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5 Killer Ways to Break a Weight Loss Plateau

 

Hi Cayla,

I know how frustrating it can be to hit a weight loss plateau and suddenly stop losing weight despite the fact that you've tried with all your might. It is even more so when your husband is dropping pounds more rapidly than you without actually doing anything "spectacular".

According to weight watchers, men tend to lose weight faster than women because of their body composition and physical activity level. Men are bigger and have greater muscle mass, which enables them to burn more calories every hour (higher metabolism), even while resting, with minimal effort. Research has found that a man's metabolism rate is 5-10 percent higher than a woman's, at the same height and weight in both.

In addition, men generally adopt a more active lifestyle than their female counterparts. This might be because men are more likely to be involved in jobs that require a lot of manual labor, or more inclined to run around, throw a Frisbee, or play ball games with friends on a weekend afternoon.

These two major factors, along with hormonal makeup (water retention before your menstrual period may look like a gain in weight) and brain pattern, makes it easier and faster for men to lose weight. Women take a bit longer time to lose weight so don't be discouraged and beat yourself up so much.

A weight loss plateau is normal and it happens to almost every dieter. So why does weight loss slow down or stop after a while? When you lose weight, you lose both fat and muscle that results in a slower metabolism. Having a slow metabolism means that even if you eat like a bird and doing everything "right", you still gain more weight (or not lose weight) than a person who eats far more than you.

Therefore, to continue losing more weight, you either have to increase physical activity (burn more calories) or eat less (reduce calorie intake). Use the following weight loss plateau breakers to overcome weight loss resistance, and help you quickly jump back into weight loss mode again.

 

 

How to Lose Weight when Weight Loss Stops (or Slows Down)

1. Incorporate Strength Training

As explained earlier, muscles plays an important role in metabolism so you want to build lean muscle mass to burn extra calories more efficiently and accelerate weight loss (fat loss). You should incorporate strength training exercises into your workout, 2 to 3 times a week.

With regular strength training, you also strengthen bone tissue, increase bone density, and help prevent osteoporosis later in life.

 

 

2. Change Your Exercise Routine

Your body can get used to the same repetitive exercise routine (in 3-4 weeks) that you're doing to the point that it doesn't work as hard anymore to burn the fat. You need to increase the duration and frequency of exercise, or change the intensity and type of exercise you do to keep your muscles challenged and respond to your workouts.

If you go walking for exercise, try jogging, swimming, cycling, or jump rope. If you're doing low intensity cardio work, try some high intensity exercise instead.

The other benefit of continuously changing your exercise routine is it invigorates your training so you'll never get bored while your body gets a full workout.

Also, pack more physical activity into your day. Bike or walk instead of using the car, if possible. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or try digging in your garden or yard.

 

 

3. Fine Tune Your Diet
You need carbs to get your body functioning, but there are certain carbs your body doesn't need. For example, simple carbs found in white bread and durum wheat pasta, and foods made with white flour or white sugar. Instead, you should eat carbs that will help you to burn fat like sprouted grain bread or foods high in insoluble fiber, such as millet, or spelt.

Try eating less carbs and more protein, if your diet is higher in carbs. Protein will satisfy your appetite, and keeps you fuller longer so you're less likely to snack later in the day. I encourage you to eat a little protein with each of your meals and snacks. Good healthy snack choices include a small handful of unsalted almonds, or low-fat cottage cheese filled celery sticks.

 

 

4. Zig Zag Calories

You can also try calorie cycling (or zig zag dieting) to help you deal with weight loss plateau. Zig zagging calories is the method of varying your daily calorie intake to keep your metabolism guessing, while maintaining the same weekly intake. Let's say you eat 1800 calories each day. Now try to consume 1200 calories one day, and 2000 calories the next. The idea to eat more calories some days than you do on others.

Another thing about calories intake; be very careful when you reduce calories. Make sure you don't go below 1,200 calories. Fewer than 1,200 calories a day is counter-productive, and won't help you to lose weight because your body enters "starvation mode", which could slow down metabolism, thereby burning fewer calories and less fat.

 

 

5. Meal Frequency

Try not to skip meals. Eat 3 meals a day and have healthy snacks in between in order to boost your metabolism rate and stave off hunger pangs.

 

 

If you don't see results, speak with your doctor or a dietitian to see if he can suggest other ways to break through a weight loss plateau. It's also a good idea to review your weight loss goals. You should aim to achieve and maintain a healthy weight instead of an unrealistic dress size, or body shape.

Also, make sure to get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lower your metabolism and leave you craving for unhealthy sugary foods.

 

 

 

By Diane Hanson

 

Please tell me what to do when weight loss stalls. I was doing so well for several weeks, losing about 2-3 pounds per week, but now I'm stuck in a position where I can't seem to lose anymore weight, no matter what I do. I tried to eat less at night, avoided sugary snacks and increased my exercise frequency. My husband and I follow a strict low fat diet plan; we eat the same amount of food and also exercise together. However, for some strange reasons, he is losing weight faster than me! Why can't I lose anymore weight, and how do I break a weight loss plateau? Please help me out here, I would be love to lose another 10 pounds. I was 145 pounds and now I'm down to 125. Thank you. – Cayla, Idaho.

 

how do i break a weight loss plateau

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