Probably the most frustrating aspects of weight loss is getting to a weight loss plateau. Thankfully, breaking the weight loss plateau is a relatively simple task knowing what causes it. When we first undertake a weight loss goal we tend to drop a lot of weight initially then the quantity slowly declines over a period of weeks or even months until we reach the point where we stop losing weight altogether, and it’s really not that we don’t need to lose more weight either. This is referred to as a weight reduction plateau. You know you’re doing all the right things but you’re simply not losing the weight. In the first week of your program you tend to drop the largest amount of weight. Much of the loss this first week is actually excess fluid and can constitute as much as 9 lb (4 kg) or even more depending on your starting weight. Fluid loss can represent as much as 50 percent of total weight lost within the first week. There are several factors that will contribute to a weight loss plateau which includes (but not limited to);
Inadequate Calories Consumed
Lack Of Discipline
Physical exercise Ability
Enhanced Health and fitness Levels
Lets deal with these one-by-one.
Insufficient Calories Consumed The human body requires a MINIMUM of 1200 calories per day to work. If you consume less than that (on a crash diet for example), your body will interpret that as being in the famine and will reduce your metabolism (the bodies ability to burn calories) to be able to protect itself and be able to survive longer. This will stop it from burning fat stores. Answer: Maintain a reasonable calorie consumption. Use a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculator to determine how many calories your body requires per day to maintain itself. Once you have determined around how many calories your body requires to work, reduce you calorie consumption to 500-700 calories less than that without not making it 1200 calories. More than a 700 calorie deficit may lead to muscle loss that is the next cause of a weight loss plateau.
Muscle Loss All bodily cells requires energy to maintain itself, which includes fat. Muscle requires FIVE OCCASIONS the amount of energy to maintain itself than fat does. The higher the muscle tissue percentage in your body the greater your calorie needs. Unfortunately, diets sometimes result in muscle loss. The bodies major source of energy is carbohydrates, followed by proteins then fat. Your muscles are made of protein so if your body runs out of carbohydrates it may turn to muscle as an energy source if those muscles are no being maintained by exercise. Unfortunately, muscle loss leads to a lower metabolic process. Solution: Eat a diet rich in protein and exercise in conjunction with your reduced calorie diet to maintain muscle mass and stop muscle loss. If necessary, vitamin supplements might be utilized to ensure correct nutrition.
Weight reduction Huh? Isn’t losing weight the whole point? Yes it is! But as you lose weight the number of calories your body requires to keep itself also reduces. As mentioned previously, even fat needs calories to keep itself. Solution: As you lose weight, look at your BMR regularly to see how many calories from fat your body requires per day and maintain the calorie consumption around 500 calories less than that. But remember, don’t consume lower than 1200 calories.
Lack Of Discipline After several weeks of a new weight loss program many people tend to lose focus. They begin indulging their cravings for processed foods more than they should and they cut sides on exercise, skipping one day under the pretense of exercising twice as a lot the next day etc . This decreases the BMR and increases calorie intake which usually effectively stops weight loss. Solution: Remaining motivated during a weight loss program can be a problem. One of the best ways to overcome this issue would be to find a weight loss buddy. Having someone to exercise with and be answerable to can be an effective motivator. Another great motivational tool is a printable weight loss goal setting worksheet. Print it out, fill it out and place it in the fridge, where you will see it regularly and it will remind you of what you are trying to achieve
Physical Adaptation The body adapt themselves to our calorie consumption plus physical activity levels. When we begin a workout regime, our body is required to make many changes to adjust to changing workloads. Our muscles have to rebuild themselves which requires many calories. But , as time passes the body finishes adapting and burns up less calories for the same activities. Answer: Don’t allow you body to adjust. Vary your exercise program by changing the intensity, duration, frequency plus type of exercise. If you always do weights then go do some cardio exercise, grab a jump rope and skip for 15 minutes. You can also utilize interval training where you swap and change between different types of exercise for set amounts of time.
Exercise Ability Whenever you do an exercise frequently you become better at it and your body requires less calories to execute it. A trained athlete burns less calories playing their sport than someone who isn’t trained in that sport. Solution: Once again, don’t allow your body to adapt to a single exercise. Mix up, if you’re always doing weights after that go for a run, switch from the home treadmill to a rowing machine etc .
Over Workout If you exercise too much your body adapts and reaches a point where the extra energy consumed in exercise is counter by a DECREASE in the amount of energy used when not exercising. In other words, when you boost exercise intensity, your body decreases the amount of calories consumed during the rest of your day. Solution: Allow yourself recovery time. Take a break for a few days with some low-impact exercise like swimming or tai chi.
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When you return to your normal exercise routine, pull back a little and only increase intensity when needed to maintain weight loss.