You’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss. You need to find out why and what you can change.
You were losing weight like it was nothing a few short weeks ago, but now, you are wondering if you have damaged your range because no matter what you do, you cannot lose any more weight.
What can you do if your weight loss program suddenly stops working?
Comprehending Weight Loss Vs. Fat Loss.
“Weight loss” can be a tricky little devil because it does not distinguish between changes in muscle, fat and water.
It is important to maintain water retention to a minimum and to reduce fat. You may think you’ve gained weight if the number on the scale is the same or higher than it was the previous day or week. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that.
Water retention is a good example of how water retention can cause weight to fluctuate quickly. You will retain water if you consume lots of carbohydrates and salt, but drink very little water. This gives you that puffy and smooth appearance. If you weigh yourself in this condition, it is possible to gain 3-5 pounds. If you consume little sodium and carbohydrates, but drink lots of water, then your body will remove the water. This can give you an appearance of being more defined.
It is because of the unpredictable nature of water retention that I only assess myself once a week, each morning, when I am naked. You will lose your confidence and your mind if you evaluate yourself more than once a week, or worse, every day.
It is also a good idea to choose a day for your “weigh-in” where you don’t eat a cheat food. This can add up to a pound of water by the next day.
What Is a Real Weight-Loss Plateau?
If you are not losing fat, then this is a real weight loss plateau.
If my weight has not changed in two weeks, I consider that I have hit a plateau. No change in range after a week of dieting doesn’t indicate that I haven’t achieved my goal. If you’re only aiming for an extra pound per week, it’s not a cause for alarm. You could be losing fat but retaining water or your bowel movements may not have been as regular. If I haven’t lost weight in two weeks, then I am definitely stuck.
Remember these fat-loss facts.
I want you to understand a few things about fat loss before I explain how to break these plateaus.
1. Weight loss plateaus are to be expected
Weight loss plateaus are common. You are lucky if you don’t know what I am talking about and can easily reach a body fat percentage of one-tenth. Many people will hit several plateaus in their quest for a six-pack because the body is persistent.
I found out that I cannot get below 9-10% on diet alone (you just have to reduce your calories to a great extent, otherwise you start to lose muscle mass). I need to include cardio to continue to lose weight. I have found that when I bulk, I end up with around 14-15% of body fat. I can diet off the first 5%, but after that, I hit a plateau which only 3-4 sessions per week (20-25 minutes) can help me overcome. The next plateau I hit is around 8%. If I want to lose weight, I need to increase my cardio sessions to four days per week for 30-40 minutes each.
Everyone I have actually trained or otherwise assisted has experienced the exact same sensation. However, the thresholds vary. I’ve known some rare individuals that could diet plan less than 10% and not include cardio, but many people cannot reduce double-digit bodyfat without a very strict diet as well as normal cardio program.
2. The more you lose, the harder it becomes
The more lean you are, the longer it will take to lose fat on a healthy diet. (The secret is to keep as much strength and muscle mass while losing fat as possible). It’s possible to lose up to 2-3 pounds per week if you reach 25% body fat. If you are at 10% bodyfat and want to get down to single digits, it would be hard for you without the use of harmful medications.
Once I get below 12%, I am really happy to see one additional pound each week of weight loss, and I should benefit from it.
3. Your body has a Convenience zone
It may sound a little broscientific but it is the best way I know to describe a phenomenon that I and countless athletes have experienced. The body has a certain weight and, more appropriately, body fat percentage that it feels most comfortable with. You tend to maintain this weight by your natural cravings. If you eat less than that, you will feel hungry. You will feel satisfied if you consume more.
Some people find that their “comfort zone” is a lot of fat while others settle for a fairly lean weight. For me, as an example, my body feels most comfortable at 11% bodyfat (which places me around 200 pounds). I can easily eat more and rip off calories several times a week. I will still stay around 11%.
To maintain a weight below this comfort area, you need to do cardio and also limit calories. To get fatter, you need to overeat regularly. If this is done for too long, your comfort zone will certainly increase.