You’ve been hitting it pretty hard for a while and are seeing great results. THEN, all of a sudden…..nothing. It doesn’t matter what you do, you just can’t seem to lose anymore. What’s going on?
Weight Loss Plateau
Well, you may have reached a weight loss plateau. What is a plateau you may ask? Its a period of time when something doesn’t change or advance any further. In this case we will be addressing weight loss, but there are many other fitness plateau such as muscle gains.
The first thing to look at is your food intake. If you aren’t properly tracking your nutrition and hitting correct macros it’s really easy to get stuck in a plateau or to even move backwards. When you first started your weight loss journey, you set a specific calorie goal and hopefully macro-nutrient goals. If you haven’t done either see HERE and HERE. To borrow a Tony Horton phrase, “How do you know what to do if you don’t know what you did!” Same goes fro tracking. How can you know how many calories you are eating if you aren’t keeping track of it? Seems pretty simple right? So if you’ve hit a plateau and aren’t tracking, use the calculator to set a caloric goal with a deficit and TRACK. I know it seems like I am a broken record, but tracking is paramount to success in both weight loss and muscle gain. And you can’t just say, “well I’m eating pretty clean so I don’t need to track.” You can still out eat your exercise with way too much “clean” food and gain weight. While we’re at it, you also can’t out-exercise a bad diet. So CLEAN IT UP and TRACK!
But what if you are tracking and hitting your macros everyday and still not getting anywhere? What changes can you make to break through that pesky plateau? Well as you have lost weight, your metabolic rate has decreased also, so you may require less calories. This means that the caloric goal and deficit you first started at may be causing you to plateau or even gain weight back. So you need to re-evaluate your caloric goals and deficit. It could be as easy as eating a few hundred less calories in a day. Set a new goal and try it out for a few weeks.
Another thing to consider is that you may have been running too high of a deficit. This may have caused you metabolism to slow down by a significant amount. I’ve seen this happen with myself. For over a year I was running a significant deficit, even as low as 1500 cals/day when I did a round of T25 last summer. Well shortly afterwards, I hit a plateau. Weight loss had almost completely stalled. I went back up to 1900 cals/day and the weight loss resumed. Recently, I ran into the same problem of plateauing. I took the advice of a fellow Beachbody Coach and upped my calories to 2400/day and what do you know…the weight loss is happening again! Making the decision to add more calories to my diet was a hard mental block to get through since I am an easy gainer. Also note that I actually gained a little weight the first week because the change in calories was a shock to my body which is why I say to stick with your new goals for at least 3 weeks.
Break that Plateau
It can be pretty difficult to figure out how to break through a weight loss plateau. Just take a step back and evaluate where you’ve been and where you want to go and TRACK everything. After all, we improve what we track. Try some of the small changes that I’ve explained above and let’s see if we can crush that plateau! Remember, once you’ve change your caloric goals, stick with it for at least 3 weeks and then re-evaluate. If you’re still having trouble determining what your caloric goals need to be, you may want to see a dietitian to get expert advice. Keep at it guys!