Reaching a plateau basically means going through a long period of time where no weight loss occurs, despite dieting and working out. It’s something commonly experienced by many people who go through a weight loss process, as the body tends to adjust with the new eating regimen. If you haven’t lost any weight for the past two weeks, although you continued to eat healthy and exercise, don’t be discouraged, it just means you’ve reached a plateau. Causes for plateauing include include a decrease in the rate of fat burning process, over eating, incorrect determination of your daily calorie requirements. There are ways to break the plateau, so don’t lose motivation when it occurs.
If in the first weeks of dieting you’ve lost weight with eating healthy and light work out sessions, as your body adjusts to your new life style it gets harder to lose weight. You might want to consider moving on to a more intense exercising routine: interval training, working out with increasingly heavier weights, strength training and heavy intense aerobics. Strength training helps you burn more calories, boosts your metabolism and helps you develop lean muscle mass. The same goes for intense aerobics sessions. However, try not to overtrain, because you might end up experiencing the opposite effect and shut down your metabolism.
Calculate your calorie intake
As you lose weight, you also need to adjust your calorie intake, because your required daily “dosage” of calories decreases with the reduction of your body mass. This means gradually reducing your calorie intake in order to keep the weight loss process going. Once you’ve determined your daily required calorie intake, you need to create a deficit, either by working out more, or by eating less. If you’re going for a healthy weight loss (which you should), you’re aiming at losing 1 pound per week and to achieve that, your daily calorie deficit should be somewhere around 500 calories.
Don’t starve yourself!
Most people are so keen on seeing results quickly that they’d go for extreme diets with a very low daily calorie intake. This is definitely something you should avoid, not only it’s not healthy, but it slows down your metabolism and doesn’t give you enough energy to work out either. Mood swings, depression, lack of motivation are also associated with fad diets. Stick to a normal weight loss plan, healthy exercising and you should be fine.
Other things to consider once you’ve reached a plateau are cutting down on your alcohol intake (it’s a lot harder for alcohol drinkers to maintain a healthy weight than it is for non-drinkers) and make sure you stay hydrated to prevent water weight.