What to do when weight loss stops?
You’ve worked hard to lose weight by following through on your weight loss meal plan and keeping up with your exercise routine. To begin, your weekly weigh-ins have become a time of celebration, which strengthens your drive and motivation to continue your weight loss journey. But what happens when the scales suddenly refuse to budge? You have likely hit the dreaded weight loss plateau. This can be disheartening, as you likely feel your weekly efforts outweigh the results.
What is a weight loss plateau?
A weight loss plateau is when a person stops losing weight, despite following a diet and fitness regimen for a considerable amount of time. A weight-loss plateau can happen to anyone trying to lose weight and can be extremely frustrating given the amount of effort that has gone into sticking to a weight loss plan.
What causes a weight loss plateau?
It is quite common to see consistent weight loss results in the initial weeks and months of starting your weight loss journey. If you notice a plateau in your weekly weigh-in, consider if the below factors could be contributing to this change.
To put it simply, if you are keeping to the same weight loss plan every week, expecting consistent weight loss results is not realistic. Quite often, the weight loss happens faster initially and declines over time, as naturally you are more likely to lose less weight as you get lighter.
Following the same routine
Sometimes following the same weight loss meal plan or exercise routine can also contribute to a weight loss plateau. If this happens, consult your dietitian to adjust your meal plan to suit your new weight loss objectives based on your current weight. You could also consider increasing your weekly exercise by joining a fitness program.
Treating yourself too often
At the start of your weight loss journey, you are motivated and very strict with your diet. But as the weeks tick over, you may find yourself reaching for a few too many ‘pick me up’ or ‘I deserve this’ snacks. While a few snacks here and there may seem harmless at the beginning, over time as the occasional treat evolves into a daily bad habit, your weight loss results may plateau. To stay on track with your meal plan, try keeping a food diary to record your daily food and beverage intake. This is a great way to keep accountable and reflect on improvements that could be made to your meal plan.
Having the weekend off
If you’re a social person, you may be doing well sticking to your plan during the week but become more laxed on weekends. But your weekend eating could be the thing that affects your weight loss and helps keep it off over the long run. Try making healthy choices and sticking to your plan over the weekend.
Sometimes it’s not your food intake but your drinks. Stick to water for your fluid intake. Consider adding a few slices of lemon or lime for flavouring. The Tony Ferguson Green Tea with Mango flavour is a refreshing drink rich in Vitamin C that is low in sugar and calories.
Lack of exercise
Exercise helps burn calories, but the right training can also help build or preserve muscle mass that may benefit your metabolism and help you maintain weight later.
Other health conditions
If you have been facing a weight loss plateau and have not been able to drop weight even after having experimented with meals and exercise routines, it is important to consult your doctor. Sometimes hormonal imbalances or medications can get in the way of weight loss. Other conditions that can affect your weight loss include irregular bowel movements, menstruation and fluid retention.
If your weight loss plateau is just a day or week old, hold on tight and be patient. You should not expect to see a weight loss result every week. Looking to step up your weight loss? Try The Tony Ferguson 12-Week Program, which offers ongoing support by an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Personal Trainer with access to meal plans, recipes, offers and exercise tips. The Tony Ferguson 12-Week Program aims to set you up for sustainable habits that will help keep the weight off once you have lost it.