I’ve lost 15 kg, but now I can’t lose anymore. What happened?

This is an absolutely normal and frustrating aspect of weight loss. Each of us go through the process and it can leave us disheartened.

You are probably wondering what it is you are doing wrong, or why your body is failing you. Neither of these statements hold truth, and I will delve into more detail.

The plateau

When we embark on the weight loss journey, it can be extremely easy and effortless to lose those initial few pounds. If you have not dieted or exercised before, and have a lot of body fat to lose, it may be a lot faster for you to lose weight initially. This is mostly water weight by the way, not actual complete body fat burning.

After a few months down the track, you may see things getting quite slow, and the diet and exercise program you are currently on, is not working it’s magic anymore. The point in which you are at right now is called the plateau. It’s where your body has reached a set point and isn’t progressing as fast, or has ceased to progress.

Many people opt to alter their diet by eating even less, or perhaps exercising even more. These two factors may lead to a small shift in your favour, but will make you even more susceptible for weight gain, despite your efforts. I know, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense in terms of the calories in, calories out theory. Not to mention the energy expenditure theory thrown in with this. How can you not burn more when you eat less and exercise above and beyond consumed calories

But the body does not work in that highly scientific system, it’s lead by homeostasis. It’s job is to keep you alive and to notice the small changes that can and will lead to you’re inability to survive. In this case, it’s starvation. At a certain point, the body will know that there isn’t enough food coming in, and begin to hold onto everything you consume, leading to more fat accumulation, despite your efforts. As soon as you stop eating well or exercising, the body fat can and will accumulate rapidly.

Not all is lost though, it’s reversible, and you must first keep in mind that the body wants balance, therefore, we need to manipulate activities and foods in order to give us the calories we need, but also put our bodies mind at ease that we won’t be starving anytime soon

These are my suggestions for you, and they work tremendously well. Please feel free to try as many as you like, but do stick with one at a time, in terms of food and exercise. You need to give your body time to adapt and allow it to work it’s magic. Too many things forced on it at the same time, will leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused.

6 ways to break through that dreaded weight loss plateau

  1. Start cutting out carbs. Carb restriction leads to rapid weight loss initially, and gives your body more metabolic flexibility, to begin burning fat stores for energy. Reduced carb intake also decreases cravings and hunger. This is because your body can start producing ketones, in the absence of carbs. This alone makes you feel full, and can reduce your appetite. Try this out for 40 days, and consume only carbs from vegetable sources, then when you start getting some results, begin to carb cycle regularly.
  2. Protein is very important, with every meal. Protein intake is thermogenic, requiring calories to digest. You can increase your caloric burn by about 20–30%. Protein is also the key to reducing appetite, fullness and satisfaction with your meals. Not to mention too that It’s important when dieting, to retain and build muscle mass. It’s very easy to lose muscle when you are restricting calories, therefore, protein should be your best friend.
  3. Strength training. I can’t recommend weight training enough, for it’s strength, muscle and character building. Re-condition your body by lifting weights, and boost your metabolism to higher rates, just on this alone. When you weight train, and watch what you eat, weight will not be an issue. No ladies, you will not get bigger. What happens is your body will become conditioned, cellulite will be eliminates, and you will form a very fit and healthy body. Sure beats running on the treadmill for 2 hours.
  4. Try HIIT. This is an intense way to exercise, and has been shown to decrease body fat stores, as well as create the after-burn effect. This will see you burning more calories post training. The trick is to make sure your efforts are all out, meaning, you really give it your all. Then you rest. It’s a very simple concept, and can be done with a skipping rope, running on a treadmill our outdoors, on a bike or cross trainer. The choices is endless.
  5. Intermittent fasting. This is my favourite technique. I wont’ get into too much detail in this article, as I have written many blog posts on it. What I will confirm is that studies show, weight loss is within the 3–8% range in only 3–24 weeks. This is extraordinary and is not only a fat burning strategy, but a health benefit. You even retain muscle mass when on a fasting eating plan. Please do look up more articles on my blog, or within Quora for more information.

    I do hope this has helped you, and good luck on your journey. Keep in touch. 🙂

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