You know when you’ve been following a strict diet, worked out every day, drank up several types of detox smoothies but the weighing scale doesn’t seem to agree with you? The pointer on the weighing scale doesn’t aim lower and your weight seems to be stagnant? Then you are experiencing a weight-loss plateau.
Don’t panic, it is absolutely normal to experience a stall in weight-loss or the plateau. Before reverting to back to unhealthy habits and losing all hope. It is important to note the reasons behind this stall.
Causes of weight-loss plateau
When you start working out, your body gets it's much needed energy initially by releasing its stores of glycogen, a type of carbohydrate found in the muscles and the liver. Glycogen is partly made of water, so when glycogen is burned for energy, it releases water, resulting in weight loss that's mostly water. However, this effect is temporary.
As you lose weight, you lose some muscle mass along with fat. Muscle helps keep the rate at which you burn calories (metabolism) up. So as you lose weight, your metabolism declines, causing you to burn fewer calories than you did at your heavier weight. Thus your slower metabolism will slow your weight loss, even if you eat the same number of calories that helped you lose weight initially. When the calories you burn equal the calories you eat, you reach a plateau.
How to overcome weight-loss plateau
If you are insistent on losing weight, here are a few tips to help in overcoming the plateau:
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1.Cut down calories- you can decrease your calorie intake. But the reduction of calories may lead to constant hunger which will eventually morph into over eating.
2.Change up your workout regimen- by increasing the amount of time you spend working out or incorporating other routines such as weightlifting that help you gain muscle mass which will help you burn more calories.
3. Reassess your general health- physical health is just as important as mental health. By assessing your overall general health and ensuring that everything is “working” as its meant to be, you may see a change.
At times a plateau isn’t just because of what you’re eating or the work out involved.
If your efforts to get past a weight-loss plateau aren't working, it is advisable to consult with your doctor or a dietitian about other tactics to try. If you can't further increase weight-loss, you may want to revisit your initial weight-loss goal. Appreciate the weight you've lost. Maybe the number you're striving for is unrealistic for you and your body. At the end of the day, you are striving to be healthier and all the pounds you have dropped and change of diet are evidence of that.
The challenge you should be focused on at this point is maintaining the weight-loss and not reverting back to old habits.