7 Reasons You May Not Be Losing Weight

It’s a familiar scenario. You’ve been working hard to lose weight – watching what you eat, exercising and being consistent – when suddenly, the dreaded weight loss plateau arrives.

It can be extremely frustrating to say the least, but it is also completely normal in the weight loss process. In fact, most people that are on a path to weight loss encounter a plateau at some point in their journey.

Why you might hit a plateau

The major reason for plateaus is a slowing Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR). The BMR accounts for burning 60-70% of the body’s calories and is associated with body mass. BMR is the energy required to keep the heart pumping, lungs expanding, kidneys filtering and other vital functions when the body is at rest. When body mass decreases, so does the BMR.

So, this means that our bodies become used to doing the exact same activity on a daily or weekly basis. Remember, it takes 3,500 calories to gain or lose one pound. This averages to decreasing 500 calories each day, leading to weight loss of about one pound per week.

So, if a person is restricting their daily calories to 1,400, the weight will fall off (this is not what I recommend, this is purely an example). Six weeks roll around and the weight loss stops even though you have been consistent and diligent with your caloric intake. This is because the BMR has slowed; the body isn’t burning as many calories as it was at the start.

Remember to challenge your body

The same is true for exercise. If a person has been walking two miles in 25 minutes, the body gets used to that exact exercise. The muscles become very efficient at this activity and the body isn’t challenged as it was when the activity first started. Ramping up your workouts can help challenge your body again.

How to break through the plateau

  1. Stay focused. Even though you may not have lost enough weight to notice it on the scale, chances are you are losing some. Keep this in mind; losing one-third of a pound a week creates a 17-pound deficit at the end of the year. Keep your head up and press on.
  2. Get a journal. Now is the time to start to see what little things can be altered to get you back on track. Portions may have gotten a little bigger or you might be forgetting about the jelly beans or chocolates you had after lunch. All those calories add up and quick, so write them down.
  3. Give your metabolism a boost. Our bodies are so smart and efficient. It wants us to be the best at what we do, especially when the activity is practiced over and over. Stick with what you are comfortable with, especially if you only like a few activities, but then challenge yourself. If you like to walk or run, increase your speed throughout your workout every 2-3 minutes for 30-60 seconds. This will wake your metabolism up and get it working harder, burning more calories.
  4. Variety is the spice of life. When it comes to exercise, variety is key. If you have a regular exercise routine, shake it up a bit. Choose a different cardio workout or a different resistance training program. Circuit training is a great way to add variety and work most of your major muscles to burn extra calories.
  5. Take a good look in the mirror. Is your motivation dwindling? Take time to really think about why you want to reach your weight loss goals. Write them down. They may not be the same as when you first started and that is okay, it just shows you are changing as a person inside as well.
  6. Eat those fruits and veggies. One of the number one rules with a healthy diet is to incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. They help curb appetite prior to eating meals and help us avoid overeating. They are just a great low-calorie snack to munch on throughout the day. Check out 30 ways to Sneak in more Fruits and Vegetables.
  7. Water is our friend. Water is a great to fill our stomachs. Drinking a glass of water before meals helps curb appetite to avoid overeating. Water keeps us hydrated and sometimes, if we feel hungry, we are actually just dehydrated. Since the sensation in our stomachs is similar, we tend to eat instead of drink. Think about your day and how you can incorporate more water. Also, drinking ice cold water helps to burn more calories because our bodies have to work harder to keep it warm. Cheers!

Do you have a weight loss plateau secret you can share? We would love to hear what worked for you to break through and get you back on the weight loss track. Comment below.

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Photo credit: Layla Bird

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