Weight-loss plateaus are part and parcel of a weight-loss journey. Expect it to happen and when it does, “keep calm and carry on”.
A weight-loss plateau happens when you see a temporary stop in your ability to lose weight. In another blog post, I talked about the causes of a weight-loss plateau. For this post, I want to talk to you about ways you can overcome this in order to see changes in your weight again.
Before you go about these 4 strategies for overcoming a weight-loss plateau, ask yourself whether or not you’re comfortable with your current weight. Maybe you’ve lost a good amount already and are happy with your weight, or maybe you still want to lose more weight.
Anyway, here are 4 ways to overcome a weight-loss plateau:
- Reduce your calorie intake. This is something I typically won’t advise you to do, because chances are you’ve already reduced your calories to begin with to be in a calorie deficit and lose weight. Nonetheless, hitting a weight-loss plateau means your calorie burn and consumption are the same, so reducing your calorie intake can allow you to be in a calorie deficit again.
- Increase physical activity levels. This would be my piece of advice to you. Rather than reducing your calorie intake even more, focus on the calorie burn side of the equation instead. We don’t burn as much calories as we think we do, so it’s worth you moving more to create the calorie deficit you need to start seeing changes in your weight again.
- Focus on resistance training. The process of maintaining and building muscle mass burns calories. The more muscle you put on, the more calories you’ll burn in order to maintain muscle integrity. Along with increasing your physical activity levels, focus on resistance training such as weight-lifting, body weight exercises, TRX training and even using resistance bands.
- Create positive habits. Write down your food and exercise regimen, then assess them. Perhaps you’re eating too much, or not exercising as much as you should. Review your ‘diary’ and see where you can create more positive habits like reducing your portion sizes, choosing better quality foods and/or exercising more.
When you hit a weight-loss plateau, don’t give up. Reassess your nutrition and training regimen, and then make the necessary changes. Be proud that you’ve lost the initial weight, and celebrate the small wins. After all, weight-loss is a journey and will be filled with ups and downs. Keep striving to improve and eventually you’ll achieve your weight-loss goal.