Hey Angels and Alphas,
Weight loss plateaus are stressful. Anyone who has ever tried to lose a significant, or even small, amount of weight knows how much healthy eating, exercise, and focus is necessary to keep that patience, commitment, and dedication to losing weight.
Sometimes it might be difficult for you to get things started. However, most often, weight loss starts to bring in results only to be followed by a stressful plateau.
And no matter how quickly you’d like to shed off that weight, it can definitely be a slow and difficult process even when you feel like you’re doing everything right.
So why do plateaus happen? Is it stress, not enough sleep, improper calorie counting, bad food, a sedentary lifestyle, or something else?
Let’s examine the steps you need to go through to keep your weight loss progress alive and break through that frustrating plateau.
STEP #1 – REEVALUATE YOUR DIET.
If you’re someone who journals or takes notes about their food, this will be easy. If you aren’t, then start logging before you feel disappointed about a weight loss plateau.
When it comes to logging, everything counts – even liquids and small snacks. If you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning every day, your body simply cannot shed those excess pounds no matter how hard you try. Conversely, the same can be said if you’re eating too little. If you’re undereating, you’re going to force your body to start preserving energy which slows down your metabolism, deteriorates your lean muscle mass, and makes you store even more fat.
According to experts, losing significant amounts of muscle will lower your basal metabolic rate and basically change how many calories you naturally burn throughout the day. And if your BMR changes, so do your calorie requirements.
If you’re eating about 2,000 calories every day, this might result in weight loss for the first couple of weeks, but that same amount could be too much or too little when your BMR decreases. And if you continue to consume that same number of calories, you are guaranteed to hit a plateau.
When it comes down to it, diets can only work for those short-term weight loss plateaus, but they’re not really good solutions for the long-term. The word diet itself implies a temporary change. It will not produce the lifelong, consistent, sustainable results you’re looking for – only a change in lifestyle will do that for you.
And if you’re eating right, eating mindfully, and exercising correctly, you shouldn’t be putting a deadline on it.
STEP #2 – REEVALUATE YOUR EXERCISE REGIME.
As you’re hitting weight loss plateaus, your workouts are going to change. When you introduce some sort of new variation, you’ll have a much easier time stimulating progress.
You can’t just do the same things over and over and expect to see the progress you desire. Your body will become more efficient at particular activities to the point where they don’t produce the same stress necessary for growth. Your body learns to adapt after doing the same things over and over, and it even burns fewer calories to carry out the same process. Make sure to always mix it up.
When you’re trying to lose some weight, incorporate a combination of cardio and strength training in your routine. When you combine the two, this isn’t only the healthiest option for you, but it’s also the most effective option in terms of supporting your weight loss goals. While resistance training will help you gain muscle, cardio will help you burn calories.
And without even moving, a pound of new lean muscle tissue will help you burn about six calories a day. The more muscles you have, the more calories you’ll burn at rest.
STEP #3 – REEVALUATE YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE.
The link between improper sleep and obesity is a well-researched one. Even one night of restricted sleep will negatively impact your weight loss efforts – studies from the Department of Exercise Science at USC proved that. And no, catching up on sleep over the weekends will not be enough to reverse those changes.
Not to mention, not getting enough quality sleep will have cascading effects on your body. It will disrupt hormones that control appetite and hunger and cause a ton of daytime fatigue that will keep you away from the gym.
Make sure you’re always getting the necessary 7-8 hours of sleep every night to support the optimal functioning of your hormones and achieve proper weight loss results.
And finally… remember to stay consistent!
We all know losing weight isn’t easy. And it’s common for everyone to experience ups and downs as they go… and not just on the scale! That’s why if you hit a plateau and you’re doing everything right, just hang in there. Tweak your diet, add some new exercises, check if you’re getting enough sleep, and I guarantee you will be getting back on track in no time.