If you’ve been working out and trying to lose weight for long enough, you will have inevitably met a plateau at one time or another. If you haven’t got there yet, you can rest assured that you will do some time soon.
Here I’m going to lay out some tips for working through a weight loss plateau, to ensure you continue to see results.
• Don’t panic – first of all, it’s important to not panic. Don’t do anything extreme, or get disheartened and give up. That will cause a plateau to become a failure, and it doesn’t need to be.
Give it at least 2-3 weeks to confirm you have indeed plateaued. Weight fluctuates, and it could easily have gone up or held steady for 1-2 weeks, without you doing anything wrong. Weight loss will often come in fits and spurts.
• Assess what you’ve been doing – Next up you need to look at exactly what you have been doing. Have you been following the plan as prescribed?
When you know what you have been doing, it is easy to see where you can make small adjustments and get back on track.
If you don’t measure and track your progress, you will never know exactly what is going on, and thus not know how to make changes to get going again.
• Add a greater calorie deficit – If you’ve not been losing weight for a few weeks, you should increase the size of your target calorie deficit. This often happens as you lose weight, your maintenance level of calories and metabolism drop a little, and your consumption needs to also drop to adjust with it.
You can increase the calorie deficit by being more active, or eating a little less – whichever is easier for you to do.
• Give it time – Finally, give whatever plan you are doing time to work. Weight loss is a long-term journey and it doesn’t all happen overnight.
Plateaus are perfectly natural, and to be expected. Keep following your plan, adjust as necessary, and you will get where you want to be in good time.