Don’t Get Derailed by a Weight Loss Plateau
It is inevitable. At some point in your weight loss journey, you will hit what is known as a weight loss plateau. This occurs when, after all of your hard work and current weight loss status, your body begins to slow down the loss of pounds. You are still monitoring your caloric intake and exercising appropriately yet the scale refuses to budge. This can be incredibly frustrating for our clients at Advanced Surgical and Weight Loss Institute in Melbourne, Florida. We know your pain and want to see you succeed at lifelong health. While you may not see the pounds melting as easily as when you first began your new lifestyle, take heart. There is a reason this is happening and there are things you can do to rev up your metabolism and get back on track.
When you first begin a diet overhaul and an exercise regimen, your body responds rather quickly and you see results. These results spur you on to continue your new lifestyle. However, as you lose weight your body becomes adapted and you must make further changes in order to continue seeing the pounds come off. According to the Mayo Clinic, the result of caloric restriction which occurs as you change your diet causes the release of glycogen. Glycogen, in turn, contains a wealth of water and as your body burns this carbohydrate for fuel it also releases water. Your weight loss, while valid, is often times water weight.
The weight loss you see manifest on the scale typically consists of fat and muscle loss and here is another reason why you may begin to see the number stall. Muscle allows you to burn more calories at rest so if you lose too much your body’s ability to burn said calories declines. It is important to focus on fat loss while working out and eating right but do not forget the need to build muscle mass as well. The amount of muscle mass you have directly contributes to your metabolism, the ability of the body to convert calories into energy. The more muscle you have the higher your metabolism. Conversely, low muscle mass will make burning calories more challenging. This is not to say you need to be a bodybuilder! Just be sure you are devoting time to increasing muscle mass. Your body will thank you.
In the end, what worked for you at the beginning will have to be modified in order to see continued progress on the scale. It is easy to get discouraged when you do not see the pounds dropping off as quickly as they did before. There are several things you can do to see results. In the upcoming weeks, we will be exploring this topic in hopes of giving you the tips and tools you need to experience success.