How To Overcome The Dreaded Weight Loss Plateau

Author: Adam Macdougall   Date Posted:18 October 2019 

One moment the scale is dropping before your eyes and the next the number won't budge no matter what you do. Sound familiar? You've hit a plateau. 

Weight loss plateaus are completely normal and everyone experiences them. 

Don't let them derail your progress, here are some proven tips to get you back on track, and the numbers dropping again. 

 

Exercise

That's right, you're gonna have to put some hard yards in. You've got your diet down pat and that's 70% of weight loss, but now you have to work on the other 30% - exercise. 

If the fat isn't moving, you have to get moving. Get out for a walk, up the intensity of what you're currently doing. Exercise is key for moving stubborn fat.

 

Reassess Your Habits

Are you as strict with your diet now as when you started? Most people will let their guard down after initial weight loss and seeing results.

Sometimes when you lose big numbers early on, things like portion control and exercise intensity begin to slip. When you hit a plateau, it's important to reassess your habits to see if there are any areas you've become lenient. 

 

Hit The Weights

When we think of exercise for weight loss, we typically think of treadmills and exercise bikes. Well, it turns out resistance training is

Lifting weights - or weight based exercises - increase your resting metabolism. Some studies have shown an elevated metabolism for up to 38 hours after a workout for men, resulting in a much higher caloric burn over the course of a day.

If you're looking to power over that plateau, the gym is a good place to start!

 

Get More Sleep

If your weight loss has plateaued, not getting enough sleep may be to blame. Getting 6 hours or less a night can reduce your metabolic rate, shifting your hormone levels to promote appetite and fat retention.

Sleep accounts for a third of your life, so it's important to ensure you get both quantity and quality. Aim for 8 hours a night, and the scales may respond.

 

Listen To Your Body

Sometimes when you're trying to lose weight, you spend too much time on the scales hoping for results. There are so many other physiological changes that happen when losing weight that scales don't recognise like muscle gain, waist circumference, and how you feel.

Another reason to listen to your body is that you may also have a goal weight that doesn't suit your body. A lot of guys seem to have goals of whole numbers that are lower than their healthy and comfortable target weight. If you feel great and you're living a lifestyle, maintain that.

 

Journal Your Food

Researchers have found that people tend to underestimate what they eat in a day, so a food journal is a great way to track everything you're consuming.

If you track your calories and macro-nutrients across a week, you'll have a better insight into your diet and you are then able to make modifications accordingly. 

Don't forget to include sauces and cooking oils! These are actually very high in calories, so this might be where you can improve. 

 

Weigh Weekly

Sometimes a plateau isn't really a plateau. If you're weighing every day, you likely see flunctuations and changes that aren't consistent with your overall weight loss. Set a specific time each week, and maintain the same conditions for each time you weigh in. 

 

Eat More Protein

Protein is the macro-nutrient that increases your metabolic rate the most when consumed, nearly double that of carbohydrates and fats. Protein also increased satiety, which is the feeling of being full. 

Aim for 30g of protein per meal across your 3 meals of the day. This equates to one Man Shake or one serve of meat or poultry. 

 

Change Things Up

Lastly, if you're experiencing a plateau and you know it isn't diet-related, why not mix things up?

Your body is way smarter than you realise. If you're doing the same activities over and over, it adapts to this. Change things up by switching the time when you walk, your meal times, and whatever else you can think of to give your weight the budge it needs.