How To Break a Weight Loss Plateau
If you have ever embarked on a weight loss journey, you have more than likely come across the dreaded weight loss plateau. This can be frustrating to dieters, particular since it seems to come from nowhere, stalling weight loss efforts that may previously have being going well.
So why do weight loss plateaus occur, especially when you’re doing the same things that made you lose weight in the first place? Here we’ll explore some of the reasons weight plateaus happen and what you can do about it.
Reasons For Hitting A Weight Loss Plateau
To break through your body’s weight set point means understanding what might be working against it.
Decrease of Metabolism: Adaptive thermogenesis is the scientific term for what happens to the body when calories are reduced. Essentially, over time, the body adjusts itself to fewer calories and eventually the metabolic rate drops.
For instance, let’s say you eat 2000 calories in your diet then reduce it to 1,500 calories. It makes sense for your body to grab the 500 calorie difference from your fat reserves, except (unfortunately) it doesn’t work that way. Studies have shown that the body simply adjusts itself to surviving on 1500 calories. This is the body’s way of intelligently preserving itself, great for survival, not so great for your waist line.
Food intake increases: Being on restrictive diet day in and day out can cause a major increase in appetite. This can lead to scenarios when binge eating may occur, causing the calorie deficient for that week to be lost through overeating.
Water weight returns: In the first few weeks when losing weight, there’s usually a rapid drop in water weight. This water is lost as the body utilises carbohydrate stores as glycogen (sugar). Since carbohydrate intake goes up and down day-to-day, it’s not unusual to gain some of that water weight back.
How To Break A Plateau
While it’s good to know why weight loss plateaus occur, it’s even better to find out how to reverse it and start losing weight. Below are some of the methods that are tried, tested and effective.
Lose the Weight slowly: Although it’s exhilarating to see the pounds fly off, fast weight loss usually correlates with fast weight gain. Try to lose no more than 1% of your total body weight per week, which is usually 1-3 pounds.
Change your fitness routine: To take your daily exercise routine to another level, try varying your exercise routine. This means your body muscles don’t get used to working out in one particular way.
Re-feeding: While it may sound counterproductive, you could actually lose more weight by increasing calories. For example, once a week increase your calories by 10-20%. This can stimulate the metabolism which often helps to break a weight loss plateau.
Try Orlistat to increase loss: This is an over the counter weight loss medication vouched for by thousands of people. How Orlistat works is by stopping the absorption of fat in the gut. This allows it to pass through the body undigested and, in turn, reduce the overall calories absorbed by the body.
If you are having an issue with occasional overeating, Orlistat is an effective way to stay on track and continue losing weight, even on “cheat days”.
A weight loss plateau does not have to spell the end of your diet. The tips above show that with a few tweaks it’s possible to continue dropping the pounds. Try one or two and see what works best for your lifestyle and body.