You’ve been eating healthy and working out consistently. The pounds are dropping like flies. Then BAM. Weight loss stops. This can be extremely frustrating and discouraging when trying to achieve your goals. The good news is there are a lot of ways to fix it. It may take some trial and error because every one’s bodies are different, but it can be done.
A lot of the time when we first decide to adjust our health habits, initially we can see some quick progress. If you are 80 pounds overweight and all you drank all day was sugary drinks and ate fast food, then you decided to cut all that out, chances are you would drop some weight pretty quickly. That being said, if you only have a few pounds to lose, progress tends to be a bit slower (so be patient!).
There’s a couple things to keep in mind here. As you start to lose weight your body is changing and adapting. That means if you want to see continual progress you’re going to have to change things up. As your body composition changes, your needs change too. You will need to re-evaluate where you are and create a plan based on your current situation.
Trust me, I know this can be quite frustrating. But don’t get discouraged… I have some tips for you 🙂
Tips for overcoming a plateau
- Adjust how much you are eating. When you lose weight, if you want to continue to do so, you will need to continue to decrease your caloric intake until you are at a point where you want to maintain. Then you will increase your calories for a maintenance level.
- Switch up your exercise regimen. If you do the same exercises with the same weight over and over, your body will adapt. It will get used to those movements and your progress will come to a halt. Try increasing the weight or doing different exercises to kickstart further results.
- Sleep/relax. Are you taking time for yourself? I know it’s hard to get enough sleep and take time to relax with a busy schedule, but sleep has more of an effect than just our energy levels. If you’re not getting enough, this could be the reason you stopped seeing results.
- Stick to your plan. Did you stop tracking your food because you got the hang of portioning your meals? If this is the case, chances are that what you think you are eating and what you are really eating are completely different. If you are under-eating, your metabolism is most likely holding onto anything you give it. If you are over-eating, well, this one is pretty obvious…
- Take a diet break. I’m not telling you to go rouge here, but sometimes we just need to “shock” our body to get the engines revved up again. Have you ever had a day, (or maybe 2) where you didn’t eat at all like you should and you were surprised to see that you actually lost weight? This could be one of the reasons why.
- Trying cycling. I don’t mean on a bike… (although this is great exercise). You could try carb cycling or calorie cycling. What does this mean? This kind of goes along with the last tip, but if you are consuming a small amount of calories/carbs, adding a day where your calories/carbs are higher may be beneficial to keep your metabolism running more efficiently. For example: 3 days low calorie/carbs, 1 day high calorie/carbs.
- Adjust your macros. Calories aren’t the only thing to pay attention to when it comes to what you eat. Although you may be falling in the correct calorie range, if you are not eating enough of either carbs, proteins, or fats, your progress could taper off.
- Reduce sodium intake. Are you feeling fluffy? Consuming high levels of sodium could cause water-retention which leads to perceived extra weight and inches on the body (aka bloating).
- Drink more water. This can help in so many ways. Drinking a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning can help improve digestion, which will help you absorb and utilize nutrients more efficiently. It can also help flush out toxins, as well as that water weight related to high sodium intake. I know it sounds weird that drinking more water will reduce water-retention; but in this case, that’s the way the cookie crumbles!
- Get tested. Hormones play a large role in our ability to regulate body weight. If you have tried everything else and you are still having difficulty losing weight, a hormone-imbalance could be the culprit (especially in women, sorry ladies!). Getting lab work done could give you some insight and you can re-adjust your plan if necessary.
Alright friends! Hopefully you aren’t experiencing any plateaus, but if you are, try some of these tips and let me know how they helped!
What else have you tried to get over a plateau?