What do you do if you have tried everything and can’t seem to lose any more? You have hit a weight loss plateau and it can seem IMPOSSIBLE to get past.
Weight loss motivation is a BIG problem especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. The answer to a weight loss plateau is never easy but there are some things you can try to kick-start your weight loss plan.
This is part 4 of our 8 part series exploring the 7 most crippling problems faced by people trying to stick to a weight loss plan and offer the solutions that allowed me to break free of the weight loss plateau.
Hitting a weight loss plateau is quite normal, in fact in your weight loss journey it is almost a certainty that at some stage you will come to a point where you don’t seem to lose anymore pounds but you are still overweight.
Your body has simply become used to your current weight loss plan and is maintaining the weight rather than continuing to lose it.
Before you change what you are doing you need to ensure that you are doing all the “right things” when it comes to your weight loss plan. These include:
- Eating small meals frequently (5-6 small meals per day)
- Performing regular aerobic exercise (for burning calories) and regular weight training exercise (for growing those all important fat burning muscles)
- Keeping your calorie intake to 15-20% lower than your normal calorie intake required to maintain your current weight
If you are doing all these things consistently then it is time to try something a little different to kick-start your body into burning fat once again. There is no one solution that will work for everybody as we are all individuals but what follows is some suggestions to get you started.
Weight Loss Plateau – Emergency Help Plan:
- Maybe you are “over doing” your exercise regime. Overdoing exercise may not be giving your muscles time to grow as each exercise session causes tiny tears in your muscles which your body repairs and builds stronger for next time. This is how we build muscle. If we are not allowing our body rest time to grow our muscles we are not increasing our muscle mass significantly.
HINT: Try including a day or 2 of rest in between each exercise session to allow your muscles to recover.
- “Break the Cycle” of your current calorie intake by increasing your calories slightly for a few days then decrease them. For example if you currently eat 1500 calories per day in order to lose weight, try eating 1800-1900 calories for 2-3 days then drop this back to say 1100-1200 calories for another 2-3 days then Eat Sleep Burn return to your normal 1500 calories.
IMPORTANT: Eating 400 extra calories doesn’t mean 400 extra calories of fatty foods or snacks. Eat 400 more calories of the same type of foods you have been eating on your current diet. Try slightly larger portions of your existing meals or add an extra small meal to your day.
- Try fiddling with your percentage of carbohydrates such as reducing them from say 50% of your intake to 40% or try consuming more proteins in your diet. Keep records and see if you notice any positive changes.
- If you think your problem may be to do with fluid retention then make sure you are drinking at least 2 litres of water per day and eating lots of water rich foods.
These strategies will not fix EVERY weight loss plateau as the problem is complex but they are a good place to start. If you are really stuck even after trying all these strategies don’t let your weight loss motivation fall to the point of giving up. Try a professional such as a dietician who can monitor you closely and design a weight loss plan specific to your needs.
Just can’t stick to it? Here’s a boost to your weight loss motivation
Many people find it very difficult to adjust to smaller meals and feeling hungry all the time. I would often “break out” and eat snacks when I shouldn’t and I just couldn’t achieve my weight loss goals no matter how hard I tried.
I would constantly be annoyed at myself for “breaking” my diet.
When the US discovered the media hype surrounding the Hoodia cactus after media coverage on ABC and CBS news, thousands of people decided to give this option a try and it has proved to be a breakthrough for those who had tried a diet or weight loss supplement in the past and it just didn’t really work.
Eating the hoodia cactus has the effect of fooling your brain into thinking you are full. It has suppressed the appetite and thirst of the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa for hundreds of years.
Be Careful! A warning when purchasing hoodia:
Hoodia supplements of all kinds are now available. There are options from pills to liquids, patches, and even coffees, teas, shakes and fruit bars! The demand for hoodia at the moment is much higher than the supply available. You need to be careful which retailer you purchase from as only properly certified manufacturers can obtain authentic hoodia.
The South African government has placed limits on the amount of Hoodia that can be exported from their country in order to prevent over harvesting. Hoodia plantations are currently growing plants to meet the demand but the Hoodia is difficult to grow and takes around 5-7 years to reach maturity.