If you have been working on losing weight, your journey would not have been easy. You would have had to make many changes in your diet - sacrificing your favourite treats and eating more nutritious foods. You must have also had to exercise regularly and not allow yourself to give up. It is evident that a lot of effort goes into shedding those extra kilos. But has your hard work stopped paying off? Is your weight stuck at the same point despite all the right steps being taken? A possible reason is that you have reached what is known as a "weight loss plateau."
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What Is A Weight Loss Plateau?
A weight plateau means difficulty in losing weight after initially being successful in doing so. When you manage to shed some kilos but then find your weight to be stuck at a certain point (despite continuing with weight loss efforts), it can be said you have hit a plateau. It can be really discouraging to hit this point, as your actions seem to have no effect. But don't lose hope! There can be a number of reasons for a weight plateau, related to your metabolism, diet, exercise and general lifestyle. Here are 6 key ones that were recently outlined by celebrity nutritionist Nmami Agarwal:
6 Possible Factors Behind A Weight Loss Plateau, As Told By A Nutritionist:
It's not just the quantity of sleep that counts, but quality too. Poor sleep can result in a weight loss plateau.
Stress has a detrimental effect on your well-being and is bound to affect your weight too. It is important to reduce stress if you want to overcome a weight loss plateau and also stay healthy in the long run.
When your intake of calories is equal to the amount you are burning, you have reached a calorie equilibrium. Hence, your weight does not change any further.
As a result of your fitness regime, you may be gaining muscle mass and losing fat, although your weight remains the same. Nmami says that you needn't worry at all as this is a good sign.
It is possible that "your body has become used to your workout and it is not being pushed enough," says Nmami. Hence, "you may need to change the intensity or duration of your workout," she adds.
The nutritionist says that your weight may be stuck because "your body has gone into protective mode where it wants to keep the little fat. So, give it time."
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How To Get Over A Weight Loss Plateau?
First, assess the situation carefully and try identifying what is causing your weight to plateau. You must also remember that weight loss beyond a point can become unhealthy. Don't get carried away by unrealistic aims. But if you have truly hit a plateau and need to overcome it, here are a few strategies that may help:
1. Increase protein and fibre intake.
2. Eat less carbs and cut down on alcohol.
3. Revise your workout to suit your present needs and challenge yourself (moderately).
4. Maintain a food journal and be more mindful of what (and how much) you consume.
5. Ensure you get adequate, undisturbed sleep.
Weight loss does not come easy, but we hope these facts will help you understand your body better. All the best!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.