How to break weight loss plateau?
Have you ever experienced that moment when trying to lose weight and your body no longer responds to any diet or fitness routine? Well, then you are in what is defined as a weight loss plateau.
A weight loss plateau refers to that period of time in which your body stops responding to fitness and diet routines, it often occurs as an abrupt halt to the progress and weight loss you may have had before. Your body has the ability to adjust to stress and change, and your body mass is the main factor that determines your body’s metabolic rate or the rate that burns calories for basic body functions. So, when your body mass is reduced through diets and exercise, your metabolic rate lowers as well. Thus, your body burns less calories and the weight loss tends to slow down or even stop as a result of a reduced metabolic rate.
Now, there are different types of plateaus. As we mentioned before, a weight loss plateau is also known as a body plateau because it refers to a sudden stop of weight loss after going on a diet or starting a workout routine. Another type of weight loss plateau is when a sudden stop happens when trying to gain muscle, weight or increase strength, and it is called a muscular body plateau. These are more common in people who are looking to gain muscles rather than lose weight, like bodybuilders or professional athletes. Both of them are similar, in the sense that they are caused by the body’s successful adaptation to a fitness or healthy eating regime. But managing each one of them is different, and this is what this post is about.
How to actually break a weight loss plateau?
When you are losing weight, your metabolic rate does as well, and your body requires fewer calories per day for nourishment. So, if you want to keep losing weight, you must reduce the amount of calories your body takes in, by lowering the caloric intake or increasing caloric output through exercise.
Here there are some easy tweaks and tips to get back on track and get that scale moving again.
How many carbs should you eat per day to achieve weight loss?
An easy and healthy way to lose weight is by reducing your caloric intake by 200 calories per day. Let’s say if you are currently in a 1,400-calorie intake diet you need to reduce your calorie intake to 1,200-calories a day by choosing healthy foods to help promote weight loss as well as add from 15 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular workout to your daily routine. By doing this the body plateau you are in will shift and you will start losing weight again. Also, try to replace your calorie intake of carbs and fats with calories from protein, this will boost your weight loss.
The body is able to store a large amount of carbohydrates, it can stock away at least 500 grams, so when you eat more carbs than your body actually needs, the leftovers are stored and turned into glycogen; and for every gram of glycogen stored, the body puts away about 3 to 4 grams of water, thus adding weight and preventing weight loss. Even though you might think that what keeps you gaining weight is fat, that isn’t always true; it is glycogen which keeps you feeling bloated and what keeps showing up on the scale. So, the best way to avoid it, is by cutting out refined and super calorie dense carbs like white bread and pasta, and try to include more water rich or good carbs like vegetables and fresh fruits, and healthy whole grains like quinoa.
How much fiber should you need to eat per day to lose weight?
Recent studies have shown that for every gram of fiber that we take in, about seven calories are eliminated by the body. So, think about this as a way to help you achieve an easy amount of weight loss that ultimately could result in around 20 pounds of weight loss in one year if you eat 30 grams of fiber per day. You can find huge amounts of fiber for example in black beans, barley and fruits like orange or grapefruit.
Cut back on salt
Salt causes you to retain liquids and thus helps prolong your weight loss plateau. Just put away your salt shaker or high-sodium seasonings and eat more fresh, unprocessed foods.
Water, water, and more water
You might have heard this comment way too many times, but it is so very important. Really. Water is basic when it comes to calorie burning and it helps flush out any excess sodium in your body. You can start by trying to drink two cups of water before each meal, as it has been proven that people who do this actually consume 75 to 90 fewer calories per meal, which thus results in a major weight loss benefit. Also try your best to get in per day between 2 and 3 liters of water, not only will this keep you hydrated, but also your body will flush and burn calories in the process of moving the water through your system.
Keep on moving
It is important to keep your body moving, if you are used to working out every day, you can try by adding a little extra activity into your current routine. But if you are sedative or not very active, you can start by getting on your feet and walking for 10 to 20 minutes a day, then slowly add an additional 10 minutes per day as you get more comfortable with the exercise.
Pay attention to your body
One of the most important things that will help you break the plateau is listening to your body. You’ve heard this too, but it is a key component for your weight loss journey. Eat slowly and stop when you feel full, take small bites, put down your fork and chew at least 22 times, enjoy your food; pay attention and learn to listen to your body.
So, what is the real answer on how to break a weight loss plateau?
The answer is that you need to listen and pay attention to your body, drink water, exercise, eat protein and just make a few little tweaks to your current routine or lifestyle.
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