When you’re not losing weight like you expected and have hit that dreaded weight loss plateau, you’re not alone. Plateaus in weight loss are extremely common, and sometimes it’s not actually a plateau at all.
If you’ve still been following the exercise and diet routine that launched your weight loss, you might actually be losing weight still.
In addition to our natural weight fluctuations (of a few pounds) day to day, our hormones, muscle development and water retention can stall the scale from a few days to a few weeks at a time and make you feel like you’re not making progress at all.
To keep track of your weight loss progress, try measuring your waist circumference alongside your weight to see if you’ve truly reached a plateau.
If you’re still not losing your weight or waist like before, here are five common reasons why.
Drinking water throughout the day is always a helpful support to your body, especially when working out.
In addition to keeping your body hydrated and clear of extra lactic acid and cellular waste from exercise, drinking water can help you lose weight by boosting the number of calories burned and helping reduce your meal intake when you drink a glass of water before eating.
For example, in this study, drinking 500ml of water increased the metabolic rate by 30%.
The best way to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs is to eat whole foods. These are fruits, vegetables and proteins in their most natural state.
That means: skip the processed foods.
Even your “healthy” protein bars, dairy-free milk and kombucha teas can be sneakily loaded with carbs and sugars and wreak havoc on your weight loss goals.
Be sure to read the ingredients of your packages for any food that isn’t in its purest form to keep your weight loss goals on track.
Any exercise that increases your heart rate does wonders for your heart and for your weight loss ambitions. These cardio exercises include running, jogging, cycling, swimming, circuit training and more.
When you add more cardio into your workouts, not only is it very effective at burning more fat (specifically the type around your waistline), but it also boosts your metabolism so that even when you’re not exercising, you’re burning more calories.
This compounding effect helps you shed and keep pounds off consistently while benefiting your overall health.
A high protein diet also boosts your metabolism and helps you keep the muscles you’re building while still losing weight.
In addition to helping our bodies build a stronger, healthier and slimmer profile, eating protein can help reduce cravings and make you feel more full.
So if you’re struggling with feeling hungry from your salad regimen, try adding in whole sources of protein like meat, fish, seafood, eggs, or plant-based proteins like beans, legumes and tofu.
Sleep is one of the most important functions of our body and this is especially true when it comes to weight management.
In fact, a lack of quality sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for becoming obese, with adults with poor sleep 55% more likely to become obese.
So you can only imagine the effect a lack of sleep has on your weight loss efforts.
However you fit an adequate supply of quality sleep, make it a priority. Not only does it support your weight loss goals, but it contributes to your overall health for the long run.
There are many different factors that can bring your weight loss goals to a halt, but just know you’re not alone. Your body is rebuilding into a healthier version of itself – for weight loss with longevity and a sustainable healthy lifestyle, these things can take time.
If you’re still concerned about an extended weight loss plateau, consider talking to your healthcare provider about any underlying condition that might be keeping the weight on.
And in all your weight loss ambitions, keep your health and wellbeing in the forefront and give your body the clean energy it needs to be its most healthful self.