Hey Guys! A lot of people (including myself) struggle with what’s causing your weight loss plateau and how to get over it. Achieving your weight loss goal can be super tough at times. And it’s harder to stay motivated when you’re not seeing results on the scale. I get it. Here are 5 reflective steps you can take to review your current situation and break through the plateaus so you can continue on your journey!
1 – YOU’RE CONSUMING TOO MUCH FOOD
There is one possibility that you have simply been eating over your calorie deficit. Thus, you aren’t losing any weight. Did you know, studies have shown people can under estimate what they are eating by up to 50%?! Even if you’re tracking your calories or food intake, it could be that you’re not accounting for every single calorie you consume. Think about every drop of milk, every swab of butter, every drink, every nibble or bite. Also consider your weekends, or that one day a week you DON’T keep a food diary because you know how god awful it will look! Well that could be the one day hindering your progress, so maybe it’s time to face the music!
2 – YOUR CALORIE DEFICIT HAS IMPACTED YOUR ENERGY LEVELS, AND THUS, YOU’R N.E.A.T
When putting your body into a calorie deficit over a sustained period of time, this can impact your energy levels and your mood. This is because you’re technically giving your body less than what in needs to sustain it’s current weight so it can start to feel a bit zapped of energy! Especially if you’ve also been training hard and burning those extra calories! This can result in your body responding and reducing your Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (and the calories you burn from it) without you necessarily realising. Think about it, if you’re feeling zapped, you’ll be moving less, going out less and generally burning less of the food you eat. (I know I’d be on the sofa binge watching Netflix!). We even fidget less! The result of all this, can tip your body into a ‘maintenance’ mode rather than a deficit, and you stop losing weight.
To combat this, consider a ‘re-feed’ period of 3-7 days, where you eat slightly over the calories you have been eating (don’t go mad), but just enough to help you revitalise and get your energy back (almost like hitting the reset button on your weight loss!). You’re unlikely to lose any weight that week, but if you’re thinking about your long term goals here, it can help you regain that energy, which in turn will help you move more, do more, maybe even take it up a notch in the gym, and feel better in general!
3 – YOU’RE STILL EATING WHAT YOU WERE EATING WHEN YOU ARE A LOT HEAVIER
Put it this way, if you don’t continue to adapt your food and exercise as your weight changes, you may also cease to change. When I was over 100lbs overweight, my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) would have been a lot higher than it is today. By that, I mean just to be alive, my body needed more calories than it does now. This is because I was carrying a lot of excess weight, and my body would be burning more calories to lift and shift that weight day in day out! The result of that, is when I first started my weight loss journey, I could eat a lot more than I do today and still lose weight! Have you ever wondered why your weight loss seems so much faster at the start of your weight loss journey, and it gradually slows… well this is one of the contributing factors. To stop this happening, and to continue to understand what your body needs, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate the calories your body needs based on your current weight every 4 to 6 weeks. This will ensure that you are only eating what your body needs at it’s current weight and activity level.
4 – YOUR NOT EATING THE RIGHT AMOUNTS OF FOODS
Have you ever considered tracking your macro-nutrients? (By this, I mean the proteins, carbs and fats you consume daily). The reason I say this is because research has found that lower-carb diets help control hunger, provide feelings of fullness and promote long-term weight loss. If you eat lots of fat high sugar foods, you will likely feel hungry again in an hour, and the result is a considerable amount more calories consumed in a day than you would normally. You can easily review how much you should be eating by using a simple macro calculator on the web! I don’t advise cutting carbs completely – i love carbs! They give me allll the energy. But it’s good to understand how much your eating and if it’s in line and balanced with the amount you should be eating and you’re not eating too little fat or protein as a result.
5 – YOU’RE STRESSED OUT
Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone.” While it helps your body respond to stress, it can also put the brakes on your weight loss. What’s more, this effect seems to be stronger in women. When I’m stressed….what did my former self do? Reach for the nearest sharer bag of crisps or bar of chocolate. BAM, Weight loss efforts hindered for the day as I put my body into a calorie surplus over the space of about 5 minutes!
In one eight-week study of 34 overweight and obese women, a stress-management program that included muscle relaxation and deep breathing led to an average weight loss of 9.7 pounds (4.4 kg)
Here is the source of Stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution in women study.
So there you go! My 5 tips to help break through your weight loss plateau. I hope you found this useful, please share and comment your thoughts or what you’d like to see next from me!