Weight Loss Plateau

Plateaus are not a failure – they are simply the platforms upon which success is built.

By Paul "Batman" O'Brien 

B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Cert Clin. IMed., Dip. Adv. OBB, Dip. CHM, Pn1, PN-SSR, PN-NCA, M.AFPA., M.C.Th.A.

Weight Loss Plateau’s are experienced by many people when losing weight or dieting. Unfortunately they often herald the end of a good start for too many people. Regardless of your program or plan, you will probably hit a plateau in your progress – a point where you don’t lose anymore weight.

This isn’t an excuse to quit! Your program probably works. It’s just that your body now needs a little more help and planning in order to keep heading towards your goals. There are a number of reasons for a weight loss plateau and I’ll discuss several of them here so you can adequately plan to overcome them.

  1. Could it be Calories? It may be time to reassess your calorie intake. If you’ve followed the advice of other articles on this website you will know precisely how many calories you need to be ingesting a day and from what sources – protein, carbs and fat. If you have decreased your body fat and increased your lean muscle tissue you may need MORE calories to prevent your body from entering starvation mode and hording body fat. On the other hand you could be taking in too many calories as a result of decreased body fat and decreased muscle tissue and you may have to adjust accordingly. If you are taking in enough or drastically too little your body won’t use up its fat stores.
  2. Find yourself Fitter? If you’ve been following a good exercise and nutritional plan you will have been doing cardiovascular aerobics, if you haven’t it’s a great time to start. Burning calories is far more effective than depriving your self of food. Increase the duration or intensity of your exercise and you will soon find those last few stubborn pounds gone.
  3. Re-evaluate your Ratios? Perhaps you need to increase your protein intake to support new muscle growth or reduce carbs a little more to stimulate your fat loss. Adjusting your food intake ratios can cause your metabolism to work that little bit faster and more efficiently leading to greater fat loss gains.
  4. Make Time for More Meals – The timing and frequency of your meals plays an important part in maintaining consistent weight loss. Including an extra meal while adjusting your calorie intake will stimulate your metabolism to work faster and more efficiently, thereby burning off more calories.

Try one of these and see if it breaks your weight loss plateau. More often than not you just need to do a little more work, because now you are an awful lot fitter and trimmer. Remember a plateau isn’t the end of your program, it is recognition of your success at the basics – now tweak your program with a few advanced techniques and see continued progress.

If you'd like me to help you break that Plateau then sign up for my online personal training program. I can design a perfectly balanaced, tasty, nutrition program and an effective exercise routine to get you in great shape fast. Click Here to learn more.

Advanced individuals such as fitness models, bodybuilders, and pro athletes require more detailed and complicated techniques like carb tapering, carb cycling and mixing food ratios to break their weight loss plateau when they need to lost those last few pounds. For the most part you won’t need to do these your self, but I might as well let you know more about two of them now;

Low Carb – this is probably the most popular advanced method. Unfortunately it has been over popularised and misused by low carb diets such as Atkins. Basically this involves the drastic reduction of carbs in the diet to bring about a state known as ketosis. This isn’t particularly pleasant and should only be used under strict supervision. There a couple of nasty side effects, like headaches, nausea and fatigue and constipation.

Carb Cycling – this is can be done in two ways – on a daily diet basis or on an overall week basis. The first method involves structuring your carb intake throughout the day so that your first meal has the most carbs and you gradually reduce the amount to a very few carbs or even none at all by the end of the day. The second version of this involves the alternation of high and low carb days. The theory behind this is that the carb depletion burns fat stores and then the increase promotes muscular development.

These two methods above are often employed by models looking to get extra lean for a photo shoot or bodybuilding competitors looking to achieve the best look for the judges. You don’t have to worry about using these now, but small variations on these themes in conjunction with the points given above could help you break that weight loss plateau and move on to the next stage in your fat loss.

Tom Ventuo covers both of these methods and more in his excellent e-book Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. Read my review Click Here!

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