Losing weight requires consistent efforts and suitable methods. People adopt a regular balanced diet and follow an exercise routine to lose weight steadily. When you engage in weight loss processes, shedding pounds over time motivates you to continue with your efforts.
The positive change in your weight drives you to take part in physical programs actively. But what if you reach a state where your weight refuses to budge? Your weight stays the same, making you lose energy and interest in losing weight. This state is known as a weight loss plateau, and it is common during your initial weight loss processes.
A weight loss plateau can be frustrating since it hinders your weight loss efforts. Some people even end up adopting unhealthy eating habits, which further reduce their pace of burning calories. We shall look into the reasons behind the occurrence of a weight loss plateau and the optimal ways to break the plateau in this article.
What is a Weight Loss Plateau?
A weight loss plateau is a state where your body weight remains the same despite following a calorie-deficit diet every day and a regular exercise plan. The weight loss you begin to experience stalls suddenly and refuses to reverse the state. This halt creates doubts among people regarding their efforts to lose weight. But you have to understand that it is common in most cases.
Many variables influence weight reduction, including behavioral, environmental, and hormonal factors. After a month of weight loss plateau, you might notice that there isn’t much change in your weight despite your efforts to lose weight. And weight loss plateau can occur due to different kinds of reasons. You could start losing weight again using a variety of methods.
What Causes a Weight Loss Plateau?
When you begin to lose weight through any weight loss method, your body utilizes glycogen for energy. This results in the loss of stored glycogen, which is partly water weight. The effects of water loss are temporary. This could result in a weight loss plateau, in which people stop losing weight despite sticking to their diet and exercise routines. According to a study, an intermittent lack of diet adherence is a significant factor in the typical early weight loss plateau.
You can find it challenging to follow a low-calorie diet regularly. While a majority of people are consistent in following the diet for the first few weeks of the weight loss plan, only a few people manage to retain the consistency. Even slight variations in your calorie intake can lead to a weight loss plateau over time. This is because your body adapts to the diet, and small unintentional changes in daily caloric intake can result in early weight reduction plateaus.
Apart from this, there can be another possible reason for a weight loss plateau. When you lose weight through a weight loss plan, you also lose some muscle mass in addition to fat loss. Your metabolism starts to slow down as a result since muscle mass is linked to your metabolism.
When you have a slow metabolism, the rate at which your body burns calories gets reduced, and it hinders your weight loss. Even if you consume the same number of calories that make you lose weight, your slow metabolism obstructs your weight loss. Therefore, you hit a plateau when your daily calorie intake and expenditure are identical.
Your body could also reach a weight loss plateau when it adjusts to weight loss and fortifies itself against further weight loss.
Ways to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau
Though it is frustrating to reach a weight loss plateau, you can lose weight again in a variety of ways. Several strategies can assist you in breaking the weight loss plateau and restarting your weight reduction efforts.
Maintain A Dietary Diary
When you have less knowledge about your food habits, you are more likely to have less control over your weight. People generally underestimate their calorie consumption and consume excess calories as a result.
Their diet plans fail to deliver the best results because of this lack of understanding. Tracking your food consumption and maintaining a dietary diary help you regulate the intake of calories and micronutrients.
Studies reveal that obese people underreport their calorie intake. You can use websites or tracking apps to record your eating and drinking patterns. This method helps prevent unhealthy eating while focusing on consuming foods with a high nutrition profile. When you keep track of your food habits, you can modify your diet to make it more suitable for you.
Manage Your Stress and Anxiety
When your stress levels are high, there is a reduction in the pace at which you lose weight. Your cravings increase and your intake of calories rises as a result. Research demonstrates that reducing stress can have a positive impact on weight loss. People who experience less stress and anxiety lose more weight than those who experience more significant stress.
Besides that, stress increases the level of cortisol, a stress hormone that causes excess storage of belly fat. This disrupts your weight loss plan, and your body ends up having a weight loss plateau because of high levels of stress.
Increase Your Workout Frequency or Intensity
Exercising or doing any workouts on a daily basis can help sustain your weight loss. You have to follow an exercise regimen that suits your goal and lifestyle on a daily basis. Proper planning can help with your consistency.
You can increase the intensity of your workouts over time. A regular exercise plan helps to build muscle mass and shed excess pounds. Your metabolic rate gets increased by following any physical program regularly.
The best sort of exercise for weight loss appears to be resistance training. Strength training increases the maintenance of muscle mass, which plays a crucial role in determining how many calories you burn during activity and at rest.
Working out an extra one or two days per week or raising the intensity of your exercises may assist in increasing your metabolic rate. You can also engage in any physical activities on a daily basis to break the weight loss plateau.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for your overall health. Research shows that people with a lack of sleep are more likely to gain weight due to reduced metabolic rate and altered hormone levels. When you get a sufficient amount of sleep, it improves your metabolism and regulates your appetite. Improved sleep helps to reduce fat accumulation and supports weight loss.
Seven to eight hours of sleep enhances your overall well-being and promotes weight loss. When you sleep an adequate number of hours, it helps with breaking your weight loss plateau.
Take in Enough Protein
Consuming adequate levels of protein can help with your weight loss. Protein enhances metabolism more than fats or carbs. Your body’s ability to burn calories increases with protein intake. Protein helps to increase the synthesis of the hormone peptide YY, which promotes a feeling of satiety and curbs your hunger.
When you take a sufficient amount of protein, it can aid in protection against the loss of muscle mass. This muscle mass loss can hinder your weight loss. Thus, protein consumption increases metabolism and can help overcome the weight loss plateau.
Experiment with Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a popular dieting method in recent times. When on an intermittent fast, you must limit your eating time and avoid eating for more than 16 hours in general. In this way, intermittent fasting helps reduce your calorie intake and prevent weight gain.
Your muscle mass is better maintained in an intermittent fast. This fasting helps sustain your metabolic rate. It can assist in overcoming your weight loss plateau.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
When you consume more fiber, it can aid in losing weight and breaking through the weight loss plateau. Primarily soluble fiber is found to slow down the passage of food through your digestive system, making you have a fuller feeling. Your appetite gets reduced, and this causes less calorie intake.
Fiber also reduces the number of calories you absorb from other foods and supports weight loss. Increasing your fiber intake can help break the weight loss plateau.
Eat More Vegetables
The best food to lose weight is vegetables. Most vegetables are low in calories but high in other nutrients. Studies demonstrate that diets with more vegetables aid in effective weight loss. Vegetables can be easily added to your diet.
The water and fiber content in vegetables can help you have a fuller feeling. Consuming enough vegetables on a daily basis helps maintain your health and aids in losing weight.
Drink more water
The weight loss plateau can also be reversed by consuming low-calorie fluids. Drinking more water can keep your body hydrated and enhance your metabolism. People who consume water before meals can experience a reduction in their weight over time.
Drinking water naturally reduces appetite. Your body’s ability to burn calories also increases by consuming water. When you remain hydrated, your body can effectively eliminate waste, which may include some amount of fat. Also, your body can only adequately digest stored fat or carbohydrates with water. Therefore, water supports weight loss.
The Bottom Line
A weight loss plateau can be discouraging when you are making efforts to lose weight. But you can overcome the plateau by adopting some methods. You do not have to be worried about its effects on your health because it is normal to experience a plateau during your initial months of weight loss.
When you follow a low-calorie diet and an exercise regimen on a daily basis, they help with breaking the plateau. You can also seek the advice of your dietician for better ways to overcome the weight loss plateau.
When you are consistent in your dietary practices and still can’t lose weight, you are at a weight loss plateau. There are different ways to break the plateau. But a weight reduction plateau won’t disappear on its own. You can modify your dietary methods to overcome the plateau and restart the weight loss process.
A weight loss plateau might persist for eight to twelve weeks. This time varies from one person to another based on various factors. According to research, weight loss plateaus occur after roughly six months of low-calorie dieting. You can break the plateau by following a regular diet and increasing the intensity of your workouts.