Probably the most frustrating aspects of weight loss is reaching a weight loss plateau. Thankfully, breaking the weight reduction plateau is a relatively simple task knowing what causes it. When we first undertake a weight loss goal we tend to get rid of a lot of weight initially then the quantity slowly declines over a period of weeks or even months until we reach the point where we stop losing weight altogether, and it’s really not that we don’t need to lose excess fat either. This is referred to as a weight loss plateau. You know you’re doing all of the right things but you’re simply not losing the weight. In the first 7 days of your program you tend to lose the largest amount of weight. Much of the loss this first week is in fact excess fluid and can constitute as much as 9 lb (4 kg) or even more depending on your starting weight. Fluid loss can represent as much as 50% of total weight lost within the first week. There are several factors that will contribute to a weight loss plateau which includes (but not limited to);
Insufficient Calories Consumed
Lack Of Discipline
Enhanced Physical fitness Levels
Lets deal with these one-by-one.
Insufficient Calories Consumed The human body requires a MINIMUM of 1200 calories per day to function. If you consume less than that (on a crash diet for example), the body will interpret that as being within a famine and will reduce your metabolism (the bodies ability to burn calories) to be able to protect itself and be able to survive longer. This will stop it from burning fat stores. Remedy: Maintain a reasonable calorie consumption. Use a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculator to find out how many calories your body requires daily to maintain itself. Once you have determined around how many calories your body requires to operate, reduce you calorie consumption to 500-700 calories less than that without not making it 1200 calories. More than a 700 caloric deficit may lead to muscle loss which is the next cause of a weight loss plateau.
Muscle Loss All bodily cells requires energy to maintain itself, which includes fat. Muscle requires FIVE INSTANCES the amount of energy to maintain itself compared to fat does. The higher the muscle mass percentage in your body the greater your calorie needs. Unfortunately, diets sometimes result in muscle loss. The bodies principal source of energy is carbohydrates, followed by proteins then fat. Your muscles are made of protein so if your body runs out of carbs it may turn to muscle as an energy source if those muscles are simply no being maintained by exercise. However, muscle loss leads to a lower metabolic process. Solution: Eat a diet rich in proteins and exercise in conjunction with your decreased calorie diet to maintain muscle mass and stop muscle loss. If necessary, vitamin supplements might be utilized to ensure correct nutrition.
Weight reduction Huh? Isn’t losing weight the whole stage? Yes it is! But as you lose weight the number of calories your body requires to keep itself also reduces. As mentioned previously, even fat needs calories to maintain itself. Solution: As you lose weight, look at your BMR regularly to see how many unhealthy calories your body requires per day and maintain a calorie consumption around 500 calories lower than that. But remember, don’t consume lower than 1200 calories.
Lack Of Discipline After several weeks of a new weight loss program many people tend to lose focus. They start indulging their cravings for unhealthy foods more than they should and they cut corners on exercise, skipping one day beneath the pretense of exercising twice as much the next day etc . This decreases the BMR and increases calorie intake which usually effectively stops weight loss. Solution: Staying motivated during a weight loss program can be a problem. One of the best ways to overcome this issue is to find a weight loss buddy. Having anyone to exercise with and be answerable in order to can be an effective motivator. Another great motivational tool is a printable weight loss goal setting tools worksheet. Print it out, fill it out and place it for the fridge, where you will see it frequently and it will remind you of whatever you are trying to achieve
Physical Adaptation The body adapt themselves to our calorie consumption and physical activity levels. When we begin an exercise regime, our body is required to make a number of changes to adjust to changing workloads. The muscles have to rebuild themselves which requires many calories. But , as time passes the body finishes adapting and can burn less calories for the same activities. Alternative: Don’t allow you body to adapt. Vary your exercise program by modifying the intensity, duration, frequency plus type of exercise. If you always do weights then go do some cardiovascular, grab a jump rope and miss for 15 minutes. You can also utilize interval training where you swap and change between different types of exercise for set amounts of period.
Exercise Ability Whenever you do an exercise frequently you become better at it as well as your body requires less calories to perform it. A trained athlete burns less calories playing their sport than someone who isn’t trained in that sport. Solution: Once again, don’t allow your body to adapt to a single exercise. Mix it up, if you’re always doing weights after that go for a run, switch from the home treadmill to a rowing machine etc .
Over Physical exercise If you exercise too much your body adapts and reaches a point where the additional energy consumed in exercise is offset by a DECREASE in the amount of energy utilized when not exercising. In other words, when you boost exercise intensity, your body decreases the number of calories consumed during the rest of your day. Solution: Allow yourself recovery period.
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Take a break for a few days with some low-impact exercise like swimming or tai chi. When you return to your normal exercise routine, pull back a little in support of increase intensity when needed to maintain weight reduction.