Are you tired of watching the same weight on the weighing scale despite all the exercises and dietary changes you’ve made?
This can lead to a lot of desperation and frustration. The weight loss plateau is the point during a weight loss journey where the person is unable to shed any more weight.
Generally, this happens 3 to 6 months after starting a workout regime and eating a healthy diet.
If you’ve hit a plateau here are some suggestions (in no particular order) to help you overcome it and get back on track
Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting of IF is about limiting the times of day that you eat. There are different ways of doing it and it doesn’t work for everyone but it can be a way of busting through a plateau.
Typically you set a window of time during the day that you can eat. Often it’s an 8 hour window (say 10am to 6pm) but it can be whatever you choose. The key is to not eat (or drink anything with calories) when you aren’t in your window.
Studies have shown that there are numerous benefits of intermittent fasting, and it can be beneficial in overcoming the dead-end in the weight loss journey.
Perform Strength Training and High-Intensity Exercises
A person loses weight only if, daily, more calories are burned than consumed. Often the reason a plateau happens is that people don’t adjust their calories down from when they started to lose weight to account for the fact that as you get thinner your body needs less and less calories to maintain itself.
One way to keep the body metabolically “revving” is to incorporate higher intensity exercises and strength training.
Experts recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. So, when your body gets used to this level of activity you must put in an additional effort.
The following types of training can help in losing further weight:
· Weight training;
· Interval training;
Note Down Your Food Intake:
Maintaining a journal from time to time (and in some cases all the time) is essential for losing weight. It gives you the data you need to make adjustments as your body changes. (See above about less calories being needed)
Periodically it’s a good idea to note down your daily calorie intake so that you can compare it with the calories burned throughout the day.
Sure this activity requires effort but then again, there is no gain without pain.
It is well proven that stress and depression can interrupt your weight loss journey.
They increase the production of cortisol, also known as "stress hormone" which in turn, inhibits the burning of fat in the body.
Stress and depression can be addressed by taking some deep breaths and maybe incorporating mediation into your daily routine or if need be, through counseling and strong social support.
Ensure a Good Night’s Sleep
This one’s a biggie… Studies show that people who have good sleeping habits tend to lose more weight.
Sleep regulates the metabolism and repairs the body tissues so if you aren’t getting enough sleep you aren’t giving your body what it needs to be able to maintain its functions and thrive.
To get past the weight loss plateau, a person should prioritize at least seven hours of daily sleep.
Consume More Fiber-Rich Foods and Vegetables
A person should consume at least five servings of vegetables and three servings of fruits per day.
These fill up the stomach and curb down the hunger pangs. Fiber-rich food, including legumes, generally slows down the digestion of meals, and a person feels full and satisfied.
Control your Mood Swings
Anger and sadness lead people to eat. People tend to resort to comfort eating when they are experiencing mood swings. Hence, the targets for weight loss may not be achieved.
If you’re always in a state of anger or sadness there are many ways to get help and you should take advantage of them if they it’s chronic.
If it’s not chronic but an occasional thing find ways to deal with it productively (exercise, yoga, mediation) or by discussing whatever issues are causing them with a trusted friend or professional counseling.
Motivate Yourself Regularly
The biggest mistake people make is setting unrealistic goals. His inevitably leads to not hitting the goals and then losing motivation as you feel like you’ve failed.
Instead set achievable targets during the weight loss program. Account for times when you will struggle to lose weight/hit plateaus because you WILL hit them.
Focus on setting smaller goals which help you work towars the large goal to help keep you motivated to achieve them. This will boost your confidence, and you will enjoy the process of losing weight.
Incorporate Physical Activity in Your Daily Life
I call this “stealth” exercise and it can really add up.
Try to replace the use of vehicles or public transport with cycling or walking, where possible. Instead of circling the parking lot trying to get a spot close to the door park at the end of the lot and walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
By taking these small steps (both literally and figuratively, you will burn more calories and increase your metabolism without really noticing it. .
Consume Small Meals Every 2-3 Hours
It is better to consume smaller meals consisting of vegetables, fibers, and proteins after a 2-3 hours’ interval instead of eating heavy meals after 6-7 hours.
When you spread out your meals throughout the day, you will feel more satisfied and do not experience hunger pangs which causes people to eat more in the long run.
Losing weight and overcoming the weight loss plateau is a tricky task but with the right mindset and motivation, you will overcome this obstacle.
Most of all be patient. The old axiom you didn’t gain it all in a few weeks so you shouldn’t expect to lose it all in a few weeks applies.
We aren’t robots our bodies need to have the time to adjust. Do not go overboard with any diet or exercise and give your body enough time to achieve your targets and you’ll be far more successful.