switch from the treadmill to a rowing machine etc .
Over Workout If you exercise too much your body adapts and reaches a point where the additional energy consumed in exercise is counter by a DECREASE in the amount of energy utilized when not exercising. In other words, when you enhance exercise intensity, your body decreases the amount of calories consumed during the rest of your day. Solution: Allow yourself recovery period. Take a break for a few days with some low-impact exercise like swimming or tai chi. When you return to your regular exercise routine, pull back a little and only increase intensity when needed to maintain weight loss.