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Health Hacks

How To Break a Weight Loss Plateau

Alexander Singh
June 6, 2022

Trying to achieve your target weight isn't only challenging but frustrating as well.
At the start, all your exercise and diet seem to pay off. You feel more energized, and the weight seems to come off fairly rapidly. But then, it looks like your scale is stuck.
When your weight scale stops budging, it can feel demotivating and gut-wrenching. But the good news is that it's perfectly normal. With the right strategies, you can overcome your weight loss plateau and continue losing pounds in a safe and healthy way.

Why Do They Happen?

Two main factors lead to a weight loss plateau:
- Hunger
- Exercise

Your body is starving

It happens because even though your mind decides to lose weight, your body focuses on maintaining it once it reaches a certain set point. A weight-loss plateau occurs when your body thinks it has reached an ideal weight. The following factors determine it:
- activity level
- current weight
- genetics
When you start losing weight by consuming a healthy diet, your body thinks you are starving. When the body believes it, it creates a counteract process that helps you regain the lost weight. The body releases regulatory hormones to increase hunger and make you feel less full to help you reach the set point.

Working Out & Calories

Your body works against you when it reaches the exercise portion of your weight-loss program. When you begin exercising, your body becomes efficient in conserving energy. Therefore, if you are burning 300 calories at the beginning of your new exercise program, your body adapts it, becomes efficient, and drops the number of calories you burn during the same workout if it burns 200 calories instead of 300 calories.

Tips to Help You Lose Weight Again

Losing weight is challenging, and reaching a weight loss plateau is common. However, one mustn't let the numbers lead to abandoning your efforts. Tips to help you lose weight again are:

Amp Up Your Exercise

Increasing the intensity of your exercise routine will help reverse a weight loss plateau. It is because your metabolic rate slows down once you lose weight. According to research, over 2900 people found that for every pound they lost, they burnt 6.8 fewer calories.

Resistance training promotes muscle mass retention – a significant factor that influences how many calories burn during rest and workout. A 12-week study revealed that young, obese women who consumed a low-calorie diet and lifted weight for twenty minutes experienced a 13 pounds weight loss and 2 inches from their waistlines.

Up Your Greens and Vegetable Intake

Adding greens to your diet will help you reduce higher-calorie foods you may consume otherwise. Consuming vegetables increases fiber intake and helps you fill up, keeping you full for extended periods. You must include vegetables in your meals and incorporate all types of veggies to ensure you get all the micronutrients. Veggies will help balance hormones, feed your gut bacteria and assist with workout recovery.

Cut Back on Carbs

Research revealed that people who consumed 50 or fewer grams of carbs daily lost more weight than those following the usual weight-loss diets. Since low-carb diets benefit weight loss, experts emphasize consuming low-carb meals to reduce weight.

Furthermore, carb restriction leads to metabolic advantage, causing your body to burn more calories is still a debate among obesity experts and nutritionists. However, controlled studies found that low-carb diets promote metabolic changes that help weight loss.

Don't Drink Alcohol or Caloric Sodas

Alcohol affects weight loss routines. One of the reasons for this is alcohol loosens inhibitions, leading to overeating or poor food choices. It is therefore problematic for people trying to cope with impulsive food-related behaviors.

Even though one alcoholic drink contains 100 calories, providing no nutritional value, most people drink more than a glass. Therefore, it is incredibly harmful to people struggling to lose weight. A study of 283 adults showed that reducing alcohol intake reduced overeating and more significant weight loss. Therefore, studies prove that alcohol suppresses fat burning and accumulates belly fat.

Eat More Protein

Adding proteins to your meals provides you with increased opportunities to boost your metabolism. Research shows that consuming meal proteins benefits muscle mass retention and weight loss. Moreover, experts recommend that adults consume at least 20 to 30 grams of protein daily.

Find Ways to Manage Stress

Stress can negatively impact your weight loss journey. It can cause you to eat more and move less, leading to weight gain. And just not only that! You may develop serious health complications like obesity, diabetes, and organ failure. Therefore, you should also have realistic goals for weight loss and not get discouraged by plateaus.
There are many ways in which people can reduce their stress levels and manage their weight better. Some of these include:
- Yoga
- Meditation
- Physical activity
- Taking time out for oneself

Get More Sleep

Sleeping for 7-8 hours every night is vital for weight loss and maintenance. As you might already know, sleep helps your body restore itself by allowing you to build new cells and replace worn-out ones. It also helps your body release hormones that control appetite and fuel metabolism.

It helps your body to burn calories naturally, increase energy levels and decrease cravings for unhealthy foods. If you're struggling with a weight plateau or other weight-related issues, try adding a few more minutes of sleep to your daily routine. Improving your sleep pattern can help to jumpstart your weight loss again.

Consult a Dietician

If you want to overcome your weight plateau, consult a dietician. A trained professional can identify the reasons for weight gain and help you resolve them. She will explain the entire process and provide helpful tips to prevent hitting weight loss plateaus in the future.

A good dietician will also recommend exercises and set meal plans to help you lose weight while preserving all the necessary nutrients. This way, you can also identify other causes of weight gain as well—such as stress or illness—that can affect your body's ability to burn fat effectively and maintain healthy levels.

Go Easy on Yourself

You've been doing great, you're losing weight, and then BOOM!! You're stuck with your weight and don't know what to do. You feel frustrated, discouraged, and desperate.
Plateau can be frustrating, and it's easy to feel like giving up. But don't feel demotivated; instead, focus on small changes you can make daily.
Eventually, these small changes will start adding up and help you lose more weight. If you feel like a plateau has set in, consider slowing down your pace a bit. This way, you'll give your body time to adapt to the new routine that will help burn more fat over time.
But it's important to remember that plateaus are a natural part of weight loss. As weight loss becomes easier, your body adjusts and builds tolerance for the lower calorie intake. That is what stops weight loss. You can soon be back on track if you consistently follow your health care regime.

Look Beyond the Scale

While men and women can experience weight loss plateaus, women tend to hit them harder than men. If you're a woman, this could be because women tend to have more fat-storing hormones in their bodies than men do. When you lose weight, your fat-storing hormones go down, which means your body doesn't need as much energy from burning calories. It can cause your body to slow down and stop burning calories to maintain the same metabolism rate as before losing weight.

What to Do If You're Still Struggling with Your Weight

If you're someone struggling with your weight for a while, don't give up just yet! You can still do a lot many things to lose weight. Start small by changing one thing you eat or drink each day (like switching from soda to water). Over time, you'll develop more of a habit and be able to stick to an overall healthier diet.

If the needle on the scale isn't budging after a week or two, try changing things up by adding more exercise or eating less food. Additionally, you should look beyond the weighing scale to overcome the weight loss plateau. You must focus on your overall health instead of just the numbers to ensure you get all the nutrients you need daily. Eliminate certain foods from your diet (like carbs) to overcome cravings or set mini goals like losing 5 pounds along the way. You might join a health or weight loss support group to connect with people who are also trying to lose weight. It can help you find motivation and feel positive when you feel stuck.

Lose Weight with Alfie

With Alfie, your health coach will help you determine which foods you should eat to meet your weight loss goals and how to balance that with your daily activity levels. Lifestyle changes like these, combined with medication and community based competition, can help you lose 15% of your weight in under one year. Check if you're eligible today!