5 Ways To Break Through A Weight Loss Plateau
So you started a fat loss diet, you saw that for a week, your weight and body fat is coming down, which gave you more motivation to continue and then… The moment came when you are
In the following article, I will explain why we get stuck and what you can do to continue seeing the drop you want.
Understanding weight loss vs. fat loss
“Weight loss” is very tricky and misleading quite a few people. The goal, of course, is a maximum reduction in fat percentage and a little as possible (if any) decrease in muscle mass.
When you get on your weight scale and see that you’ve lost a pound you’re probably thinking you’ve lost a pound of fat.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Body weight rises and falls according to several factors: for example, you eat a lot of salt and carbohydrates and drink a little water, try to drink a little more water and you’ll look a bit more “full”. And it looks like you have gained about 1.3-2.2 kg a day, which can irritate you a bit if you plan to be weighed the next day.
On the other hand, if you ate a little salt and a little carbohydrate and drank lots of water, your body would get plenty of fluids, which would make you look more cut, and you think it was an excellent fat loss day.
So I do not recommend weighing every day because the weight will always play up and down.
I always weigh once a week every Sunday morning on an empty stomach. Weighing on a daily basis will make you confused and undermine your confidence.
I also recommend being weighed the day you do not make cheat meals, because it can add you another 0.5-1 kg per day.
What is a real stop in weight loss?
A real stop in weight loss is a situation in which you do not lose weight at all.
If a week has passed and the weight does not go down, do not rush to pick up the white flag.
If two weeks have passed and the weight is still stuck, then you’re probably stuck.
Some facts about fat loss
1. Expect that you are going to get stuck with your fat loss diet
2. Most people will need to eat in a very controlled manner and add several aerobic exercises per week to get below 10% fat.
3. The more you get lean, the harder it is
If you are about 25% fat, it is very likely that you will drop 0.9-1.3 kg of fat in the first few weeks.
If you are about 10% fat and try to go down to lower fat levels, a drop of 0.9-1.3 kg per week is almost impossible without prohibited substances.
4. Your body has a “comfort zone”
Yes, our body, like our brain, has a comfort zone. Our natural hunger feelings keep our weight where it is, and if we eat less we will feel hungry. If we eat more, we will feel full.
Personally, my body is comfortable to be around 9-10% fat.
Maintaining weight under this comfort zone requires to be more careful about your calories, and in some cases adding aerobics to your exercise program.
On the other hand, weight gain requires higher eating on a daily basis and if it goes on for too long, then the “comfort zone” only increases more and more.
5 ways to break through a weight loss plateau
Recalculate the number of calories you need to consume
The more calories you take, the more your body adjusts and your metabolism drops to match the amount of food you eat. The best way to prevent a plateau is to recalculate calories after a 7 kg weight loss. There are a number of calculations to do but here is a simple one based on the MCARDLE KATCH:
2.64 grams of protein per kilo of body weight
2.2 grams of carbohydrate per kg of body weight
0.44 grams of fat per kg of body weight
This simple formula will cause you to have a mild, healthy calorie deficit to continue losing weight.
1 gram of protein and carbohydrates equals 4 calories
1 gram of fat equals 9 calories.
I always recommend using the MYFITNESSPAL app. This is a very simple application and it will calculate everything without you having to get a headache.
Tip from me:
Make sure to use simple foods to track, do not try every day to eat complicated things from calories you do not really know their caloric number.
For more information, you can read my article “Meal Planning”.
Do more aerobic exercises
You can do this by adding another day of aerobics (I do not recommend more than 4 times a week if you also do strength training) or you can add more time to any aerobics workout (usually 10 minutes will suffice).
If after that you still stuck, add another 10 minutes per aerobic workout and that’s all.
And it should be HIIT rather than moderate aerobic exercise.
Add a cheat meal
Yes, believe it or not, Cheat meal will help you reduce fat.
First of all, there is the psychological aspect that makes you happy and motivated to continue your diet.
Another aspect is the physiological aspect. Eating a cheat meal affects the hormone leptin, a hormone that regulates Hunger, metabolism, appetite, motivation and also serves additional functions in your body.
When you have a negative calorie balance, leptin levels in your body go down, causing your metabolism to slow down, your appetite to rise, your motivation to go down, and your mood to get worse.
On the other hand, once you eat beyond what you need, the levels of leptin go back up, causing the mood to rise, thyroid activity rising and even increasing testosterone levels.
So how do you do it ?!
Eating carbohydrates is the most effective way. In addition to eating protein-rich meals. Eating fat does not really help increase the levels of leptin.
So if the weight gets stuck and you’re upset and have no motivation to go on, eat some good cheat meal so your leptin levels will go up. Just make sure you do not overdo it!
Lift heavy weights
If you have read quite a few of my articles so far, you understand how much I stress that working with heavy weights is critical to increasing muscle mass and even more critical in your cutting process.
If this is not enough, the level of heavy weights helps to increase the decrease in body fat.
In a study, they found that men who exercised with heavy weights (80-85% of their RM 1) increased their metabolism for 3 days and burned hundreds of calories more than men who exercised with lighter weights (45-65% of RM 1)
So when you train, pick up heavy weights (with the proper technique of course) and in return, this will cause your metabolism to be higher.
And if you want to add to that, focus on complex exercises like squat, deadlift, because these are the exercises that burn the most calories.
So this is it my friends!
I hope you enjoyed this article.
If you have any question or something you would like to add, I would be happy to know in the comments section below.
The way to look aesthetic and shredded is a marathon rather than a sprint.
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