No matter what you do, nothing is working. Maybe it’s been a week, or two, or even a few months, but your weight is not budging??!! You are ready to shrug your shoulders, throw your hands in the air and say “I quit”.
Before delving into some solutions to help you break your weight loss plateau, here are some important facts that you should know:
Weight Loss Plateau is normal!!!
Here is a bit from the Mayo Clinic which explains it:
“A weight-loss plateau occurs when you no longer lose weight despite continuing with your exercise and healthy-eating habits. Being stuck at a weight-loss plateau eventually happens to everyone who is trying to lose weight. At that point, losing additional weight becomes more difficult. Although hitting a plateau is common, most people are surprised when it happens to them, believing that if they just maintain a reduced-calorie diet, they should continue to lose weight. The frustrating reality is that even well-planned weight-loss efforts can become stalled.”
Weight loss plateaus are to be expected as you are losing weight. Our bodies are resistant to change. A large chunk of people who reach their ideal weight have experienced as many as 2-3 plateaus lasting several weeks. Remember that if changing our bodies was easy, then everyone would be walking around with a six-pack.
2. The More Weight You Lose, The More Weight Loss Slows
Losing Weight Becomes Harder The Closer You Get To Your Ideal Weight. Not only does the pace of weight loss slow down, but your body will work harder to hold on to your fat stores the leaner you become. We are left with a sobering fact – the ability to lose more fat decreases and it becomes even harder to do so. The most common plateaus I see for guys is first around 20-22% body fat, then around 12% body fat (for those guys looking to break into single digits).
Evaluate what you have been doing so far and how it has been going. In many cases, you have really been perfectly good. Well, I have gotten more casual about how I follow the plan I had decided on. I know that the South Beach diet works, but I have been a little too lazy, just cooking my usual recipes with more veggies thrown in, instead of trying any South Beach recipes. So evaluating what you have been doing–and NOT doing–is a great first step. Best done on paper!
Write down what you eat. Count calories or anything else only if you want to, but just keep a log going. Notice your snacking particularly. I got this idea from a blogger who does it faithfully; you can read about her in my article Keep Pounds Off Permanently.
Tired of Dieting? If you have gotten tired of dieting, maybe you just need to take a short break before resuming more vigorously.
Exercise! How are you doing on that? It becomes more important as you get further along in your weight loss process.
Drink more H2O. Water is an essential component of calorie burning and it helps flush out any excess sodium and fluid you may be hanging on to. Plus a recent study found that adults who simply gulped two cups of water before meals enjoyed a major weight loss benefit; they shed 40 percent more weight over a 12-week period while following a reduced calorie plan. The same group of scientists previously found that subjects who drank two cups before meals naturally consumed 75 to 90 fewer calories, an amount that could really snowball day after day.
Listen to your body
Eat slowly and stop when you’re full. I’m sure you’ve heard this before but these two strategies are key. One study found that when women were instructed to eat slower they drank more water and ate four times fewer calories per minute. During each meal try to take smaller bites, put your fork down between them, chew well, and savor your food. Pay attention and stop when you feel full, knowing you’ll be eating again in another 3 to 5 hours.