So you’ve hit a weight loss plateau and let us guess, you're feeling a sense of frustration? Rightly so, it can be extremely frustrating, especially when you feel as though you are
doing everything (eating, exercising) "right." Innately, humans feel happiness when we are progressing. So, it's no surprise that after seeing results quickly, to begin with at some point when it seems as though your weight won't budge it's frustrating. We call this wall a plateau and most of us will experience one or more on our weight loss journeys!
Do not worry, this step by step guide will help get you back on track!
Here are 8 tips to break a weight loss plateau.
1) HOW IS YOUR NUTRITION… REALLY?
Often at times we think we are being diligent until we realise that after a few weeks of eating great we’ve started relaxing and slacking. Weight loss is individual and we see with our Metabolic Balance Clients, is very dependent on how closely someone can stick to their Phase 2 Foods List. Phase 2 foods equal change and even slipping only a few times a week can slow down change. It is very important that you stick to your 2 weeks STRICTLY. Another thing to ensure is that you are including enough fats and oils into your diet following Strict Phase 2!
2) HOW ARE YOU SLEEPING?
Did you know that research is telling us that getting adequate sleep may be more important than exercise when it comes to losing weight!
Inadequate sleep is associated with an increase in BMI, waist circumference and weight!
- increases our appetite
- reduces willpower
- decreases our metabolic rate
- reduces our desire to exercise
On average, adults need around approximately 7–8 hours of restful sleep each night.
Tips to improve sleep:
• Create a routine around sleep. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
• Limit caffeine at least six hours before bed.
• No screens in the bedroom for at least 1 hour before bedtime.
• Exercise regularly
• Avoid daytime naps
• Ensure you get 10 minutes of unfiltered sunlight each morning. When the sunlight hits your eyes it helps to regulate your circadian (sleep/wake) cycle.
3) HOW ARE YOU FEELING GENERALLY?
Do you have any other symptoms resolved or improved?
Sometimes the body takes a bit of time to resolve inflammation before weight is released steadily or an initial loss can slow before the body is ready to get going again. It is so important to remember all the improvements that are happening. You might like to document these changes in a health tracker!
4) ARE YOU FEELING STRESSED?
Stress is like a break to weight loss. When in a stressful situation the body’s nervous system and adrenal glands send a signal (increase in cortisol and adrenaline) to the rest of the body to prepare for a physical response. This response is a survival mechanism to get out of danger. It was necessary hundreds of years ago to help us run from predators that posed a life or death threat. It is called “fight or flight response.” The body’s physical response is to increase heart rate and respiratory rate. At times of perceived danger, physiological changes trigger hormones to increase heart rate and blood pressure to ultimately deliver more oxygen and glucose to the muscles and peripherals, preparing the body to RUN. Vital physical functions are prioritised over less urgent bodily functions (digestion and reproduction) to give the body the chance to flee! In turn, the immune system is activated, breathing is accelerated and the heart moves into overdrive to support the body.
This increase in cortisol also promotes fat storage as the body packs away stores to prepare for famine! Although we are not starving, it prepares just incase.
In addition to these physiological responses, stress also impacts us emotionally. Our willpower is decreased and we are more likely to experience savings. If you are feeling this way, it is important to speak to your practitioner. They will have strategies to help you and may see fit that you receive some additional nutritional support.
5) DON'T RELY ON THE SCALE ALONE
When trying to lose weight, for some, hopping on the scale can be part of your daily routine. However, it's crucial to detach yourself from the number on the scale as it is not an accurate representation of your progress OR your worth as a person!
Rather than weight loss, your goal is actually fat loss. If you're working out, you may be building muscle, which is denser than fat and takes up less room in your body. So if the scale weight isn't moving, you could be building muscle and losing fat, yet maintaining a stable weight.
In addition, you may retain water for a number of reasons, including your dietary choices and hormonal fluctuations - particularly in women.
Track your progress by measuring your hips and waist circumference. This gives a more accurate measure. Also, notice how your clothes are fitting.
6) REMEMBER WHERE AND HOW YOU BEGAN
Another thing to keep in mind is, how long it took you to get you to the weight you are now - sometimes this can be decades. Acknowledging how quick a difference is actually happening compared to this is important for some people.
7) ARE YOU REGULARLY GOING TO THE BATHROOM?
Digestive health is not generally a topic that we like to think or talk about, but it’s something that has a profound impact on our wellbeing. There isn't a set rule on how often you should be going to the bathroom, though ideally, we would like to see it happen ever 1-2 days. Some people empty their bowels twice a day or always after breakfast while others go to the toilet less! If you feel that it is a problem for you or you have noticed a change in your bowel motions, it is important that you speak to your practitioner about the changes. Constipation (which refers to infrequent bowel movements) arises when your digestive system isn't functioning as effectively as usual. This can be caused by multiple scenarios and can heavily contribute to weight loss plateau. Your practitioner may have a simple fix - don't be afraid to ask for help!
8) ARE YOU DRINKING ENOUGH WATER?
Last, but certainly not least - are you getting enough water in?
Water assists us in weight loss but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Here are 16 other reasons to help you feel motivated to take that extra sip of H2O!
Are you drinking enough water? Here are 16 reasons why you SHOULD start drinking more!
1. It helps create saliva
2. It regulates your body temperature
3. It protects your tissues, spinal cord, and joints
4. It helps excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation
5. It helps maximize physical performance
6. It helps prevent constipation
7. It aids in digestion
8. It helps with nutrient absorption
9. It helps you lose weight
10. It improves blood oxygen circulation
11. It helps fight off illness
12. It helps boost energy
13. It aids in cognitive function
14. It helps improve mood
15. It helps keep skin bright
16. It prevents overall dehydration
We know that weight loss plateaus can be frustrating and demoralizing but we are here to support you every step of the way. They are a normal part of the weight loss process and in fact, nearly everyone experiences a stall at some point on their weight loss journey.
Please don't give up and remember that on the other side of a small setback can be a big WIN!
Keep going, we are here for you! Book your free 15-minute discovery call if you would like to start your weight loss journey with us today!