Facing a weight plateau can be one of the most frustrating parts of weight management. And fortunately, most of us have them – although that doesn’t make navigating the plateau any easier. Why do these agonizing periods occur, and what can you to do stop them?
Why Does My Weight Plateau?
You’re doing everything right… cutting back on portion sizes, eating nutritiously and exercising on a regular basis. So what’s the deal? Why is your weight barely budging, or even staying the same?
During the first few weeks of weight-loss, you’ll likely notice a rapid drop. This change can be motivating, but it’s often short-lived. Over time, a little bit of muscle is lost along with fat. Because muscle helps keep up the rate at which you burn calories, your metabolism slightly declines. You’re burning less calories than before, even if you’re doing the same thing.
How to Overcome this Period
Weight plateaus can be some of the most trying times you face on your health journey. It’s frustrating enact healthy behaviors but see little results on the scale. Before you can begin to conquer the plateau period, know that you haven’t done anything wrong. Your body has simply adapted to the progress you’ve already made. Now it’s time to change the game!
Look at Your Calorie Intake
You lose weight when you burn more calories than you consume. Even if you’re eating the same, you may be burning less because your metabolism has decreased. Look at your calorie intake and readjust accordingly by determining your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
Switch-up Your Workouts
Your body has adapted to movements you’ve made. It might be time to switch-it up a notch! Try adding-in different activities, increasing the intensity and/or lengthening your workouts.
Add New Foods
If you’re stuck in a cycle of eating the same foods, add some spark to your diet with new recipes. Check-out foods that are in season or try some things you’ve never had before. You may find it easier to keep things interesting, especially in an uneventful plateau.
Check Your Fluids
Are you drinking enough water? Most adults should aim for at least 70 oz. of it per day. If you’re exercising frequently, you’ll need more. Water will help you manage your hunger and boost your metabolism while it’s in transition. Carry it with you always!
Build or Add to a Vision Board
A vision board is a visual display where you mark your goals, dreams, motivations and inspirations. It could be a bulletin board, a journal or a trifold piece of cardboard you’ve decorated. During each phase of your health journey, including the dreaded weight plateau, use this board to inspire you and provide purpose beyond the work.
Pay Attention to the Details
Weight management isn’t all diet and exercise. Many other factors are at play such as stress, sleep deprivation, other health conditions, support systems, etc. Try to improve all other areas of your life while you work on weight management. Your body is meant to run like a predictable well-oiled machine! All parts matter. Not just the popular ones.
Remember: weight plateaus happen to almost everyone on the journey with weight and health. They’re a normal part of the process and an indication that you’ve made great strides! If you continue to evaluate and adjust your goals, habits and lifestyle changes, you’ll see desired results!