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Here comes a tale that every person aiming for weight-loss can relate to. You decide to lose weight by eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, you get excited as the pounds seem to fall off quickly. Then comes the inevitable weight-loss plateau, the horrendous phase that leads to frustration and a drop in efforts to lose weight. You feel demotivated and frustrated- and you may just give up!
This phenomenon is the biggest barrier that makes losing weight look like a vicious and never-ending cycle. We are thus offering you some simple strategies that shall help you stay committed to healthier habits even when weight-loss levels are almost negligible. Please find these smart strategies below:
1. Readjust your calorie intake
Since you have lost weight, your metabolism level goes down as your body now requires fewer calories for energy. The calorie intake that you initially took at the beginning of your weight loss journey might need to be adjusted to match your body’s current needs. It is recommended to readjust your calorie goals after every 15 pounds you lose.
2. Readjust your workout routine
Working out on the elliptical cycle for a long time? It’s time to change your workout routine now. The muscles in your body have become used to the same workout pattern which had made it less effective. Try to go out of your comfort zone and try new workouts to get the best results. High-Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) is the best way to burn maximum calories and body fat effectively. Just be careful when including HIIT into your routine as doing too much too fast can leave you sore, tired, or even injured.
3. Flush it out with fluids
When the body is dehydrated, there is a high chance of you craving extra calories. This is because the symptoms of dehydration are similar to symptoms of hunger, so it’s easy to get confused. Keep yourself hydrated and aim to drink at least 3 liters of water per day.
4. Sleep well
Sound sleep plays a very important role in helping your body lose weight as it resets your hormones. If you deprive yourself of sleep it can lead to increased cortisol, a stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels in the body can lead to fat accumulation around the midsection.
5. Be careful with those small bites
Every extra bite here or there has calories and they all do count. Check if mindless munching and unhealthy snacking is the main reason that’s keeping you away from your desired results.
6. Intake quality foods
Getting over the weight-loss plateau requires far more than just the calories in and calories out mechanism which typically works for weight loss. The things you need to cut weight-loss plateau off are the intake of quality whole foods which includes high-fiber fruits, beans, lean proteins, and raw vegetables. These are the food items that are needed by your body engine to start burning that fat again.
7. Focus on strength training
Looking to know how to burn calories even when you are resting? It’s simple, you can try including weight training in your workout routine. This would help because the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn, and the more body fat you’ll shed.
We are assuming that the above mentioned tips will sail you through the weight-loss plateau. It might seem difficult at first but you would be able to wade through the waters with some patience and hard work. But if it still doesn’t work, we have got you covered for that too!
How to break a weight-loss plateau if everything else fails?
The above-mentioned tips come more than handy to offer positive results in unison. However, should you still feel that your hard work is going down the drain and that nothing is working as per plan, it is time you step back and look at the issue with a different mindset.
You could begin by considering what could have possibly caused this? Are you sitting at your ideal weight? Are your goals too high to be achievable? Maybe you are in the zone where nothing else seems working because you have reached the set-point weight zone. It is the weight that your body likes to maintain. Though it can be adjusted, you would still need some time.
We suggest you reassess the condition and get started with new enthusiasm and some advanced tips, like the ones below:
1. Check Your Diet
At the initial stage of weight loss, simply reducing the number and amount of meals does play a major role in helping you lose weight, but it is equally important to reevaluate the quality of your diet. Weight loss after you lose the initial pounds can only come if you choose lower-calorie food items. To push the barrier of the weight-loss plateau away, you should include foods that are rich in fiber and lean protein. These food items will make you feel fuller for longer duration and cut away the intake of unnecessary calories.
2. Rework on your goals
Readjusting your routine (as mentioned above) would do you little to no good if your goals are not reasonable or achievable. We suggest you break down your journey in small parts and go for them, and also celebrate each success no matter how small or insignificant it seems.
3. Switch to a better lifestyle
Also, of note is adopting a more fruitful lifestyle. It is important to consider the benefits of adopting a healthier lifestyle to push the barrier of this plateau away. Rework on the goals and get excited about the non-scale victories, like getting in a dress you always wished for or getting positive comments from your friends and family, to get back the motivation. If you take the time to celebrate this achievement, you are likely to stay motivated to work out and eat healthy even when the scale isn’t moving.
4. Exercising is the Key
Though eating healthy is very important when aiming for weight loss, but it is important to consider that exercising has a more dominant role to play. To overcome the weight-loss barriers without putting in too many efforts, simply increase the time and intensity of your workouts. It does not necessarily mean to have a structured exercise like hopping on a treadmill or going for a bike ride as daily activities like mowing the lawn to vacuuming the house to help in burning calories. Stop being lazy and get up from your couch if you are serious about losing weight & overcoming this barrier!
5. Make a Plan
Planning for the upcoming week can go a long way in keeping you on track with healthy habits and weight loss. The key is to anticipate the upcoming challenges and be prepared to face them. Plan the foods you are going to eat, the time you will be going to the gym, etc. to handle the situation of a weight-loss plateau in the best possible manner!
6. Be Positive
Don’t get demoralized when the numbers are not going down. Be positive and keep in mind that if you stick to your weight-loss plan religiously the pounds will come off for sure. Push yourself and stay motivated to achieve your goals and you will surely hit the desired mark!
If you have tried to change your calorie and workout routine plus have been more careful with your efforts but still the weight is not going down, it is time to consult with your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could make it difficult for you to lose weight.
Here’s a special note that you can consider before starting up: in the process to lose weight, it can be tempting to cut calories too low to shed pounds faster. The opposite side of this: your muscles are fueled up for energy which results in lowering your metabolism levels. You should talk to an experienced fitness trainer before proceeding.
Don’t lose hope, some people just take longer to reach their destination but their journey is also well worth it!
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