Surprising Reasons Behind Your Weight Loss Plateau
It can be difficult to really pin down weight loss plateau causes, especially if you have been doing everything by the book. Technically, a weight loss plateau can be described as no change in body weight for 3 weeks.
Just to be clear, when I talk about weight loss I’m actually referring to fat loss. If you’re doing lots of exercise the number on the scale may not always go down, despite the fact that you’re losing centimetres of fat from your body.
Unless you have an accurate means of measuring your body fat percentage, the number on the scales can represent water, muscle or fat. This is why I recommend you only get on the scales once a week. Regardless, if this is happening to you, never fear! As long as you keep going you should continue to see positive results.
Why It Is Sometimes Harder To Drop Weight
A person who has forty kilos to lose is going to drop weight much faster than a person who only wants to lose a couple of kilos. This is because the heavier you are, the higher your metabolism is. When you lose significant amounts of weight your body starts to work harder to hold onto the fat stores you have.
This doesn’t mean you can’t still drop more weight; it just means the closer you are to a healthy weight, the slower the weight will come off; so you have to be patient and stick to your program.
My client Sharon only had 5 kilos to lose. She lamented ‘Every time I try to do this the first 2 kilos come off easily and then after that it all stops dead! I get so frustrated with the whole thing I just end up throwing the towel in. If I’m not going to lose the weight I may as well just go back to the way I was eating before.’
What Sharon needed was a dose of perseverance. Even though you may not see your weight budging for some time, the effects of lowering your calorie intake are cumulative over time.
Sometimes you have to wait a few weeks to see things start to happen. I worked with Sharon using hypnotherapy to eliminate her tendency to give up when the going got tough. What she discovered was that if she could just ride out those few weeks where the scale wasn’t budging, things would eventually start moving again. And they did!
How To Break Through Your Plateau
Generally when one of my clients experiences a plateau there is usually one of two causes. The first, and most common, is a slip in calorie control.
My weight loss program requires clients to record their daily calorie intake. I recommend anything from 1300 to 1500 calories per day (I believe the standard 1200 calories is too low, and not sustainable).
Because my clients are allowing themselves a treat about 20% of the time, the weight can come of more slowly than if they had embarked on a restrictive fad diet, but the lifestyle change is sustainable in the long term, and this is the most important thing.
However, if you don’t continue to pay attention to what you’re eating, it can be easy to underestimate the number of calories you are consuming.
Think about it; a bite of a Tim-Tam here, a few extra grams of chicken there…it all adds up and if you’re not paying attention it can be far too easy to slip back into old habits. Keeping a food journal is invaluable on so many levels, and it will keep you on track when you're tempted to slack off.
Are You Sensitive To Certain Types Of Food?
The second and less common reason why people experience a stall in their progress is due to the kinds of foods they are eating. This happened to my client Valerie, who for 5 weeks straight stuck to her recommended calorie intake religiously.
When the scales did not reflect her hard work and dedication, I suggested that she may have a hormonal imbalance problem that affected her metabolism. This can happen to ladies in their later years, despite blood tests appearing to show nothing amiss.
Valerie decided to experiment with a particular diet plan that involved avoiding grains. She found that by doing this, the weight started to slowly shift. Valerie still allows herself some treats every now and then but most of the time she avoids grains because when she eats too many of them she is unable to maintain a healthy weight.
We are all different and there could be various causes for your weight loss plateau and reasons why you can’t lose weight as quickly as you would like. Start by doing some serious investigation into your calorie intake, and try to look at your eating regime as a permanent lifestyle change rather than a means to an end. If you would like help getting out of your weight loss slump contact me today.