UK Lifestyle Blog

17 January 2014

Fitness Friday | How to overcome a weightloss plateau

Hello Lovelies!

It’s Fitness Friday again and this week I thought I would tackle the topic of weight loss plateaus. Firstly what is a weight loss plateau? Basically it is when you are in taking less calories and upping your exercise but the weight is not budging, you have hit a plateau. Now I just want to put it out there that I personally prefer monitoring weight loss via measurements rather than scales, however, weight loss is a purely personal experience and this is aimed at those who do like to use the scales as their method of tracking weight loss.

Your body does not like losing weight, it is not its natural mechanism to lose weight. It will assume that something is not right and will do its best effort to ‘save’ you from losing more weight. Basically it’s a survival mechanism, even if the weight loss is bettering your health.  The body likes to maintain a balance between calorie intake and energy output, when there is a mismatch in these it will try to resolve the problem. The way in which it may do this is through lowering its metabolic rate, if you are consuming less calories and exercising more by lowering the metabolic rate you burn less calories no matter how hard you push. This is one reason why low calorie diets are detrimental to weight loss efforts. This may be one reason you have hit a plateu.

Tip to overcome: eat more – veg, fruit, complex carbs. By eating more you will trick your body into raising the metabolic rate and therefore weight loss shall resume.

Another reason may be that your body has reached its optimum weight. Check your BMI (body mass index) this should be between 19-24 (one average). You can do this using the NHS BMI calculator. If your BMI falls within the healthy range then maybe a reassessment of your weight loss goal is needed. Perhaps talk to your GP and get their opinion on what is healthy for you.

A further reason is routine, now I know that most of us like our set routines and hate any change to it. However this could be causing the plateau; say you do legs on Monday for one hour with squats, lunges etc. Your body will recognise this and the muscles will become more efficient at carrying out the exercise so that energy output is minimised. Therefore less energy output less fat burnt.

Tip to overcome: switch it up- try a new sport, activity, class. There are plenty of options I personally like to box, it’s a good way to relieve emotion and good cardio too. Why not try tennis, swimming badminton? Do something to shock your muscles so that they have to work harder.

I must put a disclaimer that I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer and all of the content given in this post is from personal experience. So before trying out anything to exertive or weight loss in general see your GP for advice.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and stay tuned for next weeks Fitness Friday


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