As humans, we all get into ruts on occasion, even though we don't like to admit it. It’s in our nature to get stuck despite our best efforts to move forward. Humans are creatures of habit, so it should come as no surprise getting stuck happens when we try to lose weight too. Sometimes the scale just stalls and we're stuck. When this happens, you've hit what exercise experts and dietitians call a weight loss plateau.
Why does weight loss plateau happen?
A weight-loss plateau happens because our bodies are incredibly adaptable and smart. After every workout, the body becomes stronger and more efficient calorie-burner. After you start dropping the weight, your body adjusts to it, requiring fewer calories than it did before. And finding a balance can be a little bit tricky.
Thankfully, there are some very simple ways to boost your metabolism and start losing the pounds again. Here are some of the ways you can fight your weight-loss plateau.
1. Reassess your caloric needs
You will most likely need to adjust your calorie intake if you want to overcome a weight loss plateau. As your bodyweight gets smaller, your body requires fewer calories for maintenance. If you're eating as many calories on day ninety of your weight loss journey as you did on day one, you won't be able to lose any more weight. You may have lost weight on your current intake, but you may need to eat less to achieve a larger caloric deficit. In situations like these, you need to cut 100-200 calories a day from your diet and see how your body (and the scale) react.
2. Think about your coffee
This is especially important if you like to drink your coffee sweet, with milk, with foam or if you like lates and another fancy (and calorie-dense) types of coffee. In case you’re that type of coffee drinker, try swapping your coffee for a regular coffee with milk and get the needed caffeine without added sugar. You can also try switching to green tea. It’s been proven as beneficial for diet plateau as it contains fat-blasting compounds called catechins, that fight the belly fat by revving the metabolism and speeding up the liver's fat-burning capacity. Switching from coffee to green tea may be just what your body needs to get back on track toward weight loss success.
3. Cut back on salt
Sometimes, the reason why the scale is not tipping in your favor is that your body is retaining water. Bloating and water retention can happen for a lot of reasons, but the most common cause is overeating of sodium-filled processed foods. Water sticks to sodium like a magnet, so your body may hang onto extra fluid. And though it may not seem like it can influence the scale too drastically, just four cups of water weigh two pounds!
4. Vary your workouts
If you are bored with your regular workout routine, you should try a new physical activity like hiking, rock climbing, tennis, or boxing. And if trying a completely new activity isn't something you are comfortable with, try to vary your usual routine. For example, if you typically do steady cardio, incorporate intervals. If you usually do HIIT, go with a few longer cardio sessions each week or a weight lifting practice.
5. Keep a food & activity journal
And be honest while you are writing in it. You might have hit a plateau in your weight loss progress because you're moving less than you realize and eating more than you think you are, which is completely normal and happens to everyone who is in the process of losing weight. What makes you different is whether you manage it properly!