You’ve been eating right, getting the appropriate amount of physical activity, and your weight loss journey so far has been one of success! Whether you’ve trimmed off a few pounds or 50, it’s not uncommon for our bodies to hit a weight loss plateau at some point (or two!) during our journey. Take a deep breath, focus, and remember that it’s totally normal.
But why do we hit these plateaus? Why, when we’re doing all the right things, do we sometimes see periods where we don’t budge an ounce on the scale? There are a few key factors that can contribute to a plateau, and we’re here to explain them and get you back on track.
Weight Loss Plateau – Why Isn’t Your Scale Moving?
One of the biggest motivators for anyone going through a weight loss program is that eventually, the pounds stop falling away. In fact, sometimes the number on the scale may stall out as the weight creeps off, and in some cases, the weight loss stops altogether. You may have found that in the first few weeks of your new program, those extra pounds seemed to melt away. Even if you’re persisting, eating right, exercising, and not giving in to temptation, these weight loss plateaus can be disheartening and frustrating.
Don’t fret. It happens to all of us. The reasons why are pretty simple so let’s take a look!
- Weight loss isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon! – This is even more true for those of us who have a bigger amount of weight we want to drop. When we begin our journey, making drastic, healthier changes to our daily routines and diets means our bodies are adjusting and trimming unwanted toxins and extra fat. These sudden healthy changes require our bodies to kick into a higher, more efficient gear. Rapid weight loss for a long period of time isn’t sustainable, nor is it healthy.
- Sustainability – In the beginning, and even at intervals throughout your new, healthier lifestyle, your body converts stored fat and glycogen supplies, and converts it to energy. The healthier and more fit you get, the more adjustments your metabolism has to make to stay efficient. There will always come a time where your metabolism and your body’s other systems have to adjust to keep you healthy, while still losing unwanted pounds. If you’re not eating the energy, you’re burning your stores, which is the whole point of losing weight, isn’t it?
- Dehydration – On the Breakthrough M2 program, we ask you to drink a lot of water. Not only is water essential for normal, healthy body function, but as glycogen is converted to energy, it’s broken down and released with water. Water binds to glycogen, which is partially to blame for the water weight phenomenon we may experience throughout our weightloss journey. It’s important to drink an appropriate amount of water to stay hydrated, to flush out broken-down waste, and allow our bodies to function properly. We also discussed the importance of drinking plenty of water in our last blog.
- Loss of lean muscle – Muscle burns fat, so if you’re not staying active enough to keep your lean muscle mass, you may experience a plateau. On the B2 program, heavy physical activity is not encouraged. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t lift some light weights a few times a week, and go for a great walk to keep your muscles moving.
- Exercising too much – On any weight loss program, there is such a thing as hitting the gym too hard. If your goal is simply to lose weight, cutting too many calories and going too hard with your physical activity can stall out your weight loss.
- Your body has adapted – Making healthy changes to your diet and exercise is par for the course whenever you’re on a mission to shave off unwanted pounds. This is especially true for those of us who have more to lose. Whether your goal is 10 lbs or 100, as your body adjusts and adapts to your new routine, it may take some adjustments to your activity and diet to ensure you stay on track. It’s always best to speak with a coach or nutritionist if you’ve been checking all the right boxes but your scale won’t budge.
How do I Break Away From My Diet Plateau?
It may not be what you want to hear, but persist! If you’re on our program, these plateaus can last a few days to a week or so, and that’s totally ok. It can be hugely frustrating when you’re following the right steps without tangible results, but your good habits will pay off, we promise. It’s also important to take into account how you feel, inches lost, and energy levels. The number on the scale may not be moving, but you’re doing great things for your body and mind!
If your weight loss journey includes a different type of nutritional outline, or you have heavy exercise added to your routine, consider checking your macros (ratio of protein, carbs, fats, etc) and see where healthy adjustments can be made to kick your metabolism back into gear. Sometimes minor adjustments can get your body back on track.
We understand that when it comes to weight loss, plateaus and stalls, or even gaining a pound or two back can derail your progress, but we’re here to help. You’ve worked so hard this far, let us help keep you on track! Reach out to your coach, or check out our other support methods to help talk you through your challenges.
We’re in this together!