Pushing Past the Plateau: 8 Tips For Restarting Your Weight Loss
Hitting a weight loss plateau can be disheartening and frustrating, especially when it persists for several weeks. However, reaching a plateau is a natural part of the weight loss journey, and you can usually push through it by trying a few simple lifestyle changes. Here are eight tips for restarting your weight loss when you’ve hit a plateau.
Adjust Your Daily Calories
The number of calories you need to eat each day will drop as you lose weight. To maintain a steady weight loss, you need to gradually reduce your calorie intake. Cutting your daily intake by as little as 100 calories can sometimes be enough to restart your weight loss.
Alternate Your Calorie Intake
Eating the same number of calories every day can often lead to a plateau, even if you’re eating far fewer calories than you need, as your body quickly adapts to the new routine. Keep your metabolism on its toes by eating an extra 250-500 calories once or twice a week. Although this may be counterintuitive, it can help to break through your plateau.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Protein contains amino acids and other nutrients that help to burn calories, as well as body fat. Protein also makes you feel full for longer, which reduces hunger pangs and helps to prevent snacking. Increase your protein intake by eating plenty of lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish, dairy products, and nuts.
Build Muscle Mass
Increasing your muscle mass is one of the best ways to burn extra calories and push your way through a weight loss plateau. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn, even while you’re sitting down. Strength training combined with a high protein diet will help to build muscle and reduce your body fat.
Change Your Exercise Routine
As with your calorie intake, the body quickly adapts and gets used to exercise routines. Changing your routine or trying a different type of exercise can kickstart your metabolism and put an end to your plateau. Simply moving your exercise routine to a different time of day can sometimes work.
Switch to Unprocessed Foods
Processed food, sugary foods and even diet drinks can all upset your metabolism and lead to food cravings. Switching to whole foods can make a huge difference for long-term weight loss. Try to eat a balanced diet with plenty of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fresh fruit.
Improve Your Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for losing weight, as lack of sleep can increase the levels of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a hormone that can cause excess body fat around the waist. Try to go to bed and wake up at regular times, as this will help to program your body clock.
Be Honest With Yourself
Research has found that many people underestimate the number of calories they eat, while also overestimating the amount of exercise they take. Once a diet or healthy eating plan has been established, many people become complacent and stop monitoring their eating habits properly, making it easier to forget the snacks they’ve eaten throughout the day.
Hitting a weight loss plateau can be frustrating, but you can usually push through it by making a few simple changes. However, it’s important to see your doctor if your plateau persists, as it can sometimes be an indicator of an underlying health problem.