You know the feeling. You have been seeing the pounds coming off both on the scale and in the mirror. Then suddenly you hit a weight-loss standstill. It feels like a disaster as if all your hard work has been for nothing. When your weight loss stalls it can be easy to get disheartened, thinking you'll never jumpstart your weight loss again, and even give up.
Most people who reach a plateau find it hard to understand why their efforts aren't paying off. They think they must have done something wrong. Maybe they are doomed to a life of weight loss failure if no matter what they try, they just can't seem to lose more weight.
The fact that you were able to lose some weight in the first place means you weren't doing things the wrong way. The issue is that your body adapts to your new weight. This means that due to bodily processes you don't have control over mean you need to do things like eat fewer calories or to workout longer in order to see the same results.
It is important to remember that hitting a plateau doesn't mean you should throw in the towel. There are steps you can take to overcome the weight-loss standstill. Firstly you have to understand why plateaus occur before you can tackle to root causes.
Why Do Weight Loss Plateaus Happen?
There are a few ways by which your body reacts to your fat loss that actually lead to a plateau:
- Your Body Has Adapted
Just like you become comfortable in your new, thinner body so does your body. Your metabolism adjusts because your body isn't lugging around all that extra fat anymore, so you need fewer calories just to maintain your weight.
You can also overcome this adaptation by kicking your exercise regime up a notch.
If you have been walking for exercise, try jogging (even if you have to work up to longer distances). If you have been doing regular cardio for example on a treadmill, try doing HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) classes to boost your metabolism once more.
These will challenge your body, putting the right kind of stress on it in order to jump-start your weight loss once more. Your weight loss standstill will be a thing of the past.
- Your Body is Stressed Out
I mentioned getting enough of the right kind of stress through HIIT sessions and jogging. The wrong kind happens when you try to do too much at once. Cutting calories to a level that isn't sustainable or over-exercising is a recipe for disaster.
Sometimes when we do these things our body can “freeze”, holding onto the calories you do eat and not responding to workouts in the way we would expect. If this happens, the best solution sounds counter-intuitive.
Take a break.
Take a 2-4 day rest to give your body a break from your punishing regime. During this time it can regulate and recuperate. You might even lose weight during this rest time if you don't overeat.
Overcoming a Weight Loss Standstill
Now we have covered the reasons why weight loss stalls happen, let's look at some strategies to help you break through the wall that's stopping you from losing weight. With these methods, you will get back to shredding fat in no time.
Remember that patience is key with these methods. If you ever feel like you just need a rest from losing weight, a few days recuperation could be just what you and your body needs. If it was easy to lose weight we would all be skinny.
- Make a Food Change
Switch up the food you are eating in your diet and see how your body reacts. Try food swaps like fish for chicken. Try using coconut oil to cook with (if you aren't already). As long as you keep your calories under the amount you need to maintain your weight, you should see a difference.
Keeping a diet journal will help you keep track of how these changes are affecting your weight loss.
- Adjust Your Daily Calorie Intake
If you have been on any type of calorie-controlled diet, including simple calorie counting, you might think about adjusting the amount you eat. This will keep your body “on its toes” so to speak.
This helps you to stop your body from getting used to a certain amount of calories. Even if you adapt by 100 calories added or subtracted from day to day, you will still keep your body guessing.
There are mobile apps you can use to keep track of calories, but a basic notepad and pen work as good as anything.
- Change Up Your Workouts
Again, this is about your body not getting used to the same old routine. You should alter what workouts you are doing and how long you are doing them for every couple of months. This will keep your metabolism revved up and your body's weight loss abilities in top condition.
You could try a new fitness class. Look and find something you will enjoy as there's little worse than working out when you aren't enjoying it. If you enjoy your exercise you will be more motivated to do it.
- Avoid Starvation Mode
The dreaded starvation mode happens when you eat too few calories. Usually, this affects beginners in losing weight who think that if they eat a really low amount of calories, they will lose weight faster. This simply isn't true and can even backfire.
I'm going to suggest a remedy that might scare you: to overeat for a few days. Don't worry, it shouldn't make you put on weight. It's just going to perk up your metabolism and help you overcome that weight loss standstill. 3-4 days is the ideal time to do this for and you shouldn't drastically overeat either.
- Watch Out For Calorie Creep
Calorie creep is when you eat more than you thought you had: in fact, it's the very opposite of starvation mode. It's usually caused by eating big meals or snacking and forgetting you have snacked.
You really need a calorie deficit in order to lose weight so try your best to note down what you have eaten as quickly as you can after you have eaten. This can act as a wake-up call to sneaky snacks and calorie creep.
- Make Use of Supplements
You are probably aware of the many thousands of diet supplements available to buy. Not all are created equal and it can be difficult to know which ones actually work. That's why I created this site, to weed out the ineffective, scam diet pills and find the supplements that are both safe and effective.
PhenQ is the ideal supplement for overcoming a weight-loss standstill or plateau because it gives your metabolism a real boost and makes you feel less hungry at the same time. It also gives you energy which can help with motivation to workout.
Hi, I'm Aileen, the owner of Diet Pill Judge. I have personally tried loads of diet pills over the years and found that only a few of them really work.
My background is in science, so I set out to find supplements that have scientific evidence behind them and which I can confidently recommend.