Before you can break your weight loss plateau you should understand what it is and what causes it. After you know those, it will be easier to know how to break a plateau or prevent it all together in the future. Everything from calories, exercise, and daily activity level play a factor in it. I hit one this month and realized it was because I had lost weight the last couple months and forgot to recalculate my calorie intake. So we are going to talk and learn together and why this happens to everyone trying to lose weight.
Weight loss plateaus 101
A weight loss plateau happens when you are no longer losing weight while still exercising and watching your calorie intake. This happens at least once to most people trying to lose weight. When it hits, it is difficult to lose weight without changing either calorie intake or your exercise program. Hitting a plateau is common and should not discourage you from finding the problem and taking steps to correct it so you can continue to lose weight.
Causes of weight-loss plateaus
Before you started your workout program, you might have calculate the amount of calories you should be consuming to keep your metabolism running correctly. Since everyone's body functions differently, everyone needs a different amount of calories. As you lose weight, you need less calories for your metabolism to function correctly.
As an example, when I first started working out I needed 1800 calories a day to keep my metabolism actively running. Once I reached my plateau I had already lost 20 pounds. I check according to my new weight how many calories I should be consuming at realized now I should only be consuming 1500 calories a day. This was causing me to have a net calorie of -100 vs -700, which caused a plateau.
If you switched to a different exercise program or your daily activity level has changed, you body could be less active then it was before. This could also cause your metabolism to be functioning different.
Please keep in mind that sometimes your body might stop losing weight, if you are at a healthy weight. It is allows important to check with a professional to make sure you are not below what is considered a healthy weight for you personally.
Break a weight-loss plateau
If you're at a plateau and you still want or have more weight to lose, changing a few simple things can get your metabolism back functioning to support weight loss.
1. Look at your habits: See if you have changed what your eating. Have you gotten slack on your junk food habit? Are you eating out more? See if your still exercising the same and pushing yourself in your workouts.
2. Check your calorie levels: Do what I did and check if your new weight requires you to take in less calories. Keep in mind for women the recommended daily intake is 1,200 and for men 2,500. Before eating less calories then recommended by doctors, consult your fist. If your unsure how many calories you should be consuming, I would suggest using a calorie calculator. Also, make sure what you are eating is healthy so what you are consuming is working for you and not against you. As I previously said, just this past month I could tell I was not losing anymore weight. I was becoming frustrated because I still was exercising the same and my eating habits hadn't changed. As I was talking with someone about it I remember I forgot to recheck what my calorie intake should be. After putting in my current stats into a calorie counter, I found out I should now be eating 300 calories less a day. I also added some fat burning foods to my meals to keep my metabolism running longer to burn more calories.
3. Increase your exercise program: You can add more reps to your daily exercises or even add a few more to it. Adding to your workout will cause your body to burn more calories. You can also add a cardio exercise. If you are walking, pack your Ipod with upbeat fast paced music, which will cause you to walk faster and get more out of it. Not sure if your workout program is working for you, let me help you with that.
4. Add more normal activities to your day: I'm not talking about exercising. Turn off the tv and have a dance around the living room evening. Dancing to faster pace music will get you moving a burning more calories. Park your car further back in a parking lot so you have to walk more to get to the store. Work out in your yard or garden. These are just a few suggestions that I use myself.
As I previously said, just this past month I could tell I was not losing anymore weight. I was becoming frustrated because I still was exercising the same and my eating habits hadn't changed. As I was talking with someone about it I remember I forgot to recheck what my calorie intake should be. After putting in my current stats into a calorie counter, I found out I should now be eating 300 calories less a day. I also added some fat burning foods to my meals to keep my metabolism running longer to burn more calories.
So the next day, I followed my new calorie intake guide. To my surprise and delight, I found myself hungry during the day again. Which is great because that means I am burning more calories then I am taking in, resulting in weight loss.
By now you should know that a weight loss plateau is when you no longer are losing weight and it is caused when your metabolism slows down. Using the suggestions above, recalculate your calories and get a little more active. If you still are not able to lose anymore weight, I would suggest speaking with your doctor to find the reason why. The goal is to lose weight while still being healthy.
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