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How To Get Off A Weight Loss Plateau

Nov 17, 2007
One of the worst feelings you can have when you are dieting is when you reach a weight loss plateau. You are going along fine, losing weight as you expected to do. Then, suddenly, all the progress stops and you find yourself looking at the same number every time you step on the scale. You find yourself wondering what you can do to break your weight loss plateau.

Although frustrating, a weight loss plateau is a natural part of losing weight. Although there are many contributing factors, these occur when you have reached a point of equilibrium: in other words, when you are eating the same amount it takes to sustain you. Or, you are exercising the same amount it takes to burn the calories you take in.

Even though you have changed nothing in your diet or exercise, this can happen. This is because your changing body has changing needs, and it is a master of adaptation. When you started losing weight, it took a certain number of calories to keep you going. However, as you lose weight, the number of calories needed to sustain yourself also decreases. Your body adapts. A plateau, then, can be one of the first indicators of this.

Same thing with exercise: if you're carrying extra weight and you're not in good physical condition, it can take a significant amount of energy to do simple exercises. Even a moderate routine burns calories quickly. However, as your physical conditioning improves, your body gets more efficient, and it requires fewer calories to do those same exercises.

So how do I get off this weight loss plateau? Eat less? Exercise more? Both? Not necessarily. As I said earlier, a weight loss plateau is a sign that your body is adapting to what you're doing. So the answer may be as simple as changing your routine. Try a different exercise, for example. If you're primarily doing aerobic exercises (walking, running, etc.), try some weight lifting, resistance tube exercises, or even swimming. You'll find yourself using muscle groups that may have not have been used much before, and they'll require more energy. Besides, regular anaerobic exercises like weight lifting add muscle, which burn more calories than fat does!

There are other ways to pull yourself off of a plateau. You can add more protein to your diet, for example. Studies suggest that raising the percentage of proteins you eat will raise the amount of energy it takes for your body to function.

Another interesting way to break a plateau is to vary your caloric intake. You keep the calorie total the same for the week. You only change the amount of food you ate from day to day. This keeps your system off balance. It often results in weight loss.

Another great idea is to change the number of meals you have in one day. You probably have three meals a day. Eat five or six times a day instead. Just remember that your caloric intake for the day should remain the same. So, each meal must be smaller.

If you are serious about breaking a weight loss plateau, you can take the time to work up a food diary. This diary must include everything you eat--everything. Don't forget to write down that spoonful of spaghetti sauce you consumed while cooking, for example. When you see it all on paper, you may realize that you're eating more than you thought - maybe it isn't a weight loss plateau after all - just too many calories!

It's important to remember that weight loss plateaus are a natural part of the weight loss process. Experiencing them does NOT mean you're doing something wrong - it means your body is changing. And that's what this is all about. Keep this in mind when they occur, and you'll be far less likely to quit your diet in frustration.
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Looking for weight loss exercise programs to break through your plateau or free diet meal plans? Visit www.WeightLossAnswersOnline.com
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