So you stopped eating unhealthy and you’ve been exercising more, and it seems like all of your efforts in losing weight have paid off. However, suddenly you’ve noticed that you have been at the same weight for several weeks.
This is actually very common in people who are trying to lose weight; you have more than likely reached a weight-loss plateau. The frustrating reality is that this happens to everyone even with well-planned weight loss efforts.
Luckily, OrthoIndy pain management physician, Dr. Kevin Sigua, answers the big question: ‘how do you get out of a plateau?’
How do you know if you’ve hit a weight loss plateau?
Oftentimes, people who are overweight will lose weight rapidly. This is because you cut calories and the body gets energy initially by releasing its stores of glycogen, a type of carbohydrate.
However, as you lose weight, you lose muscle. Muscle helps keep the rate at which you burn calories (metabolism) up. So, as you lose weight and muscle, your metabolism declines. This could result in a weight loss plateau.
“Someone might experience a plateau in their weight loss journey if they restrict too much food,” said Dr. Sigua. “The body then goes into starvation preservation mode which makes it more difficult to lose weight.”
Tips for getting past a weight loss plateau
- Lift weights. Since muscle helps you burn calories, try to lift weights a few times a week.
- Evaluate the percentages of what type of macronutrients you take in. Balance out the different types of foods you consume. For example, 50 % protein, 30 % carbs and 20 % fats.
- Try different workouts. If you are doing the same workouts every day, you may need to switch it up, but don’t forget rest days.
- Pack more activity into your day. Think outside the gym and increase your general physical activity throughout the day.
Why is my weight not going down?
“There are various musculoskeletal conditions and diseases that can make it difficult to lose weight,” said Dr. Sigua. “Some of the more common ones are diabetes and hypothyroidism.”
However, if you do not have a musculoskeletal condition or disease, there are certainly other factors that could be attributed to your challenges with losing weight.
“Discuss with your physician or dietitian about other tactics to try and lose weight. If you can’t further decrease the calories you eat, revisit your overall goal and appreciate the weight you’ve already lost,” said Dr. Sigua.
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