Overcoming Weight Loss Plateaus
Why do I stall?
The body always wants to balance itself, so it is only a natural thing that your body composition, conscious and unconscious behaviors, and eating habits will play a role. General health conditions and medication use, as well as food quality, antibiotics, or hormones may play a role.
One of two things that typically cause weight loss plateaus:
- Metabolic adaptation to your current diet and exercise regimen.
- Accumulated changes in your existing exercise and eating routine that are causing you to eat more or burn less calories with exercise, even though you aren’t aware of it.
How to Get Past a Weight Loss Plateau
1. Monitoring body fat, not just the weight on the scale:
If you added resistance training to your daily routine, you might be replacing a pound of fat with a pound of muscle. Pick up your measuring tape and keep track of your inches once per month.
2. Recalculate your calorie requirements:
As your weight decreases, so will your daily calorie requirements. This could mean that you are eating more food than you need for your new weight.
3. Get meticulous with your diet:
Over time, your sense of servings might gradually increase because everyone around you is eating large portions. The extra calories will add up, and that can cause your weight to get stuck or go up. Pick up that food scale or measuring cup again for a few weeks.
4. Check your exercise routine and activity levels:
The amount of time you spent with your exercise and activity level might have gradually decreased because of work schedule, family obligations, etc. Over time, these reductions in activity can start to chip away at how many calories you are actually burning each day.
Advice: carefully record your exercise routine. Consider a pedometer to keep you active throughout the day instead of sitting all day at work, and then spend 30 minutes at the gym 3-5 days/week.
5. Change up your cardio exercise and intensity:
Metabolic adaptation will cause your body to burn less calories with the same workout routine you have been doing for the past few weeks/months.