Plateau effect

The plateau effect is always unexpected for us. Maybe, you encountered it during active weight loss. You started to lead a healthy life, changed your diet completely, spend several hours in the gym, and lose weight quickly. However, at some point, the number on your scales does not change. Why?

The effect of the plateau and some extra pounds often occurs when you violate the diet and training schedule or when your body has reached a point of balance – calorie consumption has become equal to the intake. 

Changes in the base level of calorie consumption 

Starting from the first days of diet and intense training, your body lose weight extremely quickly. Fast weight loss motivates us and we keep losing weight. Nevertheless, after a month you may give up because the body is already accustomed to a new diet, so a certain weight stopped. Remember that the smaller your weight is, the less the body spends its energy.

To calculate the basic energy consumption, the actual weight is taken as the basis. Accordingly, when you lose weight, the basic calorie consumption decreases.

What can you do:

1. Increase calorie intake through intense training;

2. Convert the calorie intake to a new weight.

Our body adapts to a new stress

When you are malnourished from time to time, your body reduces energy expenditure. During a prolonged calorie restriction, the hormonal system changes – the level of leptin and thyroid hormones decreases, and the level of cortisol rise. Hormonal changes affect the nervous system. As a result, you unconsciously reduce your daily activity, spend fewer calories on routine tasks, and absorb food better.

What can you do:

1. Keep a food diary and count in detail the arrival and consumption of calories;

2. Take a break for two weeks – eat at the level of supporting calories, and instead of regular workout walk on the street. However, do not forget that you only increase the calorie intake, but keep eating healthy foods.

Do you gradually increase the load during your workouts?

If you do not increase the load during exercise, this can also affect your weight. A decrease in muscle mass is a consequence of it too. You need to remember that every pound you lose includes not only body fat, but also muscles. Therefore, the smaller the muscles are, the less calorie expenditure is. If you constantly do not get calories while dieting, you will get a bad mood, causeless irritability, and apathy. This condition can cause a huge appetite, and as you know, the weight returns very quickly with stress.

What can you do:

1. Increase the intensity of training and add cardio in your schedule even during rest days;

2. Do not starve, but calculate the calorie needs and adhere to this value.

To sum up

Change your workout program

Practice hard exercises first, and then simple exercises. If you train different muscle groups on different days, try working out your whole body in one workout. It will also be nice to change the duration of your workout. Experts also recommend changing the time and frequency of training. Create a sense of “novelty” for your body – the new program will be a little stress for the body, which will “restart” it like a computer.

Change your diet

Avoid sauces, salted cheese, and fish, as well as foods that contain sugar. Salt retains water and masks weight loss. Replace sugar with stevia. Limit foods that inhibit weight loss. Maybe you eat a lot of fruits, dried fruits, nuts. Despite their benefits, they are high-calorie and make you overeat. 

Increase dietary fiber

Steamed vegetables are a great choice! Your portion will seem larger, but the food will be healthier.

Control stress

The stress hormone cortisol causes fluid retention and prevents weight loss. So get enough sleep, rest, and try to worry less.

The plateau effect is a situation that many people have. However, it can be fixed! We hope you find the answers to your questions in this article.

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