When we’re actively trying to lose weight, we do all the right things – eat well, exercise, cut out snacking – and we’re pleased with the changes we’re seeing.
However, there are moments when weight loss slows down, or we find that the number on the scales never seems to be moving anymore. Cue mass panic, continuous cardio and restricting foods we actually need!
WHAT IS A WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAU?
The term “weight loss plateau” refers to your body no longer responding to your current diet and/or fitness regime. Plateaus are often the result of the body developing a tolerance to the weight loss techniques we are using, allowing the body to adjust and recognise the stresses caused and slow down, or even halt, the effects and results. If you think that you’ve hit a weight loss plateau, there are five common signs to look for:
1. The scales aren't moving (up or down)
2. You're bored of your workout or nutrition plan
3. You're not breaking a sweat like you used to
4. You're doing the same things, but not achieving any results
5. You feel unmotivated / aren't bothered about the plan
WHAT CAN YOU DO DO WHEN YOU PLATEAU?
Monitor your weight loss off the scales
Rather than focusing on weight loss, why not try monitoring your progress by something more meaningful, such as a transformation photo. You can take these every six weeks, and it will give you a far better picture of what is going on without the stress of getting on the scale weekly or, for many, daily.
Swap carbohydrates and fats for protein
Another option is to replace some calories ingested through carbohydrates or fats with calories from protein. We can’t stress enough the “some” part of this, as carbohydrates are a necessity for a balanced diet. Protein assists with fat reduction, as it requires more energy to be broken down in the stomach, therefore increasing your metabolism. Protein also helps to suppress Ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates appetite.
Try to spread your protein intake out throughout the day. Protein requirements will be unique to the individual but try to aim for between 20-25g of protein at each meal. This amount of protein can be found in a 100g chicken breast, 1 cup of tofu or a protein shake.
Mix up your workouts
When it comes to working out, muscles can become familiar with the same old workout, making your regular routine less effective. If you find that you are constantly doing the same workout, it might be time to get out of your comfort zone and change it up a little bit. If you’re a big fan of resistance training, try having a go at some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or the latest current trend a F45 sesh!