How To Break a Plateau
It’s six weeks after american new year’s resolution and I am starting to get emails asking “How to Break My Weight Plateau”. I have some ideas for you. But first of all I want to thank all of you that made my “How Do I Get Abs” book launch on Amazon.com a global hit! It was amazing, I made it to number 1! I even got a great screen shot of it for my Goals Accomplished wall. I am getting so much positive feedback. It’s awesome. I could not have done it without you!
I Hate My Scale! How To Break a Weight Loss Plateau
Check out this excerpt from a Special Science Report
Cutting Carbs Is More Effective Than Low-Fat Diet for Insulin-Resistant Women,Study Finds; Science Daily (June 21, 2010) — Obese women with insulin resistance lose more weight after three months on a lower-carbohydrate diet than on a traditional low-fat diet with the same number of calories, according to a new study.
Time for some new ideas. If you are experiencing a stall or plateau in weight loss efforts, you are not alone. This occurs from time to time to almost all of us trying to get thinner. However, you first must make sure that you have actually reached a plateau point.
A plateau means that you have gone an extended period of time without losing weight or inches. It’s important to take your measurements before you start your weight loss plan, in addition to your weight. On some weeks it may not seem like you are not losing any weight at all on the scale. But a quick look at your measurements could prove otherwise.
On a higher protein diet you are replacing fat with muscle, which is denser and heavier. You might actually gain a little weight because you are building muscle. The result will be an increase on the scale, but a decrease in your inches. Your body will be smaller and leaner, but you may weigh the same.
Before you start your program, measure your chest, waist, hips, upper arms, thighs and calves. You never know where you may be losing inches, so it’s important to have these measurements to refer to.
It is normal to go through periods where you body is readjusting. Remember that you are reforming the composition of your body and this process will take some time. Check your measurements once a week, just like your weight, and you can track your overall progress.
What Is A Plateau?
There may be periods of 3 to 4 weeks where you have a plateau in weight loss, but a loss in inches. Or vice versa. Using both methods to track your fat loss is the best assurance for an accurate measure of your progress. These stall periods are not a reason to quit or to give up. They are biochemical parts of the weight loss process.
Plateaus may occur more frequently if you are 5 to 10 pounds away from being at your goal weight. By following a low-carb, higher-protein way of eating you have created a lot more muscle in your body. Your muscle-to-fat ratio is higher than ever before, so your body might be resisting losing anymore fat. It may be time to rethink your goal weight. Perhaps your body is trying to tell you something and its time to start maintaining your weight loss rather than trying to lose more.
What Causes Your Scale to Get Stuck?
There are some other possible causes of plateaus on the road to weight loss. If you’ve gone four weeks with no change in weight or measurements and you are nowhere near your goal weight, you can try a few different methods to get yourself out of the rut. First, make sure your carbohydrate level is in check. If you are eating too many carbohydrate grams per day, your weight loss will stall. Look for hidden carbohydrates in your coffees, alcohol, packaged foods, snacks, dressings and sauces to make sure they aren’t the culprits in your plateau.
Check your daily water intake. When you are dehydrated, your body will retain water and that can mimic a plateau. Water will also help flush ketones from your system and make more room for new fat burning ketones.
It may be time to eat more.
Under eating can also be a cause for weight loss plateaus. Make sure not to let yourself go hungry and eat smaller, more frequent meals. Remember, you are on a carbohydrate-restricted diet, not a calorie-restricted diet. Make sure to have some protein with every meal and snack. Never go more than 4 hours without eating something (except overnight of course). Also, eat freely from the acceptable foods. Don’t try to count calories or restrict your calorie intake. When your body gets too few calories, it goes into starvation mode and will hold onto fat cells. AAAHH!!
Pump It up!
Increasing your exercise level or adding more slower systemic fat burning cardio can help get you through a plateau as well. As your muscles get used to working out at a certain level, you’ll have to increase the duration or the intensity in order to keep challenging your body. Add a new exercise into the mix, or try increasing more reps into a light weight resistance training circuit. You don’t need to go to a gym to do cardio. You can so it anyplace.
Trying one of these suggestions will most likely get your weight loss back on track. Remember that occasional stalls are normal, but they do not have to last.
See you on the step mill!
Your Fitness Celebrity Trainer