Last week one of our clients came to me frustrated and looking for answers.
He had joined Virtuo back in January with the goal of losing 40 lbs by the end of the year so he could feel confident going into a big vacation he had planned.
As of last week he was down 18 lbs was feeling pretty good overall about his progress but he hadn’t lost a pound in 3 consecutive weeks, so I couldn’t help but notice the frustration in his voice.
He was getting in 4 workouts per week, felt like he was eating better than he had in years and so it didn’t make any sense to him that his progress should be so stalled out.
As we always do in situations like this I went do the checklist of habits that lead to weight loss. His workouts and sleep were on par but when we looked at his food logs I noticed something right away.
His logs were all complete and on target Monday through Friday, but his weekend logs only included a few scattered entries. When I asked him about this he shared that he was busy and just grabbed whatever was around on the weekends.
To make sure he understood how this might be affecting his progress we tracked his total Calories for the week and I pointed out how a couple off days on the weekend could throw off the entire week’s work of progress.
I could tell the light bulb had gone off and he committed to tracking on the weekends as he had during the week. Leaving our conversation he felt like he had control of the process again and was committed to sticking with our plan.
Weight loss plateaus happen to almost everyone on a weight loss journey. However, it’s important to understand why plateaus occur and, more importantly, how to overcome them.
Keep reading to understand why weight loss plateaus happen and how to bust through them.
Understanding Weight Loss Plateaus: Weight loss plateaus can happen to anyone, regardless of how committed and disciplined they are. There are several reasons why your progress might stall:
- Metabolic Adaptation: When you lose weight, your body adapts by becoming more efficient at burning calories. This can slow down your metabolism, making it harder to continue shedding pounds.
- Calorie Intake vs. Expenditure: As you lose weight, your calorie needs decrease. If you’re consuming the same amount of calories as when you started your journey, your weight loss may plateau.
- Muscle Gain: Building lean muscle mass is fantastic for overall health, but muscle weighs more than fat. If you’re simultaneously gaining muscle while losing fat, the scale might not show a significant change.
Now, let’s delve into the five powerful strategies that will help you break through your weight loss plateau:
- Reassess Your Calorie Intake: Take a closer look at your current calorie intake. As your body changes, so do your calorie needs. You may need to adjust your daily calorie intake to continue losing weight. Consider consulting with our nutrition coaching team to determine the optimal caloric intake for your goals.
- Diversify Your Workout Routine: Your body can adapt to repetitive exercise patterns, leading to diminished results. Shake things up by incorporating new exercises, and challenging your muscles in different ways. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training are excellent choices to kickstart your metabolism and overcome plateaus. Join our fitness classes to experience a variety of workouts and keep your body guessing.
- Prioritize Strength Training: While cardio exercises burn calories, strength training plays a crucial role in breaking through a plateau. By building muscle, you increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which means you’ll burn more calories even at rest. Engage in weightlifting or bodyweight exercises at least two to three times a week to maximize your results.
- Track Your Progress: Sometimes, plateaus are more psychological than physical. Keep track of your progress by taking measurements, photos, or using a fitness app. This allows you to see the positive changes in your body, even if the scale isn’t moving. Celebrating non-scale victories can reignite your motivation and help you push through plateaus.
- Optimize Your Recovery and Sleep: Adequate rest and recovery are often overlooked but are vital components of a successful weight loss journey. Lack of sleep can lead to imbalances in hormones responsible for hunger and satiety, making it more challenging to control your food intake. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night and incorporate rest days into your workout schedule to give your body the time it needs to repair and recharge.
Breaking through a weight loss plateau requires a tailored approach that suits your unique circumstances.
Our team of nutrition coaches at Virtuo are here to guide you through this process.
Book a free no-sweat intro with our nutrition coaching today, and together we will identify the factors that might have stalled your weight loss progress.
Book your no-sweat intro 👉 here
Don’t let a plateau discourage you; let it be the catalyst that propels you forward!