Simple Ways to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau
Weight Loss Plateau:
- If you’ve been following the same diet and exercise routine for months and haven’t seen any progress in your weight loss, then you may be hitting a plateau.
- Plateaus are actually fairly common among those who are trying to lose weight, as your body will eventually become accustomed to your calorie deficit and resist changes to its current weight level.
- If you’re stuck at the same weight level month after month, here are some simple ways to break through a weight loss plateau and continue on the path towards your goal weight.
1) Change Up Your Diet
Weight Loss Plateau is one of the easiest ways to jump-start weight loss is by changing up your diet. When you do, your body has no choice but to start burning fat for energy.
In fact, you may notice more changes in your body than just weight loss—you may see an increase in how much energy you have and how many times a day you feel hungry or thirsty, too.
This is because even though calorie counts can help put things into perspective, certain macro- and micronutrients also play key roles in determining whether our bodies maintain their weight or lose it.
Don’t be afraid of making these tweaks—if anything, they’ll only benefit your metabolism by increasing its efficiency as it burns calories (and stores them) more efficiently than before.
2) Get Enough Sleep
One of our favorite weight loss tips is from research conducted at the University of Chicago in 2009. Subjects were divided into two groups and each group was given a low-calorie diet plan.
The first group was told to sleep as much as they wanted, while getting eight hours’ worth every night. The second group had their sleep restricted so that they were only allowed four hours’ worth on weeknights and six hours on weekends.
At first, both groups lost about four pounds per week…but then something interesting happened: During weeks five through twelve, when participants weren’t losing weight anymore (as expected).
Those in part one lost an additional pound or two, while part two’s number stayed stagnant—even though they were eating exactly what they did before with zero changes!
3) Add Cardio and Strength Training
Adding more exercise will help you burn more calories, and could be just what you need to finally shed those last few pounds.
Start with one more cardio workout per week, and make sure your strength training regimen is properly balanced for maximum calorie burn.
If that doesn’t break your plateau, add in some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts on top of your cardio sessions once or twice per week.
Researchers at McMaster University found that two HIIT workouts on alternate days were enough to cause exercisers who already exercised regularly and had good cardiovascular fitness (as measured by VO2 max) to increase their calorie-burning rate significantly.
If you still aren’t seeing results after these changes, it may be time for something more drastic—like an easier diet or a new approach altogether!
4) Revamp Your Supplement Routine
If you’re hitting a plateau, it could be because your supplement routine needs an overhaul. Failing to take vitamins and minerals is one of the easiest ways to run into trouble on your weight-loss journey.
I work with a lot of clients who have amazing diet plans and exercise routines, but they have one thing missing—vitamins, says Mike Roussell, PhD, author of The Roussell Diet. The average person may be getting only 20 percent of their daily vitamin needs.
If you want to hit your goal weight faster than ever before and maintain it for good, make sure that you are taking advantage of all vitamins at every meal! A multivitamin will help fill in any gaps in your diet that might have caused you to gain weight in the first place.
5) Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can be used for both losing weight and gaining muscle. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should definitely consider it.
It’s really simple: give yourself a window of time (typically 8 hours) in which you fast and do not eat. During that time period, do whatever you want (within reason).
It doesn’t matter if you fast at night or during your morning commute; just pick a window of time when your schedule allows it.
This will make intermittent fasting easier since there won’t be any major changes to your daily routine. For more details on how to get started with intermittent fasting, read this post by my friend Ben Greenfield.
6) Alternate BCAAs & EAA Stack with Meals
Amino acids are one of your body’s most effective sources of fuel, and they’re essential for muscle growth and preservation.
Adding BCAAs and EAAs (essential amino acids) to your diet can help you break through weight loss plateaus. BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, such as leucine and valine, are particularly important during fasted training as they provide energy directly to working muscles instead of being stored as fat.
To lose weight safely but quickly, replace a meal with BCAA or EAA powder between workout sessions.
You could also take an extra serving before training on days when you don’t have time for meals—this is especially helpful if you typically struggle with morning workouts.
7) Adjust Water Intake
If you feel like your weight loss is stalling, check in with how much water you’re drinking. Our bodies are largely made of water (roughly 60 percent) and yet many of us are chronically dehydrated.
Aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses per day and you’ll see an instant impact when it comes to appetite control, as well as energy levels and mood.
Dehydration can also increase feelings of hunger by lowering blood sugar levels. Eating more fruits and vegetables will give you a great boost of both staying hydrated, while providing lean-muscle-building nutrients at the same time.
8) Eat Whole Food Snacks Between Meals
Snacking doesn’t have to equal junk food. In fact, it can be an easy way to fill up your stomach without completely sabotaging your healthy eating goals.
If you’re trying to lose weight, try snacking on baby carrots or apples between meals. It’s still filling and contains far fewer calories than even regular potato chips!
If you need ideas for other healthy snacks that won’t derail your diet, try these 10 High-Protein Snacks That Are Good for Your Waistline! To make things easier for yourself, whip up a batch of homemade trail mix using nuts, seeds, dried fruit and dark chocolate.
Alternatively, yogurt with some granola is also delicious! If you find yourself hungry at lunchtime but don’t want to head out in the cold (or order in), some vegetables dipped in hummus are also perfect alternatives to fast food options.