Help! I’m Stuck In A Weight Loss Plateau
The step-counting, food-tracking weight loss plan you’ve followed worked for a while. Now, the scale is stuck and you’re wandering around in a weight loss plateau. Before you get discouraged, let’s talk about why our bodies pause gradual weight loss and how we can overcome the weight loss plateau.
What is a weight loss plateau?
When we cut back on the calories we take in, we lose weight, but we also reduce lean muscle. The muscle helps ignite our metabolism, so if there’s less of it, our metabolism begins to slow. A slower metabolism means the pounds stop dropping off and we’re left with those pesky 10 to 15 pounds that refuse to budge.
How to beat a weight loss plateau
First, recognize when you’ve actually hit a plateau compared to when you’re just having a slow week. When you first begin exercising or eating clean foods, your body rids itself of excess fluids, which can show up as five or six pounds lost on the scale.
You can expect your weight loss to stabilize around 2 to 5 pounds per week, depending on your size. Even if you’re losing one pound a week, you’re still trending in the right direction and there’s no need to sound the weight loss plateau alarm.
If you maintain your healthy food routine and continue normal activity but you don’t lose weight for two to three weeks, it’s time to switch things up.
- Evaluate your calories: Focus on the nutritional value of the food versus the calorie count. Are you eating fibrous and high-protein foods or just staying below a certain number?
- Activity switch: If you’ve been in the same spin class for six months, try something new. Take dance, Pilates, or incorporate weight training into your workouts. Changing your motions will wake up new muscle groups and cause your body to react.
- Sleep: We tend to eat more when we’re tired, so be sure to get a restful night’s sleep.
- Increase water: Make sure you’re flushing excess fluids out of your system. Increase your water intake rather than reaching for a snack.
Remember, you didn’t gain weight overnight, so you won’t lose it that way either. Take inventory of your food, water, and activity. Change up your routine and get the number on the scale moving again.