It is well established that a weight loss plateau is the dieter's greatest nemesis. The plateau is the most frustrating aspect of any diet to lose weight. It is the point when most dieters simply give up.
Once you understand that a dieting plateau is a common and a normal occurrence in the life of a dieter, you can accept it without stressing and obsessing about it, adjust your diet program and move on.
Why does this happen? The following is a simple explanation. When on a weight loss program, you generally reduce your calorie intake and begin to exercise or engage in some physical activity. Eventually your metabolism becomes accustomed to these activities and changes. As a result it slows down. The resulting sluggishness of your metabolism leads to a halt of your weight loss progress.
This can be easily overcome by a few changes to your program. As soon as you implement these changes your body will recognize them and it will prompt your metabolism to shift into a higher gear. Shortly, you will start losing weight again.
The following tips should help you break through the plateau.
1. Be aware of the plateau. If you understand that a diet plateau is a normal occurrence you will become mentally ready for it when you reach it. You will understand that it is not your fault and that you are not doing anything wrong. This understanding will alleviate the potential stress when you see that the weight scale is not budging. Stress is an important factor that will interfere with you efforts to lose weight.
2. Assess your weight loss to date. It is possible that you reached your plateau because the weight you arrived at is exactly your healthy and natural body weight. If you are happy with that just continue to maintain this weight and the shape of your body by adhering to the lifestyle you currently lead. If you feel that you need to lose more weight you will need to readjust your lifestyle.
3. Modify your food intake. You definitely do not want to starve yourself but check and reassess your calorie intake. Well into your weight loss program you most likely gave up on calorie counting. Over the time you might have forgotten about the foods that fool us. The worst of these foods are salads. Many people are not aware that some salads, depending on the dressing, croutons, bacon bits, cheese and portion may be well over 800 calories. For the next week keep track of all the foods you eat to identify the potential "hazards" to your weight loss. Eliminate them from your diet.
4. Modify your exercise routine. The common consensus for breaking the weight loss plateau is to change your exercise routine. If you exercised a little or none increase or add exercise to your diet regiment. If you only did cardio add some weight training. It is important to vary or to shift your exercise so that it does not become routine. Your metabolism will react to the change by revitalizing and that will result in a positive outcome in your efforts to lose weight.