5 ways to break the weight loss plateau

Do you find yourself struck at a particular weight for weeks together despite consistent effort? Here are 5 ways to break the inevitable weight loss plateau.

BACKGROUND

The weight loss plateau is every dieter’s nightmare. Seeing your weight struck at a particular number for weeks together can be highly demoralizing. But fear not! Follow these simple tips to kick start your weight loss again.

RE-EVALUATE YOUR CALORIE INTAKE AND EXPENDITURE

The amount of calories required to maintain your body is directly proportional to your current weight. As your body weight comes down, your Resting Metabolic Rate also comes down. You have to be aware of this fact and re-evaluate the amount of calories required to maintain your body weight. I would suggest that you do this calculation every time you loose 5 Kgs. Similarly as you thin down, your energy expenditure for the same amount of exercise also comes down. You probably need to lower your intake or bump up your exercise in order to kick start your weight loss again.

VARY YOUR WORKOUTS

As you continue doing a particular type of exercise, your body adapts and becomes more efficient. Thus, the calorie expenditure of your body while running the same kilometer is going to be lesser than what it was 4 weeks ago. In order to not stall weight loss, you must constantly surprise your body. Do not do the same exercise day in and day out. Add variety. If you have been running so far, get on the saddle and pedal away a few miles. Or hit the pool and go for a swim. How about lifting some weights? A well designed exercise program concentrates on the entire body. Not only does this reduce boredom, but it also ensures that your whole body is exercised as opposed to only certain muscle groups.

VARY YOUR DIET

Are you eating the same things day in and day out? Variety is the spice of life. Been skimping on fruits and vegetables? Time to add them back to your diet. Dump all junk food. Personally, I have found that going low-carb for a few days kick starts weight loss when struck in a plateau.

AVOID GETTING INTO STARVATION MODE

Sometimes a very huge calorie deficit can lead to your body getting into a starvation mode, where in your body slows down its metabolizing making weight loss extremely difficult. Such a state is unhealthy which you do not want to get into. A rule of thumb is that about 1200 calories is the bare minimum intake for any adult. If you have been eating much less than 1200 calories per day, increase your calorie intake for a few does so that your metabolism “resets” to its normal state. Don’t worry about any weight gain. Even if it happens, it will only be temporary. After a few days of increased calorie intake, aim to introduce a calorie deficit again through a combination of diet and exercise and see your weight melt away.

USE TECHNOLOGY

Today, technology is on our side when it comes to weight loss. Use technology to accurately measure your calorie intake and expenditure and leave nothing to guess work. My blog on tools for weight loss points out the various technological aids available today.

 

  • Monica

    I did zig-zagging a lot when I’d hit plateaus. It really worked well for me. It really helped to keep my body
    guessing and stopped me from staying in a plateau for very long.

  • Lilila

    When I was unsuccessful at weight loss in the past, I would often plateau. This last and successful time, I did
    not plateau that often.

  • Hayfa

    I would agree that the most common cause of plateauing is from restricted food intake. It needs to be
    varied.

  • Sonia B.

    under-eating and over-exercising always ended in over-eating! That’s definitely been my experience.

  • Barbara

    Thank you so much for this page. It came at the perfect time and you answered some questions that I have had for a long time.

  • Daddou

    I thought it was an excellent article and I just want you to know that I LOVE your site and your program.
    Everything is solidly science based, balanced and practical. Thank you!

  • Eltifa

    It’s a great read for people who hit a plateau and it also takes a cold, hard look at one of the main reasons
    for persistent plateaus: calorie creep. I experienced this myself a couple of months back.