8 Reasons Why you Hit a Weight Loss Plateau & How to Overcome it
You’ve been committed.
You’ve been disciplined.
You’ve done everything you think you’re supposed to do in order to lose weight, and for a while it worked.
And then it didn’t. You’re not gaining weight, but that number on the scale just won’t go down.
If you’ve hit a weight loss plateau, I know it can be frustrating. And while I could go on about how the number on the scale isn’t the only indicator of improving your health, if you’re reading this I’m guessing you’d rather learn what you can change in order to continue moving forward with your weight loss goals.
So, if you’ve hit a weight loss plateau, here are 8 reasons why and how you can overcome it:
1.) Not changing exercise routine
Our bodies are remarkable with how they change and adapt. The downside is that if you’ve been doing the same exercise routine, it’s likely that it’s no longer challenging your body. In order to keep challenging your body and losing weight, you need to increase intensity, weight or reps, or try varying the exercise routine you do throughout the week.
2.) Nutrition is off
In our diet-obsessed culture, we sometimes lose track of what our bodies need. Rather than focusing on restricting calories, try shifting your focus to eating clean, lean, high protein and less processed foods. Write down everything you eat. Keeping track of how many calories consumed at each meal can not only be eye-opening, but may help you modify your eating habits.
3.) Not getting enough sleep
I know, as a mom of an infant or young children, this isn’t always easy, but our bodies need sleep in order to function at our best. If you aren’t getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, try adapting your schedule to build up to this goal.
4.) You’re not eating enough
Sometimes in our attempts to lose weight, we end up restricting our bodies too much. If you’re not eating enough, your body will fight any attempts to lose weight, as it’s trying to protect you from what it sees as starvation. If you feel you’re doing everything else right, you might try eating a bit more of those foods that nourish your body. Keep in mind everyone's caloric intake is different, depending on gender, activity level and overall health conditions.
In order to function at the highest level, our bodies need water. Start tracking how much water you’re drinking each day. Set the goal of drinking half an ounce to an ounce of water for every pound you weigh. So if you weigh 150 lbs, your goal would be to drink 75-150 ounces of water each day.
6.) You are OVERtraining
In our commitment to reaching our weight loss and fitness goals, we sometimes run the risk of overtraining. Our bodies need rest days in order to recover and build strength. If you have muscle and joint pain, or are experiencing fatigue or a decrease in energy, this might be signs that you’re overtraining. Adapt your workout schedule to give yourself rest days each week.
7.) Not eating enough protein
Our bodies need protein in order to build muscle. If you’re feeling stuck with your weight loss or fitness goals, take a look at your diet. It might be that adding more protein to your meals is exactly what your body needs. Experts recommend 20-30 grams of protein at each meal, based on 3 meals per day.
8.) Not doing strength training
While cardio burns calories, we need to add in strength training in order to build muscle and increase calorie burn. If you aren’t doing any strength training, try adding a workout or two to your weekly routine and notice your body adapt to the new challenge. The more lean muscle you have- the more fat you burn, even at rest!
While a weight loss plateau can be frustrating, with some thoughtful changes you can move beyond it. Please do not just rely on the scale. Notice how your clothes fit and overall how you FEEL.
Remember that the key isn’t in doing more, pushing harder, or beating yourself up. Rather, look over these eight possible reasons why you’ve hit a plateau and check in with yourself. Choose one that you think might be the cause, then make some slight adjustments and see if it’s what your body needs to keep moving forward with your weight loss goals.
Need some new ideas to mix up your workout routine? Download my free guide: Top 7 Fat Burning Home Exercises to Add to Your Routine!