When you first start dieting, you can have rapid weight loss. burning the carbohydrates (glycogen) stored in muscles. Once most glycogen is used up, your body turns to its fat stores for energy. This is when weight loss slows, usually to around 1-2 pounds a week.
Sometimes weight loss slows down to the point where you lose little or no weight each week – welcome to the dreaded plateau! Your body has adjusted to your weight-loss program and will now put up a fight to cling to its fat.
It’s time to fight strategically!
Remember the basic rule that weight loss happens when we take in fewer calories than we burn. Unfortunately, the only way to break through a plateau will be to cut calories further or burn more through exercising.
Keep your calorie intake low by avoiding dried processed foods such as crisps, which can be calorie-dense, piling at least half your plate with veg/salad, cutting down on liquid calories which don’t fill you up, and eating out less.
The more exercise you do, the more calories you burn, so if you can spare the time for more workouts, go for it. 90 minutes of cardio each day is recommended by some experts to tackle a weight loss plateau, or do two bouts of 45 minutes, or several 15-minute bouts etc.
Additionally, add in more NEAT. Whenever you’re sitting ask yourself ‘can I be standing or walking?’ Lots of mini-calorie burners will add up to big fat losses.
It’s strength training, more than anything, which builds and maintains muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate and the more calories you burn. When you consider that lean muscle burns FIVE TIMES as many calories as fat, you can understand how muscle turns you into a calorie-munching machine.
I have totally plateaued. Can;t shift the last half a stone. WIll try some weight training thanks!
the hot weather has meant that my plateau is going up again - not good. Time to get NEAT and, frankly, to eat less!