Top 8 Perfect Tips for Weight Loss Plateau
When we change our diet, cut our calories and begin a fitness plan, we typically alter our energy expenditure balance by taking in fewer calories than we burn. At the beginning, this imbalance is beneficial for fat loss, as the body taps into fat stores for fuel. But because our body prefers balance, it gradually adjusts by burning fewer calories in order to protect its reserves.
Breaking a weight loss plateau can be a frustrating experience. How do you stay motivated and what can you do when you find the scale does not budge? First, be aware that it is a natural process of losing weight. As your body adapts to your diet and exercise routine it can become less effective.
The Most Useful Tips for Weight Loss Plateau
Weight loss plateaus are very common. In fact, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll reach this frustrating stage at some point.
- First, make sure that you are exacting with your diet. Sometimes we get diminished results if we are not following the diet as strictly as we once were. Keeping a food diary if you’re not already is a useful tool. Readers of Skinny Bliss know I often recommend it. It has worked for me over the years. Not only can you see in real time that you are adhering to the diet, but if you find you have hit a plateau, you can look back and see if possibly there were some changes in your diet. Over time, your food diary is a valuable diagnostic tool.
- Zig-zagging, or calorie cycling is the process of varying daily calorie intake, while maintaining the same weekly intake. Instead of consuming for example precisely 1800 calories each day you can mix it up. Eat 1500 calories one day, and 2100 calories the next. This can be as simple as halving then doubling a portion size, or adding a post-workout shake into the plan. Just keep your body guessing. Further: Zig-zag calculator.
- If you are not doing this as part of your program or lifestyle, then it’s time to start. Working your muscles will help to strengthen bone tissue, increase lean mass, and ultimately boost metabolic rate.
- Try cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If you can manage it, try doing a 30-minute cardio workout (no longer!) first thing in the morning before breakfast. Why? In some cases, this technique may be just the trick your body needs to kick-start your metabolism.
- Exercise enough and don’t be afraid to intensify your workout (if you are healthy). Studies show about 150-200 minutes of exercise per week is needed for weight loss. For an extra fat-burning boost, pump up the intensity of your cardio sessions with intervals, rather than making them longer.
- Keep a food diary. If you feel your nutrition is off track but can’t figure out where you’re going wrong, try keeping a food journal. You may start to recognize dietary saboteurs, which can help you get back on track. Have a professional nutritionist or naturopathic doctor assess your diet if necessary.
- If you have been skimping on sleep, this can have a deleterious effect on weight loss and even make you gain weight! Make sure you get 7 to 9 hours and that your sleep is restful; i.e. don’t sleep with your cell phone under your pillow and don’t text at night.
- Water is important for more than just hydration. When we are losing weight, water is generated in the body as a normal part of fat metabolism. This can cause unwanted water related weight gain. The solution is not less water, but more water to encourage our body to excrete more water and reach a healthy water balance.
Follow these simple tips and you should be able to break your weight loss plateau. Never give in to the temptation of going it easy and reverting to your old eating and exercise habits so you do not regain the weight you’ve already lost.