Everyone will experience plateaus during their weight-loss process. This is a concern many people have when it comes to this issue.
A weight-loss plateau is when the person who is working to achieve a certain weight goal experiences slower weight-loss or no weight-loss at all during a period of time.
The reason for this phenomenon is that the body is adapting to a lower calorie diet and is burning alternative energy resources. First, your body will burn glycogen stored in the muscles and the liver, and the body then turns to fat and lean muscle mass for energy. As your body burns muscle, your metabolism slows down. This is why you hit a plateau.
Usually, plateaus will disappear by themselves just by eating the right amounts of protein and drinking water. That is to say, just by following the post-op guidelines your doctor recommends. But some people experience longer plateaus.
If you are currently eating from 800 to 1000 calories and you are experiencing a plateau that is lasting more than 2 weeks or you are feeling like you’ve been stuck without losing weight, there are a couple of things you can do to restart the weight-loss process.
In fact, you can be in a plateau because of the low-calorie consumption. Your body may have gone into starvation mode and it stops weight-loss. Sometimes your doctor will even increase the number of calories you can eat for a period only to lower them again to restart the weight-loss process.
A person with more muscle mass will have a higher metabolism. This means they will burn more calories even when resting throughout the day. If you have lost a significant amount of weight and your body has consumed muscle mass for energy, you will have a lower muscle mass and this leads to a slower metabolism, meaning you will lose less weight.
One reason for hitting a plateau can be if you quit exercising. Restarting an exercise program that includes weight-lifting or resistance training and cardio workouts will immediately boost your metabolism and you will overcome the plateau. However, some people experience plateaus despite having followed an exercise regime. The reason for this may be that you have followed the same routine for a long period of time. Increasing the intensity of your workout and/or challenging yourself to more weight lifting will do the trick and get you back on track.
You can track your heart rate to make sure you are challenging yourself enough during a workout. A good workout will have you at 60 to 85 percent of your predicted maximum heart rate (220 minus your age).
Resting periods between weight lifting exercises should be kept short, and make sure you gradually increase the amount of weight you lift. You can also shake things up by taking a fast-paced cardio class such as Zumba, Kickboxing or Circuit training.
Drinking enough water (64 fl. oz) and being consistent with your diet, especially your protein intake will also help you get past a plateau.
Another thing you want to look out for is the number of carbs you are really intaking. If you are eating more than you should this will be the reason for the plateau.
Stress can also increase the stress hormone, cortisol which leads to weight gain. So make sure you are keeping your stress down to a minimum.