The process of healthy weight loss takes a combination of changing your diet (calories in) and increasing exercise (calories burned). It’s common to see a rapid loss of weight in the early stages of the weight loss process due to diet restrictions, increases in exercise, and losses in water weight. However, after this initial weight loss people tend to hit a wall and the rate of weight lost slows down or stops completely. This “weight loss plateau” effect is caused by the body’s ability to adjust to the changes in diet and exercise intensity. Therefore, the same effort it took to lose the weight initially will not continue to have the same effect going forward.
In order continue the process you must continually alter the factors that contribute to weight loss; i.e. diet and exercise. Here are a few tips to help break through the weight loss plateau.
- Diet – after the initial stages of weight loss, you may have to further decrease your caloric intake OR maintain caloric intake but modify the ratio of carbohydrates and proteins.
- Increasing protein intake will aid in the growth of muscle tissue which is responsible for maintaining our metabolism
- Exercise – an increase in exercise frequency (number of workouts per week) or exercise intensity will be necessary to break the plateau. As our bodies get stronger and more fit we need to continue to challenge ourselves in order to progress.
- Fluid intake – make sure that enough water is being consumed throughout the day. Dehydration can cause cravings for food and sugary drinks.
- Sleep and rest – recovery time is pivotal for regulating our hormone activity and keeping our bodies healthy during the weight loss process.
By David McCalla