Any seasoned dieter is aware of the dreaded weight loss plateau. When the scale stops moving while you’re doing all the right things it can really demotivate and sometimes even derail efforts towards the end weight loss goal.
While weight loss plateaus are frustrating, they can be overcome with the right tools and mindset.
If you’re determined to improve your health and wellness through weight loss, it helps to get ahead of the game and get educated on any obstacles you might encounter. Understanding what you’re facing and how to get past it will help you ultimately achieve your goals with less frustration and more success.
What is a weight loss plateau?
A weight loss plateau is when someone attempting to lose weight reaches a point where they stop losing weight despite staying on the same plan that has been working in the past.
When people reach a plateau following the same fitness regimen they have always used or sticking with their diet just doesn’t work anymore.
Hitting a plateau can be disheartening but its important to understand that its completely natural and happens to most people after about 6 months of weight loss.
What causes weight loss plateaus?
When people reach a plateau most progress stops. Doctors are still unsure exactly why this happens but there are many theories as to their cause.
1. Your Body’s Defenses:
One theory is that your body simply adapts to continued weight loss and starts to defend itself from further weight loss. Our bodies work to maintain a certain percentage of fat but they don’t really know if we are overweight. The body’s immune system can actually work against weight loss over a long period of time.
2. People stop following their diets:
Another theory is that many people simply stop following their diets or workout regiments after a few months. This may sound like it’s an obvious conclusion and easy to avoid but many people struggle with it.
When you are experiencing continual success for long enough it can become easy to assume that the success will continue no matter what you do.
People do this all the time with medications and it happens just as often with fitness and weight loss goals.
3. Slowing metabolism:
When it comes to weight loss, many doctors also believe that people using low calorie diets will simply have their metabolism slow down.
Your body doesn’t know if your weight is healthy or not and its only goal is to keep you energized and healthy. If you switch to a low calorie diet your body may feel that it’s losing too much weight and slow down your metabolism as a natural defense.
During the start of your weight loss journey a rapid drop in weight is common.
This is because your body starts to get its energy from glycogen stored in your muscles and liver. As you lose glycogen you also begin to lose the water weight stored in the glycogen resulting in fast temporary weight loss.
As you continue to lose weight you will begin to lose muscle along with your fat. This loss in muscle lowers your metabolism as muscle helps you burn calories faster. This then results in a lower metabolism and slower weight loss.
How to avoid or get past a plateau
Change-up your diet & exercise:
If you don’t want to hit a plateau one option is to vary your diet or exercise routines. By changing your habits and eating different foods or trying varying workouts you can prevent your body from adapting to and defending against your goals.
By changing up your diet on a regular basis you are not only avoiding a plateau. A varied diet helps you avoid any nutritional deficiencies, promotes gut health, and eliminates food boredom.
In fact, a study in PLOS one journal found that people who ate a wider variety of healthy food were able to lose weight more consistently and faster than those who consistently ate the same thing.
Start tracking your journey more accurately:
If you are hitting a plateau because of a drop in healthy habits don’t get too discouraged. Many people struggle with maintaining healthy habits over a long period of time and it’s actually pretty easy to fix.
We recommend simply keeping track of your diet or work out routine via journaling. Keeping a journal is a great way to slow down and get a clearer idea of what you are working towards.
By keeping track of what you are putting into your body each day and how many calories its easier to see where you may be going wrong and fixing those problems.
Having a physical representation of all of your hard work is also an easy way to stay motivated. If you are feeling unmotivated or you need some ideas just take a look at what you have been doing and use that experience to help you get back on track!
Work on increasing muscle mass:
If you notice your metabolism is slowing down it may be a good idea to incorporate more exercise into your plans.
Your metabolic rate is determined by the degree of muscle mass you have so building some more muscle can help you burn more calories on a day to day basis. Muscle burns a lot more calories than fat so losing muscle from long term dieting or stagnation is a simple way to increase your weight loss.
Working out regularly also comes with its fair share of benefits. By keeping your body moving you can improve your heart health, decrease the chance on injury from accidents, and stay far more active as you begin to age.
How does Weight Loss Direct deal with plateaus?
We encourage our clients to utilize all proteins, veggies, fruits, and spices on their personalized food list and we ask they not eat the same things 2 days in a row – to keep their body from adapting to a routine diet
When plateaus do happen, we reach into our trusty toolkit to overcome them. By meeting with your personal coach, they can recommend a personalized solution. Some of our go to solutions include:
Fasting for the day, enjoying coffee water or tea throughout, until dinner where you eat a steak paired with apple or tomato and coconut.
Enjoy 6 apples throughout the day along with coffee, water, or tea.
Coconut Oil Days:
Adding 1-3 tbsps of organic unrefined coconut oil to your meals for the day. Bullet Proof Coffee is delicious and a super popular option additionally clients can simply cook with coconut oil if they prefer.
These Plateau Breaker Tools have helped our clients immediately activate a neuroendocrine memory to counteract weight gain.
Even when you try your absolute best and stick to your plan, you will still meet some obstacles in your wellness and weight loss journey. The key is to understand why plateaus happen and how to overcome them – and don’t get discouraged
Weight Loss Direct utilizes personal interactions with your wellness and weight loss coach to help you stay on track and reach your goals.
Contact us to complete your body analysis and see how the WLD program can help you!