Get You In Shape – Tip of the Month – Getting past a weight-loss plateau
I love hearing from our Boot Campers about their progress and the positive results they have seen – many of which have nothing to do with weight loss. Such as “I have more energy,” “I sleep so much better,” “my blood pressure has gone down,” or “my cholesterol is down.” However, there are some clients, that although experience similar results, are looking to lose inches and weight as well. So when they reach a point where the scale doesn’t budge – it can be frustrating! Particularly if they feel they are doing all the right things.
Most of us (including me) reach plateaus in our weight loss effort – which is totally normal and very common. The key to successfully overcoming a plateau is in understanding what causes it and what actions you can take to overcome them. I found the following article from the Mayo Clinic that addresses this topic very well. If you are one of those that are currently experiencing a plateau, read on to see if this information including the tips help you bust through to your next level of weight loss.
Just because your weight loss has stalled, don’t revert back to your old bad habits. These tips can help you restart your weight-loss plan.
You’ve diligently worked to improve your diet and exercise habits, and you’ve been rewarded by seeing the number on the scale continue to drop. But then for no reason you can see, the scale doesn’t budge — even though you’re still eating a healthy, low-calorie diet and exercising regularly. You’ve hit a weight-loss plateau.
Before you get too discouraged, you should know that it’s normal for weight loss to slow and even stall. By understanding what causes a weight-loss plateau, you can decide how to respond and avoid backsliding on your healthy-eating and exercise habits.
What is a weight-loss plateau?
A weight-loss plateau occurs when you no longer lose weight despite continuing with your exercise and healthy-eating habits. Being stuck at a weight-loss plateau eventually happens to everyone who is trying to lose weight. At that point, losing additional weight becomes more difficult. Although hitting a plateau is common, most people are surprised when it happens to them, believing that if they just maintain a reduced-calorie diet, they should continue to lose weight. The frustrating reality is that even well-planned weight-loss efforts can become stalled.
What causes a weight-loss plateau?
The progression from initial weight loss to a weight-loss plateau follows a typical pattern. During the first few weeks of losing weight, a rapid drop in pounds is normal. When calories from food are reduced, the body gets needed energy by releasing its stores of glycogen, a type of carbohydrate found in the muscles and liver. Glycogen holds onto water, so when glycogen is burned for energy, it also releases the water — about 4 grams of water for every gram of glycogen — resulting in substantial weight loss that’s mostly water.
A plateau occurs because your metabolism — the process of burning calories for energy — slows as you lose lean tissue (muscle). When you lose weight, you lose both fat and lean tissue. (The notion that overweight people have a slower metabolism is a myth. In general, the higher a person’s weight, the higher the body’s metabolic rate.) Your weight-loss efforts result in a new equilibrium with your now slower metabolism. This means that in order to lose more weight, you need to increase activity or decrease the calories you eat. Using the same approach that worked initially will maintain your weight loss, but it won’t lead to more weight loss.
How can you overcome a weight-loss plateau?
If you’re at a plateau, you may have lost all of the weight you will given the number of calories you’re eating each day and the time you spend exercising. At this point, you need to ask yourself if you’re satisfied with your current weight or if you want to lose more, in which case you’ll need to adjust your weight-loss program. If you’re committed to losing more weight, try these tips for getting past the plateau:
Don’t let a weight-loss plateau lead to an avalanche
If your efforts to get past a weight-loss plateau aren’t working, talk with your doctor or a dietitian about other tactics you can try. You may also want to revisit your weight-loss goal. Maybe the weight you’re striving for is unrealistic for you. If you’ve improved your diet and increased your exercise, you’ve already improved your health even without further weight loss. For those who are overweight or obese, even modest weight loss improves chronic health conditions related to being overweight.
Whatever you do, don’t revert back to your old eating and exercise habits. That may cause you to regain the weight that you’ve already lost.
Source – Mayo Clinic
Article by : Julie McCan, CPT Julie is on the www.GetYouInShape.com team of personal trainers. Get You In Shape has is a Fitness Company in the Dallas, TX area. Coppell boot camps, Dallas boot camps, private training, 24 Day Challenge, weight loss, sports performance and nutrition are the main services of Get You In Shape