OH GOD! Why am I not losing the weight anymore?
Everything was going well, and you were a step closer to your weight loss goals. Your results were visible on the scale, but suddenly the scale stopped moving. Have you hit the infamous Weight- loss plateau?
Is my weighing scale broken?
I work out and eating healthily, but still, the scale hasn’t moved?
I increased my workout, but the scale hasn’t changed?
I cut my calories and sugar content as well, still, the scale hasn’t changed?
And finally, the result which you have witnessed so far is no longer improving and you decide to quit.
But, wait, the game isn’t over yet. I have mentioned this several times that a healthy and active lifestyle is a long term process and you need to make changes according to the obstacles you encounter. Building healthy habits takes time and patience, and of course, your plans might change according to the need of your body and your own goals. There’s nothing to be worried about, most of us have experienced this, and I will help you come out of this very infamous but common problem. Let’s know what the weight loss plateau is, how can you recognize it and overcome it?
The infamous yet common: Weight loss
A weight-loss plateau is the sudden stop of a weight loss even after following a well-balanced diet and a workout routine. Research has shown that weight loss plateaus happen after about 6 months of practicing a low-calorie diet.
So, if you’ve been following a calorie deficit diet and having killer workout sessions, but the rewards(weight-loss) start decreasing that is you now no longer experience the change in your weight and the scale seemed to stop moving. Then, you’ve hit the weight-loss plateau.
Don’t panic! This common but not so famous weight-loss plateau is experienced by almost everyone in their weight-loss journey. This can be very frustrating and discouraging, but it’s normal for the weight-loss process to slow down or even stall. Let’s see why this happen and how to deal with them.
You can find a solution to every problem if you know the reason behind it and most of the answers rest in questions itself.
And, why you’re not losing weight anymore, and how to fix it?
No one in the weight loss journey wants to be stuck at a particular weight especially if they are far from their goals. But, if this is so common, why aren’t everyone aware of it? Let’s check this out 🙂
- ISSUE: You started working out and eating healthy, your physique starts improving and you will experience the rapid weight loss. This rapid weight-loss is normal. Because when you start exercising and eating healthy, but after some time your new bodyweight will require fewer calories to maintain your body and in some cases, even the metabolism slows down to compensate for your new lower weight.
LET’S FIX IT: Initially, you would have noticed that when you started exercising, few exercises seemed extremely difficult to perform but now you can perform them with ease, so, it’s time to LEVEL-UP. Increase the intensity of your exercise to burn more calories and combine weight training(if you’re not into it). Weight training will help you keep your metabolism in check because they will burn more calories. So, it’s time to up your intensity. You have to change your intensity throughout your fitness journey, you just can’t follow the routine with which you started. Level up, dear!
Then, comes the diet, it’s time to swap the dishes. It’s time to increase your protein and fiber. Add fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains to your diet. They will help you stay full for longer. Spread your protein intake throughout the day(try to include it in all your meals). The best thing you can do is to keep a food journal and record everything you eat. This may look tiring and boring in the beginning but will help you to keep your calories in check. You might feel you’re eating fewer calories but this need not be true. Intermittent fasting can help you cut those calories too. Keep your salt and carb intake low as they can retain water and will make you weigh more. Drink more and more water to prevent dehydration, and stay active. There are plenty of apps available there, which can help you track your calories.
- ISSUE: You’re not getting enough sleep might be the next reason for your weight-loss plateau. The study published in the International Journal of Obesity shows that sleeping for a fixed or even an adequate number of hours can boost your weight loss outcomes. Insufficient sleep can reduce your metabolic rate and create a hormonal imbalance which can hinder your weight loss process.
LET’S FIX IT: Sleep more(adequate number of hours), this is the easiest thing you can do to fight your weight-loss plateau. Good quality sleep of 6-8 hours can help you a lot. Good sleep is important for physical, mental, and emotional well being, so make sure you DON’T take those precious sleeping hours for granted.
- ISSUE: Stress can be another reason for the weight-loss plateau. It can put a break to your weight-loss process. Stress can result in emotional eating and will trigger food cravings. Also, welcome the” stress hormone “ ie. cortisol, This cortisol can increase belly-fat storage(most commonly in women).
LET’S FIX IT: Stay calm, dear! You need a lot of patience and calm in your weight-loss journey. All of us have problems in our life which sometimes seem just out of control but, we can take care of what’s in our control ie. the way we deal with it. We can manage our stress by some stress-reducing activities like yoga, exercise, meditation, dancing, eating healthy, making time for the things we love, etc.
Apart from these three issues, there can be many other reasons for the weight-loss plateau. Some of them may need a consultation from the doctor and some of the reasons aren’t to be worried about.
- Other important factors like thyroid, breastfeeding, pregnancy, menopause, medications you’re taking, excessive smoking, and alcohol can stop your weight-loss process.
- If you’re relying only on a weighing machine for the weight, then there’s something you’re missing out i.e. body composition. If you’re losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time, you’ll not experience much change in weight on the scale. This is only true if you’re doing strength training, but if you’re not doing strength training and still reached a weight-loss plateau, you can rule this out.
- If your fat percentage is very low, as below a certain fat level, the body starts to suffer, which is not a good option. It will make it harder for you to go even lower and fat is needed for some very important functions. So, reducing them to extreme levels will be dangerous. It is not healthy to have too much fat, but also not advisable to have too little of them. Learn to balance the macronutrients.
- The last reason for the weight loss plateau can be your “ monotonous routine “. Yes! Practicing the same workout routine every day and having the same meals can be boring. You’ll eventually stop your weight-loss routine and will come back to the starting point. Treat yourself, try different recipes, explore more healthy and tasty dishes. Try different exercises and enjoy your workout sessions, Take rest when needed.
LET’S PACK UP :
Weight-loss plateaus are normal and there’s no need to worry about them. You just have to aware of if you’re experiencing this. Finding a solution is a lot easier if you’re aware of your problem. Explore and try different things. Make your journey the most exciting one!
See you with the next awesome blog post!
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