This Year, Break Through Your Weight-Loss Plateaus
Whenever we make a plan to reach an objective, we can sometimes fall into a rut that prevents further progress. It’s likely happened to all of us at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, plateaus can be detrimental to achieving the goals you have made. Not to mention, they can be extremely discouraging!
Defined as little or no change after a period of activity, a plateau means you have stalled in your plan and are no longer progressing and there’s no movement toward your goal.
Say you’ve followed a plan to achieve your weight-loss goal. You’ve followed this plan to the letter and seen consistent results. You probably feel great, confident, and inspired. But then suddenly… You’re STUCK! All of your progress suddenly stops. Measurements don’t change, cravings are returning, sleep cycle improvement has stalled, or your mental health is just ok.
Guess what? You’ve hit a wall. A stubborn, seemingly immovable, and unbreakable wall that tests your patience. It’s frustrating, to say the least. And it’s also absolutely normal.
The question is, how do we avoid plateaus and, more importantly, break through them?
Avoiding plateaus can be as simple as understanding what causes them in the first place.
Some Causes of Weight-Loss Plateaus Include:
➡️ Water Weight
When you first start eating a healthier diet, there’s a quick weight drop, which can be water weight (not fat). When eating fewer carbs, the body taps into its glycogen stores in the muscles and liver for energy. Glycogen is partly made of water, so water gets released when the body burns it for fuel. That can translate into quickly dropping a few pounds.
➡️ Your Metabolism Has Slowed
Sometimes, especially if you’re not eating enough protein, you’ll lose muscle along with the fat, which affects metabolism because muscle burns more calories than fat. Although this is a slight difference, it can add up when multiplied over time.
➡️ Food Choices and Portion Sizes Have Crept Up
Making changes to your body composition is not a sprint! It’s a marathon that takes time to safely and effectively lose weight and keep it off.
It also means that over time, it’s pretty normal for even the most conscientious person to unconsciously start adding a little extra to their snacks or meals. This is not the end of the world and not always bad (in fact, the “All or Nothing” mindset is incredibly harmful), but it can be an obstacle to reaching goals.
➡️ Hormones, Stress, & More
Since our bodies are complex, everything from stress levels to the amount and quality of sleep received can create hormonal shifts that affect how the body functions and uses food.
➡️ Your Body Has Adjusted To Your Workouts/Plan
This is both a pro and a con. It can signify that you’ve become FITTER because your body is no longer being challenged by the program as it used to be. But it also can be a sign that it’s time to mix things up and change what you’re doing.
Even though plateaus can’t always be avoided, it’s possible to break one if you find yourself stuck!
So don’t give up or be discouraged. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself. This is a journey, a lifestyle, and you won’t always see fantastic or drastic results. But if you need a little help busting your plateau, look no further!
Here Are Four Great Tricks for Getting Back on Track to Reach Your Goals:
✅ Start Tracking Your Food
Food logs can be tedious and time-consuming in the short term. But in the long term, it will provide you with valuable information that can actually SAVE time by speeding up your results. Check out this article to read more about why you should (and how to) keep a health journal!
✅ Eat Enough Protein
Getting enough protein in your diet can be a game-changer. It boosts your body’s metabolism because it requires more energy to digest than fat or carbs. This then signals your body to release hormones that reduce your appetite and keep you feeling full.
✅ Avoid Beverages Containing Sugar
Alcohol contains empty calories that do not serve your body in any capacity. It also lowers your self-control. This means you are more likely to 1) overeat or 2) eat foods you normally wouldn’t. Research suggests it can also affect your body’s ability to burn fat.
(Have you ever wondered if it’s okay to drink alcohol in moderation? If so, read this article.)
Soda, fruit juices, flavored coffee, and teas also contain sneaky sugars that are empty calories. The problem with sugary beverages is that your brain doesn’t compensate for their calories by making you eat less of other foods, and you end up eating more overall.
Instead of these sugary drinks, try drinking more water! Water is ESSENTIAL for health and can help you break through walls preventing you from reaching your goals.
✅ Check Other Aspects of Health
Monitor your stress levels. Having an overload of stress can trigger food cravings and make you want to eat for comfort. (Learn what stress eating is and how to manage it here.)
Get more sleep! Sleep can lower your metabolic rate, release hormones that make you feel hungry, and helps promote fat storage.
As always, consult your doctor if you have any health concerns or want medical advice!
✅ Get Accountability
Whatever your goal, objective, or resolution, the steps you take to reach the finish line are similar, including the roadblocks or plateaus you might encounter along the way. It’s important to track your progression, analyze and change strategies, listen to your body’s signals, and seek advice when needed!
If you need help breaking through a weight loss or clean eating plateau, check out our 30 Day Challenge.
This program is designed to aid others in their health journeys, and our CFC coaches and other members will be HAPPY to stand by your side through every step of the journey – including the more difficult or frustrating ones. Having friends or coaches or anyone to hold you accountable is KEY to reaching your goals. You can also try thinking of someone that you don’t want to let down and make them your inspiration!
A plateau is not permanent; it’s simply another leg in the journey to your success!
Ruts and even setbacks do not mean you’re failing! It just means that you are human and choose a lifestyle over the need for “perfection.”