Unfortunately, weight loss plateaus exist, and not many people want to talk about them. To learn about what weight loss plateaus are, and how you can ‘work out’ through them, read the article below.
What is a ‘Plateau’?
A weight loss plateau occurs when a person who is regularly losing weight suddenly notices the weigh scale fails to budge for weeks on end. Assumably, this individual is keeping a strict calorie reduced diet and working out regularly and fails to see any further progress. Before jumping to conclusions and getting discouraged, there are a few things a person experiencing a plateau must consider.
Fat Loss vs. Weightloss
Losing weight is very different than losing fat. Seeing a ‘lower number’ on a weigh scale certainly doesn’t determine the level of fitness of any persons body. A more accurate way to determine if you are still getting leaner is to obtain your body fat percentage. The ‘body fat caliper’ tool pinches certain areas of fat on the body and combined with a simple calculation, helps determine body fat percentage.
Follow this link for a comprehensive guide at determining your body fat percentage.
Energy Balance Equation (Calories in vs Calories out)
Another consideration to make when experiencing a weight loss plateau is the Energy Balance Equation aka. ‘Calories In’ and ‘Calories Out’. If you were not already, now is the time to record everything you eat. If you are serious about getting lean and keeping fit, joining an online fitness software like MyFitnessPal is an integral step forward into the land of fat loss. Every calorie consumed or burned must be accounted for in order to determine the cause of the mysterious weight loss plateau. Don’t forget to record every ounce of salad dressings, meal sauces or beverages into your food journal. Each and every calorie adds up when dealing with a weight loss plateau.
Recalculate Macronutrient Goals
If you have already lost a significant amount of weight (30 lbs or more), you certainly need to recalculate your macronutrient goals. The smaller your body gets, the less calories are needed to maintain your weight. Recalculating your macronutrients could literally skyrocket you past a plateau and into a fabulously fit body. Click here for a simple online macronutrient calculator the easy way to re-establish your food goals.
Another nasty weight loss inhibitor is the dreaded ‘water retention’. However horrible this may sound, it is an easy fix. That being said, excessive water retention could be a sign of greater health issues. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are concerned about excessive water retention. Make sure to drink enough water throughout the day, and include water rich foods such as fruits and veggies with each meal, and the apparent water weight will run right out – literally! Another thing to cut down on, if you assume water retention is the cause of your plateau, is sodium rich foods. Such a minor omittance of salt can improve the numbers on the scale immensely.
If all else fails, patience is the key. If you are doing everything right, and you still are not seeing the weight loss/fat loss that you desire, just stick with your plan. Plateaus can literally make or break you. With a strong will, you will find a way past the plateau and into the land of fit bodies for life.
Move That Body
There is a thing called ‘Non-Intentional Burning of Calories’ which is a simple way of saying, keep active and not just at the gym. Unfortunately, the human body is not designed to ‘lose weight’ fast. Instead, the human body resists weight loss and tries to hang on to fat as much as possible. Have you noticed that you are slacking at keeping up with your daily tasks such as housework, or cleaning the office? Did you conveniently forget to mow the lawn for weeks on end? Don’t forget that regular household chores and other activities such as grocery shopping, burn a significant amount of calories. Everything adds up. If you keep up with your regular tasks, and your gym workouts too, you may find that the plateau is a thing of the past.
Have you recalculated your goals? Are you weighing and tracking your foods accurately? Are you generally less active than before the plateau started?
Your body deserves the truth. Omitting certain facts about your fitness and food activities can cause a great disturbance in fitness goals. If all else fails to make the scale budge, maybe it’s time to join a new gym, or higher a personal trainer for a few sessions.
Keep strong and focused, the results will eventually arrive.