Weight Loss Plateaus
Just about everyone’s New Year?s resolution list includes lose weight. Whether you have a little or a lot to shed, it’s important to stay motivated. Some people give up a few months into the year, but for those die hard fans of a better body, you keep at it day after day waiting for the first glimpse of change.
When it happens, not only do you notice, but so do family, friends, and co-workers. This reinforcement along with the dropping numbers on the scale, spur you on to victory. Then, one day, the numbers stop falling. You are still thirty pounds from your goal and the scale refuses to budge. Weight loss plateau. What should you do?
One thing that shouldn’t be done is giving up. Look at it this way: You aren’t losing weight, but you aren’t gaining weight either. Weight loss plateaus are experienced several times over the course of a weight loss program . In the beginning, weight loss is steady because it?s new to the body. Your increased metabolism and decreased caloric intake work to shed those pounds. Water loss accounts for at least the first ten pounds of weight loss. As your body works to adjust to your physical activity, more calories are burned which translated into more weight lost. Weight loss plateaus occur when the body has become accustomed to the routine.
Don’t stress. Giving up will put you right back at square one.
First of all, throw out the scale (if it was expensive, just pack it away in the back of the garage). You may have heard this before, but it?s true: Muscle weighs more than fat. If weight training has been a component of your weight loss program, then as the muscle mass increases so will your weight. You may still be losing fat, but the weight of the increased muscle balances everything out.
To jump off of your current weight loss plateau, examine your diet and exercise program. If your fitness routine hasn’t changed since the beginning, consider making a few changes. Try a new activity. If you?re used to aerobics five times a week, switch to the treadmill or an elliptical trainer. Muscles need to be challenged on a regular basis in order to grow.
If the exercises are still a challenge, then consider what you are eating. If you’ve been having a free day more than once a week you could be taking in too many calories. Go back to what you were doing at the start of the program. Keep journals for a couple of weeks to track what works for you and gets the scale moving again.
Remember, change one thing at a time. When you change something, give the change a full thirty days, and then check the results. Weight loss isn’t easy, but it is rewarding to reach your goal. Keep at it!