Few experiences are quite as discouraging as unexplained halts in progress. This might have happened to you with your weight loss goals. You’ve been doing everything right. It’s been a struggle, but you’ve kept up with your exercise routine. Every day you’ve been out walking or running or doing twenty minutes of yoga. You’ve been holding yourself accountable, checking in every day with your support system. Above all, you’ve been sticking to your diet. There have been plenty of chances to eat all your favorite foods, but you’ve been really careful about avoiding them. So far, you’ve been doing it all exactly right. And for a while, maybe a few weeks, you were losing weight and seeing results in the mirror. It all felt great. This time, it felt like you’d lose the pounds and keep them off. Then the most discouraging thing happened to you: the weight loss plateau. Nothing about your habits changed. You still exercise every day, and your support system is still in place. But your weight loss progress has, for seemingly no reason, stopped. The pressing question you’re asking yourself is, why has my weight loss come to a standstill?
So what’s going on? And, a more important question, how do you get over the weight loss plateau? You’re probably wondering, will a weight loss plateau go away on its own? And how long do weight loss plateaus last? Let’s dive into how to get over the weight loss plateau, weight loss plateau causes, myths, and more.
How To Get Over The Weight Loss Plateau
A weight loss plateau can be highly discouraging. But don’t give up! There are ways to get past weight loss plateaus. There are a few different things that may be happening, and you might have to relearn some expectations that are creating the true obstacles to your weight loss goals.
Let’s look at weight loss plateaus in more depth. If anything about them sounds familiar, it might mean you’re ready to relearn some societal rules that may be getting in the way.
The Medical Cause of a Weight Loss Plateau
For a lot of us, the initial phase of a weight loss regimen is the most successful. This is because the initial weight loss comes in the form of loss of water weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, most of the initial weight loss we experience is when our bodies burn calories in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is a carbohydrate that’s partly water. When glycogen burns, water is released. This means burning calories in the form of glycogen is only a temporary loss of weight. As you continue with your weight loss regimen, if you keep your habits essentially consistent, then your body reaches a point where the calories you burn during exercise equalize with the calories you take in. (MayoClinic)
Even though on the surface level you’ve accomplished a calorie deficit and have achieved some weight loss, the severe restrictions of the diet have pushed the body to its limits. This, in turn, limits its ability to burn calories effectively. The metabolic set point is an example. When your body feels its facing starvation and famine, by instinct it preserves calories to make sure your essential organs have enough energy to operate. And it’s essential to keep you alive.
Metabolism is one thing. Hormones are another. If you struggle with chronic inflammation like many overweight people, your body’s key weight-regulating hormones can be impaired. The metabolism is slowed down while hunger and cravings become out of control.
In the two situations above, you can say your body is working against weight loss and driving weight gain. And when your body resists weight loss, you can’t achieve it. That’s why you are seeing a weight loss plateau. And soon you’ll see the initial weight that was lost bounce back because we can’t fight our biology.
The only way to break the plateau is to resolve the body’s resistance to weight loss. Get your body’s cooperation because when you do, your body, fully activated and healed, actually loses the weight FOR you. And weight loss shifts to cruise control.
In addition, a lesser-known reason that affects weight loss progress heavily is: the CICO diet isn’t scientific at all and the numbers you’ve been counting aren’t really accurate (not your fault, they aren’t accurate to begin with).
Let’s take a second to look at some of the common myths about weight loss plateaus. Odds are, you’re dealing with some of them. We need to figure out which ones so we can help you relearn healthier food habits.
Weight Loss Plateau Myths
There are a lot of limiting beliefs about weight loss plateaus that make them discouraging.
Here are a few common myths about weight loss plateaus: (DiabetesSelfManagement)
- A weight loss plateau means you are done losing weight. It’s not true! Losing weight doesn’t have to be a steady decline. Sometimes there will be weeks with less weight loss than other weeks and that’s okay. Step away from the scale and shed your anxieties. You are far more likely to hold yourself in a plateau if you are constantly obsessing over food because of your unfounded worries.
- Calories in versus calories out are the only important thing in weight loss. This is also not true! Losing weight and keeping it off has many factors, such as mindset, your relationship with food, your personal medical history, and more.
- Adding just a little more exercise helps you lose weight. A little exercise is a great thing for your health. However, you do not need to obsessively exercise every day. It’s unnecessary and won’t necessarily help you get past your plateau.
- If you miss the date of your weight loss goal then you have failed. This is definitely untrue. You need to be gentle with yourself when it comes to weight loss. Every milestone is worthy of celebration. Don’t stress about numbers and dates.
- And finally, if you follow the right diet then you will lose weight. Not all dietary regimens work for everyone in the same way, and they certainly don’t work for their whole lives. A diet based on restrictions and self-denial tends to be a short-term weight loss strategy that is unsustainable. Additionally, it interrupts your body’s natural rhythms and metabolism.
You’re probably coping with some of these weight loss plateau myths right now. It probably feels like you’ll never reach your weight loss goals. But don’t give up! There’s a healthy and effective way forward. It will mean reevaluating your relationship with food.
Getting Over a Weight Loss Plateau
A weight loss plateau doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It’s your body’s feedback, and many times it means you are doing it the wrong way. You can still achieve your weight loss goals while switching to a holistic method. The Lean Instinct Formula™ is highly effective in delivering reliable, lasting results without damaging your body.
To get over the weight loss plateau, the first thing you need to do is abandon the damaging rules that are the real impediments to your weight loss success. If you are struggling with food obsession and need to change your relationship with food, Rise Lean can help with that. The truth is that actual weight loss can’t happen without a healthy and liberating food mentality. Additionally, weight loss will fail when it relies on willpower. However, you don’t need willpower. You just need to reset your body into it’s natural rhythms and learn how to listen to what it needs.
If you are ready to start losing weight and keep it off without dieting, then you are ready for the Lean Instinct Formula™. Book a 1:1 clarity call with weight loss coach, Leslie Chen, to start fixing the damaging underpinnings of your relationship with food today, and find out how to get over your weight loss plateau.