You’ve been working hard to follow a healthy, low-calorie diet and improve your exercise habits, and your reward has been watching your weight go down and feeling better. Now, however, for no reason you can identify, the scale has stopped budging. You’ve hit a weight-loss plateau.
What is a Stagnancy in weight loss?
Being stuck at a weight-loss Stagnant eventually happens to everyone who tries to lose weight. Even so, most people are surprised when it happens to them because they’re still eating carefully and exercising regularly. The frustrating reality is that even well-planned weight-loss efforts can stall.
Reasons You’ve Hit a Weight-Loss Stagnancy
- As your weight goes down, you not only lose fat but also a small amount of muscle. It’s estimated that up to 25% of the body tissue lost during weight loss comes from muscle. Since muscle is critical to keeping your metabolism perking, losing it can reduce your metabolic rate and hinder weight loss strength training can help preserve and build muscle to get your metabolism humming again.
- You may need fewer calories or more physical activity to sustain your lower weight. This is the most likely cause of a weight-loss plateau. Further, it’s almost impossible to lose much weight without exercise Many scientists agree that whether you exercise is the best way to predict whether you’ll successfully maintain your weight.
- Your body learning how to perform that exercise, and figuring out which muscle fibers to recruit, which to let relax and how to coordinate it all. Your body becomes more efficient, so it burns less energy doing any given. As your body becomes more efficient, you become fewer calories during each workout, which could translate to a stuck scale.
- There is a weight range at which our body is comfortable, and any time we move away from that weight, our body works toward getting us back to the comfortable weight. Environmental factors, lifestyle and brain activity may all significantly influence the body’s set point.
Ways to Break Through a Weight Loss Stagnancy
While weight tends to come off fairly rapidly at first, at some point it seems as though your weight won’t budge. This inability to lose weight is known as a weight loss plateau or stall, and it can be frustrating and discouraging.
1. Cut Back on Carbs
- Reducing your carb intake may help get your weight moving in the right direction again when you feel hopelessly stalled. Whether carb restriction leads to a “metabolic advantage” that causes your body to burn more calories is a question that continues to be debated among nutrition and obesity experts.
- However, very low-carb diets have consistently been shown to reduce hunger and promote feelings of fullness more than other diets. This may lead you to unconsciously eat less, making it easier to begin losing weight again without hunger or discomfort.
2. Increase Exercise Frequency or Intensity
- Revving up your exercise regimen may help reverse a weight loss plateau. As weight declines, the progressive reduction in metabolic rate can make continued weight loss extremely difficult. Resistance training promotes the retention of muscle mass, which is a major factor influencing how many calories you burn during activity and at rest.
- In fact, resistance training seems to be the most effective type of exercise for weight loss. Other types of physical activity have also been shown to protect against a metabolic slowdown, including aerobic exercise and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
3. Track Everything You Eat
Sometimes, it may seem as though you’re not eating that much, yet you still have difficulty losing weight. Tracking your calories and macronutrients — protein, fat and carbs — can provide concrete information about how much you’re taking in. This will allow you to modify your diet if needed. Recording your food intake alone may enhance your weight loss efforts.
4. Don’t Skimp on Protein
- First, protein boosts metabolic rate more than either fat or carbs. This has to do with the thermic effect of food (TEF), or increase in metabolism that occurs due to the digestion of food. Protein digestion boosts calorie burning by 20–30%, which is more than twice as much as fat or carbs.
- Second, protein stimulates the production of hormones, such as PYY, that help reduce appetite and make you feel full and satisfied. Moreover, maintaining a high protein intake can help protect against the loss of muscle mass and a drop-in metabolic rate, both of which typically occur during weight loss.
5. Eat more fiber
focusing on high fiber can help you shed pounds after other diets have caused a plateau, likely because the nutrient is so filling. Some of the best sources of fiber to defeat a weight Stagnant include: Oatmeal, Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, flax, chia seeds), Berries (raspberries, blueberries), Beans (peas, black beans, chickpeas) and Apples. Aiming to eat 30 grams of fiber a day—can help you lose weight, reduce blood pressure, and increase sensitivity to insulin.
6. Carry your water everywhere
One of the most overlooked aspects of a weight loss plan is proper hydration. Not only can drinking water help to flush out excess salt hanging out in your system, but it can also keep hunger at bay and help you power through workouts more effectively accelerating weight loss effects.
7. Eat Vegetables at Every Meal
Vegetables are the ideal food for weight loss. Most vegetables are low in calories and carbs, high in fiber and loaded with beneficial nutrients. Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough of these weight loss friendly foods. However, it’s easy to add a side of cooked or raw greens, tomatoes or other veggies at any meal, including breakfast.
8. Get quality sleep
A full night sleep is vital to losing body fat because it resets your hormones. Even a little sleep deprivation can lead to increase cortisol, a stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels can lead to body fat accumulation especially around the midsection.
9. Not Tracking Ketone Levels Often
Trying to lose weight on keto without checking your ketone levels will keep you in the dark. You can’t simply adjust carb or protein amounts and wait to see if it “feels” right. In order to know if you’re successful on keto, you must check often to ensure you are still in ketosis.
10. Eating Too Many Calories
While a ketogenic diet is often great at naturally controlling portions due to satiety, it is still possible to eat too many calories and affect ketosis. Not all calories are equal, but there’s still such a thing as too many. For some people, this means counting can be beneficial for weight loss.
11. Be Mindful of Types of Keto Foods
Quality matters. We’ve all seen the low-carb muffins, pancakes, and other treats that are really nothing more than junk.
The 4 Phases of Weight Loss
1. Glycogen depletion
Your body has sugar stored ready to fuel whatever work your body does – thinking, staying warm, moving, etc. The average sized human stores up to 300-400 calories of glycogen in the liver and 2,000-10,000 calories in muscles. The liver is like a cup it’s a fixed sized and can be filled and emptied. The muscles cells are like balloons they visibly grown and shrink; and the more you exercise, the more the muscles can hold. Weight loss from glycogen depletion is not to be confused with weight loss from dehydration:
There are things you can do to manipulate your body to decrease the amount of water it is storing (dehydrate). Although bloating (storing extra water) is uncomfortable and generally NOT the look any is going for, dehydrating yields results that don’t last and can be dangerous Safely speaking, the body will dehydrate a sate amount through the night, then those fluids should be replenished every day. Water is actually required to burn stored body fat, and NOT something that you want to cut out ever when you’re trying to lose body fat.
2. Fat loss
This is the sweet spot for healthy weight loss. You want to stay here as long as you can until you reach your desired weight. In this phase, you will feel hungry before meals (but not starving) you will have good energy, sleep well, and see a healthy rate of weight loss.
- Stagnancy is the phase you enter when you’ve gotten a little bit carried away with creating a caloric deficit, and your body decreases the amount of work (metabolism) it’s doing to preserve energy, thereby sabotaging your fat loss efforts. You could be eating the exact same way you were when you were in the fat loss phase, your body just says, “Enough.”
- Stagnancy is your body’s last resort to not run our of energy and die. When you’re in that phase, eating less or exercising more gives a light, euphoric feeling and it’s easy to take it too far. If your fat loss stops, you are not performing as well during your workouts, and your body actually looks or feels like it’s losing tone, it’s time to get to Phase 4 as fast as you can!
4. Metabolic Recovery
To get out of Stagnancy phase, you’ll need to help your body recover your metabolism back to it’s normal rate. It’s like getting back to a normal spending routine – put the kids back into their gymnastics class, turn the cable back on, get back to taking vacations – which requires getting back into a normal earning / EATING routine. As you start to give your body more and more energy (slowly), it will resume normal function over time.
- Put these tried and true tips into action, and soon you’ll be saying, “What weight-loss Stagnancy”
- Weight loss Stagnancy can be frustrating and demoralizing. However, they are a normal part of the weight loss process. In fact, nearly everyone experiences a stall at some point on their weight loss journey. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can take to begin losing weight again and safely achieve your goal weight. Sometimes a weight loss Stagnancy is just par for the course. With some creativity and continued motivation, you can usually break through it.