Hitting a weight loss plateau is incredibly frustrating and psychologically feels as if you’ve hit a brick wall. When you’re doing everything right, but you just can’t seem to lose any weight, it’s easy to give up. After all, you gave it your best shot, but it just wasn’t good enough. But giving up on your goal isn’t the solution. The truth is, weight loss plateaus are just part of the weight loss process. Some weeks you’ll lose a lot more weight than you expected, some weeks it’s all going to plan and sometimes the number on the scale just wont budge. Hitting a weight loss plateau can be due to several factors:
1. You’ve lost weight. The less you weigh, the fewer calories your body needs to function. This means you have to re-calculate your calorie needs and may have to reduce your calorie intake accordingly. For example, a moderately active 27-year-old woman might need about 2000 calories to meet her normal calorie needs. However, if she loses 20lbs, she requires about 100 calories less.
2. When you’ve been dieting for a while your body adapts to your lower calorie (i.e. energy) intake and becomes more efficient at using energy. That means your metabolism slows down and you burn fewer calories, which means that you’ll lose less, or no, weight.
3. When you’ve been following the same exercise routine for a while, your body also learns and adapts, and becomes better and more efficient at performing those exercise moves. That means you burn less calories doing your workout, causing you to lose less, or no, weight.
To sum it all up, because you’ve lost weight your daily calorie requirements may be less, because you’ve been dieting your metabolism may have slowed down, because you have been doing the same workout for some time your body is burning less fat. In other words, your body is very clever and is, inadvertently, sabotaging your weight loss efforts. So what do you need to do? To beat the plateau, you’ve got to change up your exercise routine and your eating habits. Here’s what to do:
1. RE-EVALUATE YOUR CALORIE REQUIREMENTS
If you have lost significant weight, but are still eating for your previous size, weight loss will slow or come to a standstill. Use this calorie calculator to determine your calorie requirements at your current weight. Reduce your daily calorie intake by approximately 500 calories less than this to lose about 1 lb. per week, for healthy, sustainable weight loss.
2. EXTEND YOUR WORKOUTS
Extend your workouts by 15 minutes.You need to burn more calories and change some variables of your workout, and adding a little extra time to your usual workouts is allows you to kill two birds with one stone. You can begin by adding just a few extra minutes to your workout, gradually working up to at least 15 minutes.