One of the most frustrating aspects of weight loss is getting to a weight loss plateau. Thankfully, breaking the weight loss plateau is a relatively simple task once you know what causes it. When we first undertake a weight loss goal we tend to reduce a lot of weight initially then the quantity slowly declines over a period of weeks or months until we reach the stage where we stop losing weight altogether, and it’s really not that we don’t need to lose excess fat either. This is referred to as a weight loss plateau. You know you’re doing all the right things but you’re simply not losing the weight. In the first 7 days of your program you tend to get rid of the largest amount of weight. Much of the loss this first week is actually excess fluid and can constitute as much as 9 lb (4 kg) or more depending on your starting weight. Liquid loss can represent as much as 50% of total weight lost in the first week. There are several factors that contribute to a weight loss plateau including (but not limited to);
Inadequate Calories Consumed
Lack Of Discipline
Enhanced Fitness Levels
Lets deal with these one-by-one.
Insufficient Calories Consumed The human body requires a MINIMUM of 1200 calories per day to function. If you consume less than that (on a crash diet for example), your body will interpret that as being within a famine and will reduce your metabolism (the bodies ability to burn calories) to be able to protect itself and be able to survive longer. This will stop it from burning fat stores. Answer: Maintain a reasonable calorie consumption. Use a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculator to determine how many calories your body requires daily to maintain itself. Once you have determined around how many calories your body requires to use, reduce you calorie consumption to 500-700 calories less than that without sinking 1200 calories. More than a 700 calorie deficit may lead to muscle loss which is the next cause of a weight loss plateau.
Muscle Loss All bodily tissues requires energy to maintain itself, including fat. Muscle requires FIVE PERIODS the amount of energy to maintain itself compared to fat does. The higher the muscle mass percentage in your body the greater your caloric needs. Unfortunately, diets sometimes result in muscle loss. The bodies principal source of energy is carbohydrates, followed by protein then fat. Your muscles are made of protein so if your body runs out of carbs it may turn to muscle as an energy source if those muscles are no being maintained by exercise. However, muscle loss leads to a lower metabolism. Solution: Eat a diet rich in protein and exercise in conjunction with your reduced calorie diet to maintain muscle mass and stop muscle loss. If necessary, vitamin supplements may be utilized to ensure correct nutrition.
Weight reduction Huh? Isn’t losing weight the whole point? Yes it is! But as you lose weight the number of calories your body requires to keep itself also reduces. As mentioned earlier, even fat needs calories to maintain itself.
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Solution: As you lose weight, look at your BMR regularly to see how many unhealthy calories your body requires per day and maintain a calorie consumption around 500 calories lower than that. But remember, don’t consume lower than 1200 calories.
Lack Of Discipline Right after several weeks of a new weight loss program lots of people tend to lose focus. They start indulging their cravings for processed foods more than they should and they cut sides on exercise, skipping one day under the pretense of exercising twice as a lot the next day etc . This decreases the particular BMR and increases calorie intake which usually effectively stops weight loss. Solution: Remaining motivated during a weight loss program can be a challenge. One of the best ways to overcome this issue would be to find a weight loss buddy. Having anyone to exercise with and be answerable in order to can be an effective motivator. Another great motivational tool is a printable weight loss goal setting tools worksheet. Print it out, fill it out and place it on the fridge, where you will see it regularly and it will remind you of whatever you are trying to achieve
Physical Adaptation Our bodies adapt themselves to our calorie consumption plus physical activity levels. When we begin a workout regime, our body is required to make several changes to adjust to changing workloads. Our own muscles have to rebuild themselves and this requires many calories. But , with time the body finishes adapting and can burn less calories for the same activities. Alternative: Don’t allow you body to adapt. Vary your exercise program by changing the intensity, duration, frequency plus type of exercise. If you always do weights then go do some cardiovascular, grab a jump rope and omit for 15 minutes. You can also utilize interval training workouts where you swap and change between different types of exercise for set amounts of time.
Exercise Ability Whenever you do an exercise regularly you become better at it and your body requires less calories to perform it. A trained athlete burns much less calories playing their sport than someone who isn’t trained in that sports activity. Solution: Once again, don’t allow your body in order to adapt to a single exercise. Mix it up, if you’re always doing weights then go for a run, switch from the treadmill machine to a rowing machine etc .
Over Workout If you exercise too much your body adapts and reaches a point where the additional energy consumed in exercise is counteract by a DECREASE in the amount of energy used when not exercising. In other words, when you boost exercise intensity, your body decreases the number of calories consumed during the rest of your entire day. Solution: Allow yourself recovery period. Take a break for a few days with some low impact exercise like swimming or tai chi. When you return to your regular exercise routine, pull back a little and only increase intensity when needed to maintain weight loss.