A weight loss plateau can be the most infuriating and discouraging thing EVER. They typically happen when someone has seen quite a bit of progress on their weight loss journey, but then suddenly the scale and measuring tape do not budge, showing the same number for a few weeks straight.
How do we overcome this?!
First things first, how does this happen?
When you first start losing weight, you see progress fairly fast. This is mainly because you put yourself in a calorie deficit by eating less and/or better and exercising. But as you lose more and more weight, your metabolism changes. It becomes slower. As your metabolism becomes slower, the amount of calories you burn on a daily basis also drops. Eventually, the energy balance between calories in and calories out is the same! This is why you don’t see any more progress.
I know it is easy to just throw it in the towel, but DON’T!
I get it – plateaus are so frustrating and make you kind of wonder, “why am I even doing this?!” but don’t give up! Knowing WHY this is happening will help you fix it, assuming you don’t have any undiagnosed health problems. This is the biggest challenge when you are facing a weight loss plateau; fighting the urge to give up.
Focus on your energy balance and change things up.
How do you get your body to start losing weight again? It all comes down to the energy balance. Change it up! Either cut down on your calories or make your workouts more intense. If you’re only doing cardio for exercise, then add some weight lifting. Try some new things and add variety to your workouts and physical activity!
There are a few other things to keep in mind.
If you have tried the above and you still aren’t seeing progress, analyze your stress levels and your sleep habits. These could have an impact on your weight loss progress!
Above all, you may want to go see your primary care doctor and have some blood work done. Typically in the past when I have had a client suddenly stop losing weight (and possibly even start gaining again, despite doing everything to prevent it), it often comes down to a hormonal issue! Obviously that is something you might not be able to fix without speaking to an actual doctor, not a personal trainer!
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I wear a lot of hats: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. A writer with a B.A. in English and Professional Writing. A fur mom and a wife. A mental health advocate and a septic shock survivor. An Airman and an athlete. I live in South Florida and am in love with the ocean. People can typically find me either in the gym or at home, writing or reading.