Reaching a weight loss plateau is every dieter’s nightmare. One minute you are on a roll and the pounds are literally falling off. You are feeling on top of the world, you are looking good and you begin to gather confidence in the fact that you have conquered this whole weight management problem.
Then all of a sudden you stop losing. You can’t figure out what’s wrong. You are carefully sticking to the plan, you are exercising regularly, but you haven’t lost weight in over a month. What happens when we encounter one of these weight loss plateaus?
When you hit a plateau, the first thing to do is pat yourself on the back. You are not gaining, right!? Your body has found a groove. If you are not gaining weight and you are not losing weight then your calorie intake for this weight is exactly right. That’s important information.
Plateaus can be deceiving. Even though your weight might not have changed for several days or weeks, what happens next is key. Whether you lose a pound or gain a pound determines what your next move should be.
Weight Loss Plateau – If you gain
All weight loss plateaus eventually break. You may have held the exact same weight for several weeks and then all of a sudden you wake up 3 pounds heavier! Don’t despair. This simply means that while you actually thought you were on a level plateau, your calorie intake was very slightly above what your body was using. This is normal if you have been losing weight consistently previously.
Eventually you were bound to hit the point where calories in equal calories used. If you have gained weight, all you have to do is shave off a hundred calories or so from what you were eating. Pump up your exercise routine by adding two or more workouts of 20 minutes each (walking is good, more strenuous exercise is better) and you will start to lose again.
Weight Loss Plateau – If you lose
If, after a period of maintaining, you start to lose again, you may have been under your required calorie intake by only a very small amount of calories. Eventually you save enough calories to lose a pound of weight. This is not really a weight loss plateau, so much as a dramatic slowing down of your weight loss. If you continue to eat the same amount and exercise the same amount, you will hit the plateau again.
Only by reducing calories, even by a few each day, and increasing your exercise, even by 2 x 10 or 20 minute intervals each week, you will continue to lose at a slow pace. To lose at a faster pace you will need to make more dramatic changes. Changes to your calorie intake or your exercise program.
Weight Loss Plateaus are annoying
Weight loss plateaus are annoying because they tend to hit right when we think we were on a roll. But it is not an indication that you are doing anything wrong. Think about it logically – we gain when we are eating too much, we lose when we are eating too little.
So a plateau simply means we are eating the right amount for the weight we are at. Managing a weight loss plateau, and learning how to kick your weight loss back into motion, is good practice for a later time when you will have reached your weight loss goal and don’t wish to gain the weight back. So stay positive, keep working and you will overcome.
Weight Loss Plateau – Potential Problems
You have reached a weight loss plateau in your efforts to lose weight and keep it off. Now it helps to step back and take a close look at possible reasons this might be happening. Take note of any of the following potential problems that may be standing in the way of you reaching your weight loss goals.
1. You are consuming more calories than you burn
Obviously, consuming more calories than you burn will make you gain weight, or at the very least – keep you from losing any. Try to stick with a healthy and portion controlled meal plan to help you control your calorie consumption.
2. You are burning fewer calories than you consume
Pretty much the flip side of the previous reason; you may not be moving enough, or getting enough exercise. If this is the case, you are burning fewer calories than you consume. In order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. You don’t, however, have to be an exercise fanatic or a gymnast. In fact, you might start with something as simple as taking your dog for a stroll around the block. Or take the stairs instead of the elevator where possible.
3. You overlook the small snacks
Every single calorie counts, even those that you may not even realize you have eaten. To see how many bites or tastes of food adds up to your daily calorie consumption limit, keep a food diary. Write down everything that you eat throughout the day and use it as a tool to track your calories. Do you have a tendency to mindlessly reach for snacks like many of us do? Get a list of fat burning foods and be sure and keep those on hand at all times. These will be a much better choice to snack on than fattening foods that we sometimes have lying around.
4. Your exercise routine is inefficient
If you do long hours of steady state cardio and you skip out on weight training, your exercise routine may be inefficient. If you need a new workout plan, have a look at The Truth About Six Pack Abs Main Program. It has one of the most effective workout plans I have seen yet.
5. You give up easily because you are not motivated
If you keep on giving up on your weight loss plans because you are impatient or because you don’t have the willpower or motivation, you will surely struggle to lose weight. To find your weight loss motivation, start by writing down your top 10 reasons for wanting to lose weight.
Hopefully, this list of weight loss obstacles has given you insight into why you are not losing weight. Are you guilty of one (or more) of the reasons listed here? Just take the necessary steps to counter the harmful effects.