Breaking Through a Weight-Loss Plateau
Its very frustrating to eat right and work out regularly,
and not see the numbers on the scale drop as fast as you want
them to. Your progress might slow down or stop completely, even
though you are diligently following your plan. This is called
a weight-loss plateau.
The science of calories in versus calories out seems simple,
but your body is more complicated than that it works hard
to keep your energy intake and output in balance. When you eat
fewer calories in an attempt to lose weight, your metabolism slows
itself down, which causes you to burn fewer calories in the long
run, making weight loss more difficult.
Another factor working against you is that your body doesnt
want to lose weight. It wants to hang on to your excess fat, saving
it for periods when food is scarce. Famine is an unlikely prospect
in most Canadian cities in the 21st century, but your body doesnt
Fortunately there are ways to break through a weight-loss plateau
and get the scale moving in the right direction again. By following
the four tips below, youll be well on your way to breaking
through your plateau and meeting your goals:
1. Keep a food journal: You may be eating too much food
or even too little. To lose a pound of fat each week, you must
reduce your caloric intake by 3,500 calories or 500 calories each
day. Aim to eat 250 fewer calories each day and burn an extra
250 calories each day through physical activity.
2. Build muscle: If you arent training with weights,
now is the time to start. Exercise burns calories and builds muscle.
The more muscle you have, the faster your basic metabolism will
be, which will revive your progress.
3. Make change: Your body adapts to your exercise routine
and the food you eat fairly quickly, so its good to switch
things up every few weeks to keep your body guessing. If youve
been jogging on the treadmill for cardio, try skating, swimming
or an aerobics class. If you eat the same salad everyday for lunch,
try a lean turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread.
4. Look for support: You may be bored with your current
routine and your family and friends might be tired of hearing
about it. Stay motivated by searching for support in new places:
online chat groups, your local gym or sports club.
February 19, 2010