6 Secrets To Breaking Through Weight Loss Plateau

You just made the decision to lose a bunch of weight, so you make some lifestyle changes, like working out daily. The pounds start falling off as if it was water just dripping off your body. But then out of nowhere it comes to a screeching halt and your stuck. Frustration sets in and you are about to quit. DON’T QUIT!!! This article will tell you what’s really going on, and give you 6 secrets to breaking through weight loss plateau, with some simple changes.

What Is Weight Loss Plateau?

After losing pounds for weeks straight and then all of a sudden hitting a wall, where the scales won’t budge. That is called weight loss plateau. The first thing I want you to know is that it happens to almost every person that has tried to lose a significant amount of weight.

There are a few possible reasons for a plateau. If weight training is a part of your workout regiment, it could be that your body is getting rid of fat but replacing it with lean muscle. Another reason is that your metabolism is slowed down due to your nutrition, or lack thereof. Hormone balance probably plays a pretty big role in this situation, along with water retention.

When you first start to lose weight it will tend to come right off. Especially if you have a lot of body fat to lose. Think about this. There is a 300 pound man and a 200 pound man. Both are on a solid weekly pace of losing 1% of their body fat. For the 300 pound man, thats 3 pounds per week (12 pounds in a month). The 200 pound man is losing only 2 pounds per week (8 pounds in a month) of body fat. It might seem like the 200 pound man is slacking, but they are both losing fat at the same rate, relative to their size.

stuck on the scale

As you get closer and closer to your target weight, you will notice that they pounds don’t come off as quickly. That’s simply because you have less to lose. If the weight loss completely stops for 2 weeks or more you are probably experiencing some type of weight loss plateau. The worst thing you can do is get frustrated and relapse to old eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. Before you do anything else let’s go over some reasons for this, and how we can change it.

1 – Adding Muscle

As you lose fat tissue, your body may be busy adding lean muscle tissue. That will keep you at a nice even weight, at least for a while. If lifting weights is a big part of your workout this is probably one of the main reasons.

The trick is to not step on the scale as much (once a week is plenty). A better estimation of your progress is measuring body composition. You can do this multiple ways. The most practical way is to ask an experience personal trainer to measure you with skin fold calipers.

Chances are you are still losing body fat, but the scale doesn’t show it because it doesn’t take those things into account. If this is the case then just keep doing what you’re doing and stay off of the scale. You will start to see results in the mirror, which is what really matters anyway right?

2 – Water Weight

If you’re one of those people who has to step on a scale to see their body weight like 5 times a day then this one will really mess with your head. Water weight can easily fluctuate 5 pounds or more. If you find yourself stuck at a certain weight then check your diet.

If you’re eating a bunch of sodium and carbs that will make you retain more water. Reduce the amount of sodium and carbs that you eat and increase your water intake. It seems contradictory, but the more water you drink, the less you will retain.

3 – Hormones

Hormones are chemical signals that body cells use to communicate with each other and basically tell each other what to do. Fat cells and organs like the thyroid gland give off hormones that may affect weight loss.

It’s not very practical, but if you’re really curious you can have a blood test done to see if your hormones are holding you back in your weight loss goals. Some good ones to check would be leptin, cortisol, and testosterone. To promote good hormones make sure you are eating plenty of vegetables.

4 – Antioxidants

A side effect of your metabolic function is the production of these things called free radicals. They are these things that go around damaging cell membranes in your body. They can cause all kinds of problem including cancers. Many free radicals are trapped in adipose tissue (fat).

Antioxidants basically cancel out free radicals. If you don’t have enough antioxidants in your diet, your body may stop shedding fat. The reason is that if it metabolizes the fat, free radicals that are stored in it would get loose. As a protective measure, if there is not enough antioxidants to fight back, your body will keep the free radicals trapped in your belly fat.

The solution is to eat a healthy portion of blueberries, blackberries and other fruits that are high in antioxidants.

5 – The Calorie Creep

The “calorie creep” is basically a bunch of small things that you might be doing to add up a load of extra calories without even knowing it.

Things like eating “healthy foods” that are really not, contribute to this. Find out 6 “Healthy” Foods That Will Trick You. Mindless eating at restaurants, not paying attention to serving sizes on nutrition labels, and also giving yourself too many “cheat meals” are big ones. You may have to track your calorie intake for a few days to see where you need to cut back.

6 – Starvation

If nothing is working don’t panic and go into starvation mode. If you haven’t already, take a look at Why You Have To Eat To Lose Fat. By not eating you will just make your metabolism go into a nose dive which will make things astronomically worse. Studies show that by not eating your metabolism can drop by up to 50%.

Struggling with a plateau in your fitness gains can be really frustrating. Instead of just quitting and going back to your old ways, reevaluate what might be going on and make changes. If you are experiencing this I hope these 6 secrets to breaking through weight loss plateau help you out. I you liked this information, please share it with others on facebook. You can contact me if there are any questions that I left unanswered and I will help you out immediately.

Adam Pegg About Adam Pegg

Adam is an athlete with a serious passion for fitness and health. He played basketball at University of Delaware and Stetson. His degree is in health science and he's a certified personal trainer who loves helping people reach their goals.