You have been blazing through your body fat like an incinerator, and every time you step on the scale, you come off with a smile, nodding at the effectiveness of your workout and nutrition programme. Soon, you will achieve your target weight, and those tight fitting outfits will look dapper on you. But wait; hold on, something strange is happening. Your weight loss starts slowing down, and eventually, it stops and won’t budge no matter how hard you try. What have you done wrong? You have done nothing wrong; your weight loss has just plateaued.
Weight loss plateau is common among people who are on a mission to lose weight. At the beginning of your programme, you start losing weight quickly, but when you get to the tail end, it becomes tough to shed the remaining extra pounds.
At this point, many people become confused and don’t know what they should be doing… The first thing to look at is your nutrition; let’s take a look at how below.
The first thing you should look at whenever you hit a weight loss plateau is your nutrition. Are you counting your macros (or does your coach count them for you)? If you are eating more calories than you require, the scales may continue to provide unpleasant results. If your macros are not correct, then increase the consistency of your nutrition programme and watch the pounds drop off again.
Sometimes, you may find that you are tracking your macros correctly, but your weight is not decreasing. In this case, maybe you are eating the wrong foods. While counting your macros allows you to eat everything you want, it is still important to eat natural, wholesome, healthy foods. Wholesome foods that have low glycemic index should make more of your diet. Reduce consumption of foods and drinks high in sugar such as cakes, chocolate, white bread, cookies, fizzy drinks and so on.
Also, watch out for nutrition under-reporting. Many people unknowingly under-report their calorie intake when they don’t add the fruits, vegetables, condiments, snacks, beverages, supplements, and other food sources that are unaccounted for in the macro counting process. Under-reporting can create a false sense of security where you believe you are doing the right thing, whereas, you have derailed your diet programme, and it’s affecting your weight loss.
If you are sure, there is nothing wrong with your nutrition and you are not losing weight, then you have hit a weight loss plateau, and may need to adjust your nutrition to shed more pounds. You can break free of a weight loss plateau by reducing your calorie intake. By eating less calorie than you are expending, your body is forced to deploy some of its energy stores to augment the deficit. You don’t have to make drastic changes to your diet to get your body burning calories again. With a reduction of 50-150 calories per day, your body may start losing weight again. If you are counting your macros, you can easily reduce your calorie intake by cutting down your carbs and fat intake.
Decreasing your calorie intake is not always the right thing to do and this is all dependent on the amount of activity you perform. Many people believe that losing weight means eating fewer foods, and although this may be the cause, eating enough food for your body to function optimally is just as important. If you are an active person, try adding 50-150 calories per day by increasing your protein and see what changes start to happen.
Be sure to ask yourself the following questions before making any changes…
Are you sure, it is a weight loss plateau?
Perhaps your body has reached its ideal weight?
The likelihood is that you are losing fat and increasing muscle, which won’t show on the scales, therefore, it’s important to ensure you don’t just use the scales to measure your progress by other means too, find out how here.
Recently wrote a new post on how to overcome a weight loss plateau with exercise. Read more on this here.