Weight loss plateaus are those frustrating periods when your dieting efforts stall for no apparent reason. Despite it’s hard to explain what could cause a plateau in each particular case this type of weight loss stalls is quite common and therefore to be expected.
Typically your weight loss will stall after first easy pounds came off. If you had a lot of dieting experience in the past, you might notice that you tend to plateau at the same point every time. Once your weight reaches a certain point your body naturally starts to resist weight loss. Here is what to do:
Take a close look at what you are eating.
If you look closely and honestly at your calorie or carbohydrate intake (whatever you prefer to track) you may well pin down the cause of your plateau. Did you keep your food diary? Did you track your calories or carbohydrates accurately? Perhaps you are underestimating the size of your portions? Could it be that you’ve gotten sloppy? Estimate your portions carefully and keep a food diary. If you can’t find the reason of your weight loss stall here, proceed to the next step…
Did you change your lifestyle?
Perhaps you’ve been extremely busy at your office and you don’t work out like before. Perhaps the weather changed and you don’t take evening strolls anymore. Perhaps you got injured and you naturally move less. All these small things add up and have a considerable impact on your energy spending.
On the other hand if you are new to exercise you are likely to gain new muscle mass. In this case your scale will not move but you will be still losing inches.
Are you taking a new medication?
Medications are a common obstacle to weight loss, particularly hormone treatments and birth control pills. Here are some of the drugs that are known to slow or completely stop weight loss:
- HRT (synthetic hormone replacement therapies)
- Birth control pills
- Anti-arthritis medications
- Insulin stimulating drugs
- Anti-depressant drugs
If you can’t get off the medicine you need to work with your doctor to find a good alternative that has no side effects on your weight management efforts.
Yeast infection, food intolerances and thyroid problems are likely to cause your weight stall. Addressing these health issues in timely manner will help you lose weight and improve the quality of your life.
Do you have realistic expectations?
Be honest with yourself about your weight loss goals. Perhaps your target weight is unrealistic or unhealthy. At 50 years old you won’t be as slim as you were in your twenties. At times if you are unable to lose you are already at your ideal weight.
Weight loss plateaus are natural and are especially common in later stages of weight loss. Plateau may last at least a month and will need a great deal of patience and persistence to break free. Keep your food diary and make sure you are compliant with your eating plan. If you are not exercising add exercise to your daily routine. If you are already exercising change the TYPE of exercise. Doing same thing over and over again leads to diminishing returns. Your body becomes accustomed to this particular activity and becomes very efficient at doing it. Try different activities such as bicycling, running, swimming, dancing or aerobics. If you are realistic about your weight loss goals and are healthy sooner or later the plateau will come to an end.