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Have You Hit a Weight Loss Plateau?

Weight Loss Plateau

You’ve been working out hard and doing everything right — cardio, strength training and dieting — but suddenly all progress has come to an halt. Why aren’t you losing any more weight? The answer is simple. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the energy required to keep your heart pumping and other vital functions going when your body is at rest has decreased.

BMR decreases as your body mass decreases from losing body fat. For example, you weigh 125 pounds and eat 1,800 calories a day. To lose about a pound a week, you would need to cut about 500 calories from your diet a day. So you begin to eat about 1,300 calories a day and the weight is coming off nicely. Two months go by, and suddenly your weight refuses to budge and you’re not seeing a huge physical difference in the mirror. This happened because along with your fat loss, your BMR has declined. Where your body used to burn 1280 calories a day, now it’s only burning 1,100 calories a day.

At this lower weight, there’s less of you to move around, so you burn fewer calories doing the same workout. Your calorie expenditure is close to or slightly less than what you’re taking in, and thus you’ve hit a weight loss plateau.

Although you feel stuck, you’re probably still losing fat and weight, just not enough to show on the scale. Instead of losing a pound per week, now it’s probably closer to a third of a pound.

Watch the Calories and Increase Activity
To beat the weight loss plateau you’ll need to closely watch what you eat. Look for places that calories tend to hide such as dressings, sauces, and condiments. If cutting out any more food isn’t an option, you’ll need to up your workout activity. Remember that for each pound you want to lose, you’ll need to cut at least 3,500 a week, Adding an extra 10-15 minutes to your daily treadmill run should do the trick.

Add More Resistance
Another way to boost your BMR is to increase your resistance training. Increasing your muscle mass as you lose body fat can compensate for the decline in BMR induced by weight loss. The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR.

Keep up the healthy eating and physical activity and you’ll have the body you’re looking for in no time!

  • yume

    Great tips. I’ll let you know when I’ve hit this stage. Right now I just need to hit the gym more and lay off the junk food. :p

  • heartofjosh

    I’d advise to take a multivitamin when you’re cutting foods from your diet. Ensures that you’re getting everything you need to lose weight.

  • David

    3500 calories to burn a week, burn baby burn!

  • AllaN

    Very helpful tips, these are great posts! Increasing the amount you work out or intesity should be easier than finding where to cut out calories.

  • duperpok

    To help reduce food intake, try having a heavy breakfast. It’ll prevent you from eating excessively for lunch and dinner!

  • Kase

    Awesome tips. I haven’t hit the plateau, yet. The more intense the workout, the more you burn calories. Instead of eating just 3 meals a day, eat 5-6 meals a day. but have the meals in smaller portion than you normally would. Eat until you’re satisfied, not unitl you’re full. This way, you won’t get hungry and over eat. Did I mention eat healthy, too? =)

  • lilkitty

    Stop worry about weight and just enjoy life! :D

  • http://www.erapo.szm.sk Lenka

    “To help reduce food intake, try having a heavy breakfast. It’ll prevent you from eating excessively for lunch and dinner!”

    i dont have any breakfast and i am very slim

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  • http://www.defibrion.nl/ AED kopen

    Losing calories is very important for you to have a healthy and lean body. But usually by doing that there are some things that can be helpful in doing that and one example is walking. Now, with that day to day activity you may not only increase the loss of your burn calories but also you will have some more options to be able to lose some of them.

  • Mcdk

    id beat