What To Do When You Stop Losing Weight
Losing weight can be fun and exciting during the first few months. Say, you’re following a revolutionary weight loss program or a diet that involves cutting back on carbs and sweets, and have started going to the gym as well. You feel ecstatic as you go on the scale every day and see the fat and pounds melt away — until it stops.
At some point, the arrow seems to have stopped moving.
Is your weighing scale broken, or do you need to switch to a new weight loss program to shed off those last 20 pounds to your dream weight? What is going on?
The weight loss plateau
Don’t get discouraged when this happens. Wellness center experts refer to this stage as a weight loss plateau. Why does it happen, and what can you do to get past it?
Our bodies are smart and constantly adapting. When you hit the gym, not only does your body get stronger, but it also becomes more efficient in using the calories from your food.
The amount of muscle you have on your body keeps your metabolism up as well. As you lose weight, you might also lose some muscle tissue. This lowers your metabolism and the amount of weight that you lose, causing your weight to stay the same.
How to get over the plateau
The weight loss plan has been effective in helping you lose some of the weight, but to get past the plateau, you’ll need to reassess and adjust your diet or exercise plan.
Here are a few tips to get you there:
1. Check your activity records
Look back and see your progress over the last few months. If you have been lax with your weight loss program, like overeating during the weekends, you will need to be firmer with your eating and exercising habits once you hit the plateau. Decide if you are willing to forego those sweets, carbs, or no-gym days to get to your desired weight.
2. Reduce your calorie intake further
Studies indicate that low-carb diets are effective in weight loss. As compared to other diets, following a low-carb program will make you feel less hungry, encouraging you to eat less.
You can safely reduce your calorie consumption as long as it is above 1,200 per day. Going lower than 1,200 calories increases the chances of experiencing hunger pangs and getting tempted to overeat.
However, note that your minimum caloric requirement will also depend on your height and weight as well as your activity levels. Checking with your doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist would be highly advisable in this case.
3. Swap carbs with protein
Increase your protein intake when you get hungry. Protein can raise your metabolic rate and encourages your body to produce hormones such as PYY. This hormone is responsible for curbing your appetite. PYY leaves you feeling full and content, reducing the need to eat more.
In addition, a high-protein diet protects your muscle mass and helps maintain your metabolic rate which are both essential in losing weight.
4. Intensify your workouts
At least 30 minutes of physical exercise a day is recommended to start shedding pounds. Once your weight loss stalls, you will need to increase the frequency or intensity of your workouts to burn more calories.
Adding muscle mass can help you increase your metabolism and lose fat. Lifting weights is effective in toning your body, giving you more muscle in the process.
If hitting the gym is impractical or not safe for you, alternative ways of losing weight include adding more physical activity to your daily schedule. It could be as simple as doing more chores around the house, such as cleaning your yard, doing the laundry, or cleaning the bathroom.
Walk more. You can try walking to work if your office is nearby, or go up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Whatever gets your legs moving and heart rate going would be beneficial.
Hitting a plateau can be demoralizing and leave you frustrated but always keep in mind that plateaus are a normal part of losing weight.
By carefully monitoring your activities, switching your carbs with protein, and intensifying your workouts, you are on your way to breaking free from your weight loss rut.
As always, be sure to consult a medical professional before making any drastic dietary changes, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Vandana Luthra founded VLCC in New Delhi, India as a beauty and slimming services centre in 1989. Today, it is widely recognized for its comprehensive portfolio of beauty and wellness products and services and also enjoys a high level of consumer trust. The VLCC Group’s operations currently span 330 locations in over 150 cities and 14 countries across Asia and Africa.