In the process of weight loss, almost everyone has a period when, despite the continuing efforts, weight is not reduced. This phenomenon has even a special term – a plateau. Often, we feel despair, a desire to quit it all, the threat of breakdown…
Is there a way out? Yes. The first you should do – to establish the cause. There may be a few of them.
1. “Imaginary plateau”
A continued decrease in fat mass is masked by advancing accumulation (retention) of liquid. During this period, due to the changes in the spectrum of hormones (a progesterone production increase) water is retained in a natural way. Sometimes this retention can be quite disturbing, up to 2-3 liters (that mostly happens in the second part of the cycle in women). But the water will eventually drain, your metabolism processes will speed up, and you start to lose weight. So we recommend you to continue the efforts.
2. Unsuccessful diets
We follow a diet, limit the intake of food, do exercises, but our weight stays the same. It happens because many of our efforts, whatever they may seem to us logical, do not promote weight loss. Sometimes, on the contrary, they contribute to the opposite. Does the “no food after 6 p.m.” diet promote or prevent weight loss? Most of us believe that it is. And they are struggling to comply with this abstinence. They starve, suffer, lose sleep, become angry, and in 9 cases out of 10 slip up in the first week. They start overeating in the evening and at night. Naturally, weight increases. Then again, the man “takes himself in hand”, sits on a half-starved regime, suffers and … slips up. Other traditional slimming regimes such as: no sweets, no mayonnaise and pasta, only meat, vegetarianism, food combining, etc work in a similar way.
Sometimes you manage to comply with such regimes, and you do not even starve, but weight is not decreased. The body activates a “saving mode” and starts to spend considerably less – about as much as you give. When you suffer, the body is weakening, but you are not losing weight – that is a plateau! But if you weaken your efforts, your weight can even start increasing. That is why nutritionists are opposed to harsh unreasoned diets. More often, they lead to reduction in energy consumption, a plateau and failures than to weight loss.
How does reduction in energy consumption reveal itself?
It can reveal itself in weakness, apathy, sensitivity to cold, sleepiness, limited mobility and limited desires. In severe cases, there may be dizziness and even fainting.
What to do if you have these symptoms?
Immediately stop torturing yourself with diets and expand your nutrition. Increase the amount of protein products, lean meat, fish and cheese. There must be added bread and side dishes – pasta, cereals. The best thing is to expand your physical activity. Try to walk more and do toning exercises. Be sure to normalize sleep. This tactics can even promote a decrease in weight! After all, energy expenditure can be increased due to toning exercises to a much greater extent than energy consumption due to the expansion of the diet.
But even if it does not happen, do not worry. Relax, normalize your energy expenditure, and then you can follow a more restrictive diet again. Just be careful. Do not take on those harsh half-starved diets. A slip up and new excessive kilos are the most frequent consequence of these diets. There is much more sense from small efforts: a feasible limitation of fat and sugar, smaller portions, more frequent meals, a reasonable attitude to goodies, and so on. Especially if all this is combined with toning workouts and recreational walking, which stimulate lipolysis and decrease appetite.
3. “Body’s adaptation to physical stress”
Physical stress is a state of the body in which the process of losing weight or the growth of certain physical parameters (strength, muscle mass, endurance) stops as a consequence of the adaption of muscles to stress. You do sports, but weight does not go down. It was clearly proved that weight loss occurs only if the stimulatory factor is unusual for the body and muscles. The “unusual factor” is an overload or load, which exceeds the previous level. To create an overload, use a simple technique: a progressive increase in sets of each workout, a change of exercises, additional exercises that you have not done before.
How to get out of a training plateau?
The most effective way out of such a state is interval HIIT training. It will quickly shake the body and promote weight loss.
- An overload (the shocking principle).
- Interval training.
- Caloric intake increase.
- Increase in the number of resting days between workouts for one muscle group. Give your muscles enough time to recover.
- A change in a training program.
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Sincerely, Elena Power.