Hitting a Weight Loss Plateau is Normal for EVERYONE! Here’s How to Overcome it
So you’ve been very disciplined, dedicated, and determined on your weight loss journey and you find that you have a bit more pep in your step. You’re also discovered a little wiggle room in your favourite jeans. You’re rolling full steam ahead but BAM, you’ve hit a weight loss plateau. The number on the scale isn’t decreasing, and you’re starting to feel defeated. Don’t give up! Hitting a plateau is normal for EVERYONE! Most times it is your body’s way of catching up with all the hard work invested. However, if 2 weeks go by and you still don’t see any changes, there could be several reasons for the stall. It is time to reevaluate your plan and break through your weight loss plateau :
1. Are you following the same exercise and diet plan you have for the past 3 months?
If you want to change your body, you need to keep it guessing. Our bodies adapt pretty easily to dietary and exercise changes. We need to keep it fresh and make small changes to keep progressing. Try changing the times of day you eat, try changing up the type of exercises you are doing- a new cardio format or increasing the load and decreasing reps in your lifting workouts may be just what your body needs to jump start the progress again!
2. Are you eating enough calories?
Several clients have asked me about 1200 calorie diets. Eating 1200 calories a day is what most people need to get the minimum nutrients. In order to lose weight you need to create a deficit of 3500 calories per week to lose 1lb. You can do this by decreasing your calories by 250 and increasing your energy expenditure by 250 calories per day. This will result in a weight loss for most people of 1lb per week. However, there is a lot more to it than this simple calculation. Oh if our bodies were not so incredibly complicated, every person could use this formula and reach their weight loss goals, right? But we are beautifully unique creatures and bio-individuality determines each person’s success. Yes, you do need to create a deficit, but determining where and how to create the deficit is important. Starving your body of needed calories and nutrients will cause you to actually stop losing weight and start storing fat. You body will go into “survival mode”. A Certified Health Coach can work with you to find the best formula for your personal success without leaving you feeling confused, deprived, and with a damaged metabolism.
3. Are you being honest with yourself?
It is amazing how we think a “bite of this” and a “bite of that” doesn’t count. How a “spoonful of cookie dough” doesn’t count as a cookie. How “grazing” doesn’t count as eating a meal. Mindless eating can lead us down a path of denial and frustration when we are working hard and don’t see results. My advice? Use a food log like My Fitness Pal to track every morsel, every drink, and every exercise session. One potato chip, one Tootsie Roll, one mocha latte, one beer, one 15 min walk around the block- it all matters. You can also weigh your food. Buy a cheap set of food scales at Target. Measure your liquids. Time your exercise session. The more honest you are with yourself, the less frustrated you will be in knowing where to make changes in your plan.
4. Be accountable.
Partner up with a Certified Health Coach or a accountability partner who will hold you to your goals and keep your health as much of a priority as you should. There will be times you will slip up. We all do. We all need wiggle room. But working with an accountability coach or having an accountability partner will help you get back on track and keep working toward what is important to you.
5. Maybe it is time to dial in on the macros.
There are 3 macronutrients the human body needs to function properly: protein, carbs, and fats. Carbs are the body’s primary source of fuel. Proteins are important for repair and growth of tissue and building muscle along with a lot of other responsibilities. Fats are great for protecting organs and absorbing the nutrients from our foods. According to bio-individuality, what works for one person will not necessarily work for another. Maybe you need to increase your healthy fats to burn more fat? Maybe you need to increase your protein to help maintain your lean muscle tissue due to your intense exercise sessions? Lean muscle helps to burn fat, so it is important to preserve. Dialings in your macros is not a perfect science and takes some experimentation and knowledge. Working with an experienced nutrition specialist will help you get on track.
6. A calorie is a calorie….WRONG!!
All calories are not the same. So while you do need to consider calories in order to see the number on the scale move, it’s the fat you want to lose more than the weight itself. A healthy start to losing fat is to rid your cupboards of processed foods. A good rule of thumb? If it has more than 5 ingredients, or it has ingredients you cant pronounce- throw it out! You can actually eat more calories and not be hungry by adding quality foods to your daily diet. Whole foods are the best- they are single ingredient foods. Think vegetables, meats, whole grains and limited fruits. Try to limit your added sugars. Load up your cart with perishables from the perimeter of the grocery store and you’ll be well on your way to optimal health for yourself and your loved ones!
Too many times I have watched people spinning their wheels trying to reach their weight loss/muscle gains goals. Heck, I’ve been there myself! Deprivation, overindulgence, self denial/cheating, over training, and just lack of education and accountability will leave you with feelings of defeat rather than accomplishment. If you have been spinning your wheels or you have reached a plateau- let’s talk! A FREE Health Assessment with me will be your first step in living the lifestyle you desire in the body you dream of!
By Fitmo Coach Carol Keller
Do you look in the mirror and say “Who Am I?” Do you want to feel younger, confident, & have more energy? As a woman over 40, Carol understands the struggles that woman her age go through. Carol has been a diet and exercise coach for over 10 years and she wants you help you get YOUR sexy back & put that confidence back in your strut!