Losing weight is no easy feat for anyone, to say the least. It takes hard work, focus, dedication, consistency, and a drive to want better for yourself. In your efforts of achieving your weight loss goals, one of the worst things that can happen is consistently not seeing the number on the scale go down.
This halt in dropping pounds is what you would call a weight loss plateau.
A weight loss plateau is going to be one of the most frustrating aspects of your weight loss journey, and it may happen more than once. You’ve cut out sodas, stopped eating chips and cookies, and you’ve even started incorporating more greens into your meals. So to put forth all this effort and then stop seeing results from it can make you feel stuck like you can’t lose any more weight.
Well, that’s definitely not the case. For one, your body really doesn’t want you to lose weight because that means you’re forcing it out of its comfort zone. When you cut back or eliminate calories or carbs, your body thinks you’re trying to starve it and can actually hold on to fat.
Also, what may seem like a weight loss plateau may actually be muscle gain, but your scale makes you think otherwise. The thing to understand about scales is that they lie. Your scale tells you your overall body weight, including any muscle gain you have.
Where it gets confusing is in the fact that the scale doesn’t tell you how much of your weight is attributed to muscle gain or weight gain.
That reason alone is why you can’t solely depend on what the scale says.
But you also have to consider that your body has a “set point” where it simply doesn’t want to lose weight anymore and it will work to sway you to not lose any more weight, by way of frustrating you to a point where you just give up.
But don’t give up.
As frustrating as it is to not be losing any more weight, there is still hope and you can indeed push through your weight loss plateau. Here’s how you can push through this frustrating time and start losing again.
Adjust Your Intake of Calories
Maybe you’ve already cut back on calories with carbs and you’re pretty comfortable and proud of just how much you’ve cut back. The thing about weight loss plateaus is that what you’ve been doing is no longer working. So, the amount of calories you’ve reduced this far isn’t enough.
You will need to think about adjusting the portions of your carbs/calories even more.
Cutting carbs might be one of the hardest parts of your weight loss journey because everyone loves carbs so remember t start small and keep it gradual. You could also think of adding in more green smoothies to your diet as a way to maintain weight loss goals and help with satiety.
Be Aware of Supposed “Healthy” Foods
There are foods that are indeed healthy, and then there are foods with a “healthy halo,” and are deemed healthy but really aren’t. These are the foods that can potentially throw your weight loss efforts off if over indulged in.
Foods like nuts, avocadoes, health crackers and the like aren’t necessarily “bad” foods for you to eat but they can be high in calories. When you’re trying to adjust your intake of calories, these kinds of foods aren’t going to do anything but increase your calories, especially when consuming too much of them because you think they’re “healthy.”
Switch Up and Intensify Your Workout
If your workouts are typically done in the gym, try working out outside. If you lift 180 pounds, lift 190 pounds. If your cardio is done on the treadmill, kick up the speed and incline or hop on the elliptical, or hire a personal trainer. The point is that you have to find a workout strategy that will work for you and adjust it as your body adjusts to your new intensities.
Once your workouts become easy, it’s time to turn it up a notch; keep your body guessing!
Eat Quality Foods
Once you’ve hit a weight loss plateau, your focus should no longer be on how many calories you have going in and coming out. Obviously processed foods are out of the question, so your focus now needs to be on the quality of the foods you eat to push through your plateau.
At this point, only high-quality whole foods should enter your kitchen.