Dealing with Weight Loss Plateau's
It's bound to happen sooner or later where you either hit a plateau or have a bad week. Success isn't always smooth sailing all the way! Usually you make progress in spurts, you hit plateaus, which must be broken, and face the obstacles that must be overcome.
The first step in dealing with these inevitable ups and downs is to accept that they are going to happen and prepare yourself to handle them physically and mentally! One of the ultimate emotional skills you can develop is the ability to stay calm and optimistic in the face of negative results or unexpected events. Let me tell you that I am still a work in progress in this area! It doesn't matter how much you exercise or eat healthy you are always faced with temptations. My biggest temptation is by far SWEETS!
The most important thing to remember is that when the going get's tough this isn't a time to fold up shop and revert back to our old ways. Just because the first thing you tried didn't work, doesn't mean NOTHING will ever work! It just means that the strategy you tried wasn't successful for you! It doesn't mean that you are destined to be fat, or genetically you are predisposed to a big butt or your health condition makes you gain weight. Those are all excuses that you let creep in and control your mind. Those thoughts trick you into thinking you can't do it and you don't deserve that body you want. In reality you just have to kick opposition in the face and keep going! Don't abandon your biggest dreams and goals because what you tried didn't work! I can tell you from experience that I changed up my eating and exercise at least a dozen if not more times before I achieve results I want. Even now, I still change things up based on what is going on in my life! So I am here to share with you some things that may be causing your plateau and how we can work against them to get you to the goal you want! ARE YOU WITH ME?!?!
People that see obstacles as temporary are the ones who never quit! If you have a bad day, mess up a meal, or miss a workout, just tell yourself, "It happens. This too shall pass." Remind yourself that is was just one meal. It was just one workout. It was just one day. Tomorrow is a new day! Pull a u-turn and get back on the right track!
Why do fat loss plateaus happen? You may think that if you follow your nutrition and exercise program well enough and take the appropriate action each day that you will never hit a plateau, unfortunately your biology has its own plans. Your body adapts pretty quickly to your exercise program which is why we change it up every 4 weeks but it also does the same to a reduced calorie intake. The result is a slowing in weight loss to an eventual halt. So instead of blaming it on something out of your control like a medical condition or slow metabolism we need to re focus our attention.
There is only one thing that a weight loss plateau means- YOU WERE IN A CALORIE DEFICIT, BUT YOU NO LONGER ARE IN A CALORIE DEFICIT! So there are lots of things you can do to change this. Here we go!!!
1. Your metabolic rate slows down: Starvation mode- your body interprets a severe and prolonged calorie shortage as a famine, so it automatically decreased your metabolic rate in order to conserve energy. So in turn it stores fat for fuel! So you need to make sure that you are in fact eating enough each day! You can calculate how many calories you need to be eating for your training program and your weight loss goals on the teambeachbody site under the eat smart tab. This will help you get a baseline of what you need to be eating each day.
The next thing that I do is track my food on myfitnesspal. Instead of tracking it every day, at the beginning of the week I create my meal plan then calculate my calories. Then I have an idea of what I'm eating each day. This gives me a baseline so I know where I stand. If you feel the need to enter every day into myfitnesspal then by all means do that too! Whatever keeps you accountable. When you have to write down each and every bite that you are eating you are more likely to think twice about what you put in your mouth!
2. After people lose a lot of weight, they tend to keep eating the same way they were eating when they were heavier. But when you are a smaller person, you don't need as many calories.
So for example, if you needed 2,000 calories at first to lose weight, now that you are 20 lbs lighter you don't need that many calories. If you keep eating the same calories you won't be in a deficit and most likely won't lose weight. To drop those last 10 lbs you either need to eat less or exercise more to accommodate your new body size and get the calorie deficit back. In my opinion I would rather exercise more so that I can eat more! I love food!!!
3. When you move your new, smaller body, your not burning as many calories. So it took more calories to move the former larger self! Now since you lost weight it also requires fewer calories to move your body as well.
4. Most people either cheat on their diets or they forget to record part of their food intake, and they do it more often at the tail end of a diet when appetite is turned up a notch. You swear you are eating only 2,000 calories a day but you can't figure out why you are stuck at a plateau. But you really are eating 3,000 calories. Or you think you are burning 500 calories during your workout but its only 300. These small errors can lead to a plateau! This was the main reason why I bought a heart rate monitor and starting tracking my food intake!
5. There is inconsistency over time! This is a biggie! Example! Kim is a female with a maintenance level of 2,100 calories per day. Suppose Kim eats 1,600 calories per day Monday through Thursday. Four for four! She's right on target for one pound per week weight loss. But then on Friday, Kim goes to dinner and inadvertently finishes her day at 2,500 calories. On Saturday, she attends a wedding and by the time the reception is over, she has topped 2,700 calories thanks to dinner, cake and drinks. On Sunday, she struggles to get back on track but ends up even at 2,100 calories.
Add it all up and you get 13,700 calories for the week. That's 1,957 calories per day on average. Over the entire 7 day period, Kim barely had a calorie deficit and her body fat loss would be almost immeasurable. At that rate, it would take her 23 days to lose one pound of fat. Kim doesn't realize how inconsistent she is being with her nutrition so she grumbles about her slow metabolism and starts searching for the next big diet breakthrough!
What really happens is that she only remembers the 4 good days and that she followed her program perfectly and she didn't realize how much damage she did on the weekend!
CONSISTENCY IS THE ONE MAJOR KEY TO SUCCESS AND ITS A VIRTUE THAT MANY PEOPLE NEED TO WORK ON CONSTANTLY!!!
I hope that this article helped to shed some light on your current weight loss struggles and if you aren't at a plateau yet then hopefully this can prevent that from happening! Have a great day!!!
Stay tuned for more tips tomorrow on how to exactly lose those last 10 lbs and break that plateau!!!
Labels: avoiding plateau, Weight Loss Plateau