Weight Loss Plateau: Factors Impacting Your Weight Loss Journey
Are you facing a potential weight loss plateau? There are a few notable factors that can be hindering your weight loss success. This article goes over some of the most common factors that can impact your weight loss journey, but first let’s discuss if you are actually facing a plateau.
Are You Actually Facing A Weight Loss Plateau?
It can be misunderstood when a person says they’ve hit a plateau when in fact they haven’t. At our clinic, we do a deep overview of lifestyle, diet and hormones to see what is affecting their weight from potentially changing. Here are a few questions to first ask yourself:
- Are you consistent with your “diet” and exercise?
- What type of eating habits do you practice? Are you aware of your hunger cue’s? What is your appetite like? Do you feed into your appetite or hunger cue’s?
- Is your diet very restrictive? Do you binge eat? Do you under eat during the day then overeat in the evening?
- What is the intensity of your workouts like? Do you only go for walks or do you weight lift or jog?
- Could you be under eating? What type of nutritional approach or “diet” are you adhering to?
- How are you tracking your weight and circumference measurements? How often do you check and compare? Are you only tracking weight? Are you tracking fat and body fat %?
What is a Weight Loss Plateau?
We can define a weight loss plateau to be a prolonged stop in weight (pounds and % fat loss) along with body circumference measurements (hips, waist and bust measurements). A weight loss plateau would signify that the body is not responding (anymore) to diet and exercise.
Where to Start if You Suspect a Weight Loss Plateau
- First and foremost, identify how you are tracking your weight loss. Many people focus solely on the weighing scale; however, many factors can influence the fluctuation of weight, especially for women. It is equally important to write down measurements of your hips, waist and bust. Better yet, access a facility that has a body fat machine that can verbalize your body fat % (versus your actual body weight, water weight and muscle mass).
- Identify your eating habits and diet. Unfortunately, social media and many blogs online can portray and illustrate an unrealistic way of eating. As we state over and over again, every person is bio-individually unique and each body responds differently to portions (and when to consume them throughout the day) and even specific foods. With that, if you are unsure what your diet should look like that is ideal for you and your personal needs, we encourage you to book a free consult with one of our practitioners.
- Questions to ask yourself: Could you be under-eating? Could you be over-eating at night? Is your diet high in (healthy) fats or carbohydrates? Is your diet fairly “clean”? Also, do you understand what it means to have a “clean diet” or eat “well.” Perhaps you think you are eating healthy or “well” but it perhaps could be better.
- Identify your exercise routine. Inconsistency is a killer and will rob you of sustainable results. It is important to acknowledge what type of exercise you are doing and whether you have a high calorie expenditure or not (meaning, are you working out a low-intensity or high-intensity). A HIIT or tabata style workout can burn more calories to the minute, compared to a walk. However, what yields sustainable results and fat loss, is consistency. If you suspect a weight loss plateau, try to increase your intensity slightly (but also don’t overdo it!)
Facing an Actual Weight Loss Plateau
Say you’re consistent with moderate to high intensity exercise (and not overdoing it) and that you eat very well (with the understanding that you know what eating well consists of) and you can’t seem to shake fat loss, here are a few suggestions:
- Stress Management: environmental, emotional and physical. We work with clients at our clinic to ensure adrenal fatigue is not speculated as a cause of stubborn weight loss. Often times, apple-shaped physiques or stubborn mid-section weight, indicates adrenal fatigue and/or high cortisol levels. With a proper protocol from our practitioners, we can help overcome this issue. For more articles about stress and weight, read these articles.
- Thyroid issues. Stubborn weight can signify thyroid disorders. If you can’t seem to shake weight and have known or diagnosed thyroid issues, it may take a little longer to achieve your results. It does NOT mean you won’t get there, but you will have to gain insight about your diet and what foods work best for you. We help clients with thyroid disorders and would be happy to assist you with this. Book your free consult here to discuss more with a practitioner.
- Exercise vs. Diet. Finding the right balance between the 2 can be tricky. Are you exercising too much or too little? Are you eating too much or too little? How can you narrow down on the best balance for your specific body? It takes time and patience. Luckily, this is what we do and we would be happy to further discuss your needs with you.
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