Written by Lisa Allen, MD
You have probably been on your diet for a few months now and shed a whole load of pounds, but these past couple of weeks they just are not coming off as easily. This is known commonly as a weight loss plateau, and causes many people to give up on their diet due to a lack of motivation.
Overcoming a weight loss plateau is relatively easy and can do wonders for your motivation. What has happened is that your body has adjusted to the new calorie intake and so your metabolic rate has lowered, meaning that you now burn fewer calories off.
The way to overcome a weight loss plateau is to shake things up with the diet, so your brain does not know when to expect the next source of food and so increases the metabolic rate. Here are some methods that will help you to do this without feeling hungry:
1. Eat a lot of Calories
No, not every day. That will just lead to you putting all of the weight you lost back on but try to have a high calorie meal once a week. Your mind will get confused about what is happening in terms of your diet. This will lead to your metabolic rate increasing to deal with the intake of food, and stay that way until your brain figures out what is going on again and lowers the metabolic rate.
You probably remember the word homeostasis from biology lessons long ago – it’s the process by which the body keeps the internal systems of your body constant. It applies to food consumption, too. The body makes the adjustments to keep your weight the same, but it takes several weeks for the initial changes to happen. This is not a dieter’s friend, so overcoming this by increasing your calorie intake for one day a week can really help in beating a weight loss plateau and getting back on track.
2. Mix it up
After this length of time on your diet, you are probably getting bored of having the same low calorie meals time after time. Although this does not help much with overcoming the plateau, biologically, it can do wonders mentally as it helps to improve your motivation and enjoyment of the diet. Try to do some research on meals that have the same calorie and fat content but are different to what you have been eating. Keep it healthy and it will keep you healthy, too.
3. Take a Break
Before you read further, I’m going to add a warning here. If you were considering giving up anyway, don’t do this option because you may find it too difficult to get back on the horse, as it were, and continue with your diet.
Taking a break, much like eating a meal a week which is high in calories causes the body to readjust to the new calorific intake and raise the metabolic rate in order to digest the food. Rather than taking a proper break, you may want to consider keeping it healthy but just increasing the calories or amount that you eat for two to four days. This gives the body enough time to change the metabolic rate, while keeping you fit.
4. Push on With It
Some people may find it hard to add variation to their diet and have one big meal because they may feel like they have failed. If this is you, then you could try an alternative to push through a weight loss plateau, such as an appetite suppressant, such as Phen375. This will help you lower your calorie intake slightly more (remember to keep ingesting a healthy amount of calories) and get you through the plateau.