Divya is working hard to lose the extra pounds; she is eating right and following her exercise routine diligently. She managed to reduce a few kgs in the last couple of months. All of a sudden she has noticed that her scale doesn’t budge in spite of following the same schedule. She is frustrated and looking out for reasons why her weight loss regime has been stalled.
Let’s understand why every individual on a weight loss program faces this dilemma.
When you first start your weight loss plan, you lose fluid along with fat so you may lose more weight than expected in first few weeks but weight loss is meant to burn fats and not muscles, so the rate of your weight loss will slow down after an initial few weeks.
It has been seen that the body reaches a plateau after an individual follows the same diet and exercise plan for a while. Hitting a plateau is a common experience for most weight watchers. If you comprehend what causes a weight loss plateau, you will be able to cope with this stage effectively.
What is weight loss plateau?
It is generally seen that our body loses weight in the first few weeks. Weight loss plateau is a stage where your body no longer loses weight despite following a healthy exercise and eating regime. Weight loss plateau is experienced by all individuals who are trying to lose weight. Most individual believe that they should continue to lose weight if they maintain a low calorie diet however the reality is that even well planned weight loss efforts can be stalled.
What causes weight loss plateau?
A weight loss plateau is caused due to the following reasons:
- Your exercise may be inadequate.
- Your calorie intake is in balance with calorie burn out.
- You are eating more calories than you realize.
- When you lose weight you lose both fat and lean tissue (muscle). As you lose lean tissue the process of burning calories for energy slow down. This means in order to lose weight you need to increase activity or decrease the calories you eat. Using the same approach that worked earlier will help you maintain you weight but it won’t lead to further weight loss
How to overcome a weight loss plateau?
It is possible to break through your weight loss plateau with a little self control and discipline. Here are few tips to combat weight loss plateau.
There are chances that an individual might have to lower his calorie (provided it does not go below the required 1200 calories) intake to combat the plateau. Have a balanced diet and eat at regular intervals (3-5 meals) in a day instead of three large meals.
It is important to replenish your fluids by drinking plenty of food on your weight loss program. Drinking a glass of water before a meal will ensure that you eat less as water will make you full.
One strategy that will help you overcome the weight loss plateau is maintaining a record of all the exercise you do and how many calories you burn. It is equally important to maintain a record of what you eat and its proportion which would assist you in making adjustments to your routine and battling the weight loss regime.
It is important to incorporate resistance training such as weight lifting into your regime as it will continue burning calories even after you have finished exercises. It will also help to strengthen bone tissue and increase the body’s metabolism rate at the same time.
Try increasing the duration or intensity of your exercise. You can increase your exercise routine for e.g. If you walk for 30 minutes each day, you can add another 10-15 minutes to daily regime or try jogging or running in between your walks.
It is important to remember that all individuals who follow a weight loss regime pass through this phase where their weight loss does get stalled. All individuals who are passing through this phase should be patient as it will take at least a few weeks for the weight loss plateau to disappear as it allow your body to adjust to the weight loss and stabilize.
Change is important to battle against the plateau. Switching routines is the best way to dodge a plateau and avoid them. Change can be in your eating pattern, type of food, exercise routine, sleeping time, changing the intensity of exercise etc.
If you perform the same exercise routine every day, after a while your body gets used to the routine and becomes very efficient at doing the task at your hand. It is important that you use variations in your exercise pattern to keep the muscles guessing and perform the calorie burn.
By varying your program, you will find yourself off the plateau and on your path to progress. It is important that you do not get disheartened and go back to your old eating and exercise routine or you may easily regain the weight that you have lost.