The Scale Isn't Moving! 7 Ways to Break a Weight Loss Plateau
When you first start working out on a regular basis and eating a healthier diet, it's exciting to see how much weight you're losing. It feels like you drop a few pounds every single time you step on your scale.
But eventually, there's a good chance that you're going to hit a weight loss plateau. You're going to stop losing weight altogether for days, weeks, and maybe even months on end.
It can be frustrating to go through this, especially when you're working hard to maintain an exercise regimen and eat right.
But you can work your way through a weight loss plateau and get the scale moving again as long as you know what you're doing.
Here are seven ways to break through a weight loss plateau and get back on the right track.
1. Consider Cutting Back on More Calories
Cutting calories out of your diet is one of the simplest ways to lose weight. The more calories you're able to cut from your diet, the more weight you'll lose over time.
But once you lose a bunch of weight, you'll run into a problem. Your metabolism will slow down since your body will require fewer calories to function.
This will often cause a weight loss plateau. Simply cutting the calories you were cutting before will no longer work. You'll need to cut even more calories from your diet to get the kind of weight loss results you were experiencing earlier on in your weight-loss journey.
It'll be important for you to adjust your caloric intake if you want to continue losing weight. As a general rule of thumb, it's a good idea to make these adjustments every time you lose about 10 pounds.
2. Focus on Eating Higher Quality Foods
Cutting calories from your diet doesn't mean you need to starve yourself. It just means you need to be much smarter about what you eat.
Processed foods have, unfortunately, become a staple of many Americans' diets. Studies have shown that about 60% of the average person's diet consists of processed foods that contain high levels of salt, sugar, and fat.
Work to remove any processed foods from your diet and replace them with higher quality foods. Some good examples of things you should be eating more of include:
- Fruits (preferably those high in fiber!)
Many of these foods will make you feel full without adding a bunch of calories to your diet. They'll also deliver the minerals and vitamins your body needs and help you steer clear of eating too much salt, sugar, or fat.
3. Eat More Protein
Whenever you put any food into your body, it'll cause your digestive system to spring into action. This will result in your body burning calories as it works to digest your food.
There are, however, some foods that help you burn more calories through digestion than others. These foods can come in handy when you're trying to push back against a weight loss plateau.
Foods that are high in protein, in particular, are great when it comes to this. They have a higher thermic effect than most other foods and can increase the number of calories your body burns during digestion.
Protein also has an amino acid in it called leucine that might be able to jumpstart weight loss. Some studies have suggested it might work wonders for those who are trying to change the numbers on their scale.
4. Try a New Exercise Routine
Are you the type of person who goes through the same exact exercise routine every time you're in the gym?
You might enjoy the repetition that comes along with taking this approach to working out. But within just a few months, your muscles and the other parts of your body will start to get used to the workouts you put it through.
When this happens, your body isn't going to have to work as hard when you exercise, and it's going to lead to you losing less weight or maybe losing no weight at all. It can zap your motivation to work out.
Rather than continuing down this familiar path, add a new wrinkle to your workout plan. Give something like high-intensity interval training, a.k.a. HIIT, a try and see how well it works for you.
You'll work the muscles in your body out more when you do this, and as a result, you'll bust through your weight loss plateau. Just make sure you ease your way into high-intensity workouts to avoid injuring yourself in the process.
5. Sleep More at Night
According to the CDC, about one-third of all Americans fail to get the proper amount of sleep each night. Are you one of them?
If you are, you might suffer from elevated cortisol levels on most days. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can cause fat to accumulate around your midsection if you're not careful.
To stop cortisol from taking a toll on you by making it harder for you to lose weight, strive to get somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. It could be the difference between losing weight and getting stuck at a weight loss plateau.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
When you're in the process of trying to lose weight, water is going to be your best friend. You'll want to drink it early and often so that you can take in upwards of 100 fluid ounces of it.
This might not seem like that tall of a task.
But according to a recent survey, about 80% of working Americans say they don't drink enough water day in and day out. Because of this, many of them suffer from dehydration, which can make them feel hungry.
If you've been feeling hungry for no reason as of late, think about if it might be because you're not drinking enough water.
Getting more H2O into your system can quench your thirst and make you less likely to go searching around for food.
7. Sign Up for a Weight Loss Management Program
If you try everything else mentioned here and find that you still can't lose weight, there could be a bigger problem in play. You may need to take a more aggressive approach to lose weight from now on.
Think about signing up for a weight loss management program. Ideally, you should look for an individualized program that includes:
- An initial blood panel and EKG
- A personalized exercise program
- Lifestyle counseling
- FDA approved weight-loss medication
This program will give you the best possible chance to climb over a weight loss plateau. It'll give you hope again by allowing you to see real weight-loss results in no time.
Don't Let a Weight Loss Plateau Slow You Down
No matter how hard you work out in the gym or how careful you are about what you eat, a weight loss plateau is always right around the corner for those losing weight. There will come a time when losing weight becomes too difficult to do on your own.
If you've hit that point, we would love to speak with you about how our weight loss management program works. You can get back to losing weight again by making some adjustments to your exercise routine, your diet, and your lifestyle as a whole.
Schedule a free weight management consultation with us today to gather more information on our services.