How To Break A Weight Loss Plateau ?
If you have been making progress with weight loss and then all of a sudden your progress has stopped, you are stuck at a certain number and the scale refuses to budge no matter what you do. You must conclude you have reached weight loss plateau.
What causes a Weight Loss Plateau?
When one starts with a diet plan to lose weight, initially you will see a rapid change on your scale. It is because when you cut back on your calories your body derives energy from stored glycogen. This is temporary as glycogen is partly made up from water so you lose water weight.
As you go along losing weight, you lose muscles as well which results in slower metabolism, but you still eating same calories. When the calories you burn equals the calorie you eat, you will reach the stage of plateau in your weight loss journey.
Here are few things you can do to break the weight loss plateau:
Assess your routine: We all know maintaining healthy lifestyle and losing weight is just not about calorie intake and calories out. It is the combination of mental, physical and social well-being. So take a step back and retrospect, are you lacking in your sleep or physical activity, or you are in some kind of stress? Sometimes people are so focused on their diet that they forget other aspects.
Scale – Not the complete the truth: If you are the one who stand on the scale every day to check your progress then you are setting unrealistic goals for yourself. Numerical value that you get on scale is not the actual result as it gives you total weight including water,muscles and bone weight. Best way to actually judge your progress is to check your fat percentage and muscle percentage. It’s best that when you the start with your weight loss journey, always take your measurement.
Try to set your eating window: Try to set an eating window as per your schedule, where in you will eat for 8 hours and fast for 16 hours. This helps you to restrict your calories intake and will give your body much needed rest for repair work.
Best eating window for weight loss:
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Noon to 8 p.m.
Check your portion size: Don’t burden yourself with focusing on calories, which is an unsustainable method of eating and adds unwanted stress in your life. Instead follow the eat well plate system and try to build healthy balanced meal with correct portion size including all macros in your diet.
Change your exercise: Following same kind of routine can make your body adapted and thus no changes can be seen after few weeks. It’s always best to mix and match your exercise pattern. Try to include all aerobic and anaerobic exercises in your schedule, this will help you to actually reduce your total fat.
If you can’t change your exercise schedule try to be more active throughout the day. Increase your general physical activity throughout for example walk more, stand after 2 hours of sitting, take the stairs or help with household work.
Try Zig Zag diet pattern: If your weight has come to standstill, one of the reason could actually be your diet where it’s highly possible that you might be eating same calories every day. To trigger your body and keep losing weight vary your calories daily. For example have 1200 calories one day. Next you can have 1300 calories and next day again come to 1100 calories.
Hormones: Our appetite and how much fat we store is influenced by our hormones. As we know, insulin is the main hormone that influences fat storage in the body. Try avoiding refined and processed food to improve insulin sensitivity.
Others hormones that influence and make it challenging for you to lose weight include oestrogen, thyroid hormone, and cortisol (the ‘stress’ hormone).
If you are facing difficulty in losing weight, get your tests done.
I hope these tips will take you one step ahead towards your goals. Don’t be hard on yourself, always appreciate how far you have come and don’t give up.