3 Reasons You’re Hitting a Weight Loss Plateau

Hitting a Weight Loss Plateau

There are a few common roadblocks that anybody working on losing large or small amounts of weight hits along their journey. Knowing these can help you pay attention and jump over the next one in your path.

Reason #1

You aren’t aware of your calorie intake – Losing weight requires a calorie deficit. Calories we burn must be more than the calories we eat. When a person first begins a weight loss journey, they make diet and exercise changes. For example, the first change might be consuming 500 fewer calories per day by avoiding sugary drinks and limiting desserts to once a week, in addition to starting a 5k walking program, which burns 500 calories extra, 4 days per week. This makes a big difference and a lot of weight is lost initially, right?

But after a while, you have to get more specific. You have to keep making changes and monitoring your intake to improve your nutrition and continue the weight loss. Keeping track of calories consumed at every meal means being aware of exactly what is going in. Also tracking the calories burned helps you make sure you definitely are achieving the right deficit to reach your goals. This has been proven as the most effective weight loss approach, no matter how tedious it may be. There are plenty of trackers available that are worth your time and investment.

There are many more factors in determining how many calories each person needs based on their activity level and how much they burn without exercise based on their metabolic rate. This is where a fitness coach and dietitian come in to help tailor the proper program for each person.

A few basic tips for not sabotaging your metabolism to not shy away from dairy or carbohydrates, eat a handful of nuts each day, workout in the mornings if you can, don’t rush strength training workouts, and focus on intensity when it comes to cardio workouts rather than the amount of time. Interval workouts boost metabolism and burn the same amount of calories as a slow endurance-paced workout, and in less time.

Reason #2

You’re doing the same workouts every time – The first time you did 10 push-ups it was pretty hard and you were quite sore, but after doing push-ups in your workouts for a few months, doing 10 isn’t hard anymore. As your muscles adapt, and the better they get, the more they need to be “surprised” with a new challenge, otherwise the exercise isn’t effective for weight loss anymore.

I recommend rotating through several different workouts, which target all of the same muscles in different ways, and not repeating the same exercise twice in one week. One exercise for the chest and arms is push-ups, but there are also chest press, chest flyes, tricep dips, and many others which will continue to introduce something new and effective in building your muscles and burning more fat. This also goes for cardio exercise – that first 15 minutes on the eliptical over time becomes easy and ineffective. So change it up with intervals and introduce other forms of cardio exercise.

Reason #3

You don’t have very much weight left to lose – Those final few pounds that won’t budge are not going to disappear as easily. You’re in pretty good shape and quite healthy already. Don’t starve yourself or eat fewer than 1,200 calories for women or 1,500 for men in a day. You’ll just put your metabolism into starvation mode and it will store that day’s calories into fat. Instead, weight loss expert Jillian Michael says you have to vary your calorie intake from day to day. One day you’ll eat a bit more than you need, so your body feels safe and the next day, drop lower than what you normally eat so your metabolism will get the idea that it needs to adjust.

If you’ve addressed all three of these, yet still not achieving any results, make sure you’re getting enough sleep (7-9hrs per night), take a serious look at how stressful your lifestyle is and how you can reduce stress, and finally, consider visiting an endocrinologist to check your hormone levels.

Sara Fletcher

Sara is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer with 6 years experience and holds certifications in Cancer Exercise Specialization, ACE Nutrition, and Schwinn Indoor Cycling. She cares most about helping every person take control of their health and achieve lasting strength and confidence. Her personal passion is competitive cycling, which she has been doing for 8 years, including two in Europe. She also enjoys fitness writing and spending time with her husband and daughter.

Sara Fletcher

About Sara Fletcher

Sara is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer with 6 years experience and holds certifications in Cancer Exercise Specialization, ACE Nutrition, and Schwinn Indoor Cycling. She cares most about helping every person take control of their health and achieve lasting strength and confidence. Her personal passion is competitive cycling, which she has been doing for 8 years, including two in Europe. She also enjoys fitness writing and spending time with her husband and daughter.

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