How to Break a Weight-Loss Plateau

By Patrick Banks

Posted 2 years agoHEALTH

Everyone likes it when they get positive results in whatever activity they set out to do. The case of losing weight is no different. 

At the beginning, it tends to move smoothly. The exercises and diet adjustments seem to pay off quickly, as remarkable changes are noticed in body weights. But for most people, it eventually gets to this point where these changes seem to come to a halt. 

Yes, you’re exercising as usual, and you’re adhering to the weight-loss diet, but you can’t notice changes in your weight anymore. This is known as the weight-loss plateau: The phase where the changes seem to be latent.

Well, there’s good news for you. This guide will expose you to what causes this and how to break this weight-loss plateau. 

Read on to find out all you need to know.

What Is A Weight-Loss Plateau?

This term describes a period in the weight loss journey, when inputs are being made but expected outputs are no longer gotten. 

As explained, it is a period when the weight loss activities, such as exercising, reduction of fatty foods, reduction of carbs and eating more of veggies, are adhered to, but no significant loss in weight is seen. This period can last for a few weeks to months, depending on whether or not the required actions are taken. For many, it can become the beginning of the end of the weight-loss plan.

However, although it is a frustrating state, you shouldn’t give up as this is only normal, and everyone on the journey of shedding weight eventually passes through this. 

Let’s find out the cause.

What Leads To A Weight-Loss Plateau?

Yes, this will definitely set in if you stop adhering to your weight-loss routine, but it’s not a problem when the cause is obvious. It becomes a problem when despite all you do, you can’t see results.

As stated earlier, it is natural, and largely due to the fact that your body has gradually adapted to your new routine.

Let’s see how.

  1. Decreased Metabolism

In the weight loss journey, muscle mass eventually reduces due to burning of calories. Metabolism occurs in proportion to the muscle mass. When the muscle mass gets to a particular level, metabolism slows down, due to decreased burning of calories, as calorie intake is also little. This in turn leads to the weight loss plateau.

  1. The Set Point Theory

This theory stipulates that the body tries to maintain a set weight, based on genetics, long term weight and eating pattern. When you try to go below such weight, the body adjusts accordingly by slowing metabolism. However, there are other ways via which this can be surmounted.

  1. Adaptation

The more you exercise, the more your body gets used to the routine that it doesn’t have to work as hard as it used to to perform certain activities anymore. Along the line, it stops burning the amount of calories it used to. 

Without an increase in the intensity of exercise, it just remains at a plateau, despite the daily routine.

Five Ways To Break A Weight-Loss Plateau

The good part is that despite the adaptation and set point theory, this phase of weight-loss plateau can be overcomed and surmounted. Let’s find out how.

  • Change The Exercise Routine.

Yes. If you’re looking to get results in your weight-loss journey, then you’ll have to increase the intensity of your exercise. Focus more on muscle building activities. 

Ensure that your exercise makes you sweat more, this way, you’ll burn more calories, and then, there’ll definitely be a difference in your weight values.

Opt for more resistance training.

  • Get More Sleep.

Interestingly, if you want to get past this weight-loss plateau, you should consider getting more sleep. This is because, the less you sleep, the more you feel hungry and tired and tempted to ingest more calorie-containing drinks and foods, which will counteract your progress and can make you remain in the plateau phase.

For adults, the recommended sleeping time every night is nine hours. For someone looking to lose weight, you shouldn’t sleep for less hours.

  • Include More Protein.

Proteins are known for increasing the rate of metabolism faster than other foods or carbohydrates, hence for someone looking to break that frustrating plateau, protein-rich food should be your new friend. 

Research states that consuming protein can increase calorie burning rate by 21% to 30%, and this greatly surpasses that of carbohydrates. Perfect Body app can help you eat more balanced meals.

  • Stay Hydrated.

What’s the relationship between hydration and weight-loss? You may ask.

Well, water intake does help with metabolism, especially drinking water before and after meals. 

Remember that with more metabolism, there’s faster burning of calories which leads to weight-loss. A research carried out showed that people who consumed water before meals had 44% more weight-loss compared to those who didn’t. This can be explained by the fact that drinking water before meals can greatly decrease the amount of calories eventually consumed.

  • Avoid Stress And Be Patient.

The weight-loss plateau is a phase that is experienced by virtually everyone who goes on a weight-loss journey. It only shows that you are healthy, and your body is responding normally to change. Weight-loss is a journey and not an activity, so it will definitely take time. When you adjust accordingly, the difference you expect will still be noticed.

Stress on the other hand can have a negative effect on the results you expect. Stress is known to increase the secretion of the hormone, cortisol. This hormone is known to increase fat storage, especially belly fats. Hence, when looking to break the weight-loss plateau, avoid stress as much as possible.

Final Words

Breaking a weight-loss plateau may seem difficult, but it’s definitely possible. The good part is that this phase is not a sign of a medical problem, but is a normal and even healthy period in the weight-loss journey.  

By exercising more, consuming more protein, staying hydrated, avoiding stress, and the like, this plateau can be surmounted. 

There’s simply no need for worries.

About the author Patrick Banks

Patrick is a Berlin-based dating advisor, motivational speaker, a huge fitness and vegan diet enthusiast and the main editor at Wingman Magazine, specialised in men's health. His ultimate goal is to share with men around the world his passion for self-development and to help them to become the greatest version of themselves. He believes a healthy body and successful social interactions are two main keys to happiness.

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