Weight Management
Apr 8, 2021

How to beat weight loss plateau

Breaking through a weight-loss plateau often seems like a lost cause. No matter how hard you try, the weight just refuses to budge. We agree with you that it gets frustrating sometimes! For many of us, it is that discouraging point where we are about to give up. But then what’s the point in taking a battle if you can’t put up a good fight? Hitting a weight loss plateau is completely normal and there are ways with which you can overcome it.

As they say, the devil lies in details. Take weight loss plateau as a good time to rethink and reboot your fitness plan — diet as well as a workout routine. Losing weight, in general, lowers your body’s energy needs, which causes your metabolism to slow down. By paying attention to your calorie intake and how many you are burning can help you knock off the weight loss plateau. Make your workout plan more diverse in terms of exercises and back it with a good meal plan that is nutritious and aids in weight-loss.

weight loss plateau
The inability to lose weight, despite following a diet & exercise plan, is known as weight-loss plateau.

What is a weight loss plateau?

When people start following a diet and exercise plan, they may experience positive results in the initial period, which means losing weight at a steady rate. But after a while, many people reach a point where they stop losing weight. And despite dietary changes and exercise, their weight remains the same and refuses to budge.

To hit a weight loss plateau where your weight refuses to go further down becomes a cause of frustration for most weight-loss seekers. This inability to lose weight is known as weight loss plateau or stall and it can be quite discouraging. Often many people abandon their weight loss plan due to this problem of weight loss plateau.

How to start a weight loss journey the right way in order to avoid weight loss plateau?

Weight loss plateau is a common phenomenon. It happens with most people who are trying to lose weight, so one should not feel disheartened or demotivated. Weight loss plateau should be seen as a time to bring a change in your weight-loss strategies and push your mental and physical limits. Time to retrospect and re-align your vision for a perfect mind-body-soul balance.

Consistency is the best way out! Follow your diet plan and workout routine religiously. Never pick a fad diet as a weight loss plateau breaker. The healthiest way of getting over a weight loss plateau is to follow a sustainable balanced diet plan, which can be tweaked or changed from time to time according to the new or changing needs of your body.

How to break the weight loss plateau?

Our body is way smarter than we can imagine. When we begin exercising for the first time, we may feel a little shaky or more tired than usual. But as you exercise every day, you may notice that exercising starts feeling better. This is your body learning how to perform an exercise, simultaneously figuring out which muscle to recruit and which to relax for better coordination.

Over a period of time, your body becomes more efficient. It burns less energy doing any given workout. Fewer calorie burnt translates to weight loss plateau. The cleverest weight loss breaker is a progressive mindset. Challenge yourself — no matter how fit you get! Every three to four weeks, reboot your workout regime — frequency, intensity & type.

Another excellent weight loss plateau breaker is to focus on muscle mass. Calorie counting or cutting down fat won’t help you as much as a diet & exercise plan that helps you build muscle mass. A pound of muscle mass is more metabolically active than a pound of fat. So increasing muscle mass can help you burn more calories.

Moreover, do not get discouraged if you hit a weight loss plateau. It may also mean that your body is adapting to a new set point — a point where your body feels its comfortable best. So be patient and never make the request of going less than 1200 calories without medical supervision just for the sake of getting over a weight loss plateau.

Remember the scale doesn’t tell about your overall health. From gut health to strong immunity and better sleep, do not underestimate the other positive markers of good health. You must acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments in terms of a healthy lifestyle.

6 EASY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAU SOLUTIONS

weight loss plateau

1. Bring in more complex carbs & fiber

You have already pushed simple carbs out of your meal plan and it has brought positive results on the scale. Now it’s time to include more complex carbs in your diet in order to control your calorie intake. Complex carbs have more nutrients and take longer for your body to digest. So they keep you feeling full for longer as well as keep blood sugar levels steady. In addition, complex carbohydrates offer a great mix of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Fiber-rich food also helps you lose weight and keep it off long-term. It boosts your digestion and aids in keeping your portion size under control.

How to do it — Go for Complex Carbs such as Buckwheat, Steel cut oats with milk in the morning, whole barley, and dalia. For more Fibre you can look at foods such as Green Leafy Vegetables and water-rich fruits and veggies such as cucumber, watermelon, bottle gourd, pineapple, and tomato.

weight loss plateau solutions

2. Get smart with your workout

For most of us, losing weight means looking slimmer or thinner! But that’s not what weight loss is all about. The focus should always be on losing fat and gaining more Lean Muscle Mass. Firstly, it helps you burn more calories; secondly, it helps improve your body’s metabolic rate, which is your body’s ability to burn calories in a resting state. Bring in some diversity in your workout regimen. It is one of the smartest weight loss plateau solutions. Introduce new forms of exercises as doing the same workouts over and over reduces makes the body accustomed to those exercises. As a result, you burn far fewer calories than when you started. Slowly and gradually, increase the duration of your workout.

How to do it — Think of strength training, high-intensity workout (HIIT), eccentric training, etc. These exercises help increase the afterburn effect.

weight loss plateau solutions

3. Push with Protein

You already know that protein is good for your muscles. Here’s one more reason to amp your protein intake. Protein digestion boosts calorie burning by 20–30%, which is more than twice as much as fat or carbs. One of the most easily doable weight loss plateau solutions, it also helps maintain muscle mass and prevent a drop in metabolic rate. Increasing your protein portion would also help minimize your carb intake.

How to do it — The 15 minutes window post-workout is critical and 23g protein is needed which you can have from protein-rich foods like Channa(1 tbsp) + Buttermilk(1 glass); Paneer(120 g) with Lemon; Sattu (4 tbsp) with water. The right combination is crucial such as Dal + Chawal; Moong Dal Cheela + Curd and Vegetable Quinoa.

4. Manage Stress

Stress increases the cortisol levels, which are tied to excess weight and belly fat. In addition, higher cortisol levels stimulate hunger, particularly for junk food. Also when stressed, you are more likely to give in to cravings.

How to do it — You have to approach stress in different ways in order to manage or reduce it — take out 'me time'; be in the present; do not do multi-tasking; spend time on your hobby; light up Camphor or Lavender Oil, or have Ashwagandha capsule(1) before bedtime, which works as a great weight loss plateau breaker.

getting over a weight loss plateau

5. Add more calories

Feeling puzzled? Don’t be. It takes calories to burn calories. This is an effective way of getting over a weight loss plateau. When you are on a calorie restraint diet, your body gets into survival mode, which means the body starts storing fat. Also, the decreased food intake lowers the body’s metabolic rate in response. You need to provide fuel (food) to the body in order to get it out of survival mode.

How to do it — Don’t take less than 800kcals. Add 200 kcals in the diet from the Lentil family or from Whole grains. So if have been taking 800kcals then start taking 1000kcal or if you are consuming 1000kcal then start having 1200kcals. Your total calories should not be less than 1200kcals. Increase the workout simultaneously to break the plateau.

getting over a weight loss plateau

6. Sleep well for a slimmer waistline

Studies have shown that those who sleep better eat better. Indeed, sleep is the ultimate weight loss plateau breaker. Sleep deprivation can throw your hormones out of whack and makes you crave unhealthy food. When you sleep deprived, you are more likely to pick high-fat foods. Improper sleep patterns lead to weight gain. Also, having fixed sleep timings helps in stabilizing the hunger hormone.

How to do it — Don’t take your mobile or laptop to bed. Concentrating on your breaths while deep breathing could help fall asleep faster.

The Fast Metabolism Diet Plan

On waking up (within 30 minutes): Oil pulling + 1 litre of water + 1 tsp wheatgrass powder + 5 almonds (soaked) + 3 walnuts (soaked)

Breakfast: 1 Moong Dal Cheela + 1 bowl Veggies + Green Chutney

Mid-morning: 1 glass vegetable juice + 1 tsp chia seeds (soaked)

Lunch: 1 bowl Dal and Rice + 1 bowl veggies

4pm: 1 glass Buttermilk + 1 tsp pumpkin seeds

6pm: Vegetable Uttapm + 1 tsp Coconut chutney

Dinner 8–9 pm: 1 bowl vegetable quinoa biryani + gheeya/lauki raita + veggies

Before bedtime: 1 cup methi dana water

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FAQs:

What is a weight loss plateau?

When people start following a diet and exercise plan, they may experience positive results in the initial period, which means losing weight at a steady rate. But after a while, many people reach a point where they stop losing weight. And despite dietary changes and exercise, their weight remains the same and refuses to budge - this is when they have hit a weight loss plateau. 

How can we break the weight loss plateau?

The best weight loss breaker is a progressive mindset. Challenge yourself , no matter how fit you get. Every few weeks, reboot your workout regime  in terms of frequency, intensity & type. Another excellent weight loss plateau breaker is to focus on muscle mass. Calorie counting or cutting down fat won’t help you as much as a diet & exercise plan that helps you build muscle mass. A pound of muscle mass is more metabolically active than a pound of fat. So increasing muscle mass can help you burn more calories.

Does stress cause you to enter the weight loss plateau? 

Yes, it can be a contributor. Stress increases the cortisol levels, which are tied to excess weight and belly fat. In addition, higher cortisol levels stimulate hunger, particularly for junk food. Also when stressed, you are more likely to give in to cravings.

What should you eat to contain the weight loss plateau?

Add more complex carbs and fibre to your diet. This helps control your calorie intake. Complex carbs have more nutrients and take longer for your body to digest. So they keep you feeling full for longer as well as keep blood sugar levels steady. In addition, complex carbohydrates offer a great mix of fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. Fibre-rich food also helps you lose weight and keep it off long-term. It boosts your digestion and aids in keeping your portion size under control.

Should you increase protein to deal with weight loss plateau?

Protein digestion boosts calorie burning by 20–30%, which is more than twice as much as fat or carbs. One of the most easily doable weight loss plateau solutions, it also helps maintain muscle mass and prevent a drop in metabolic rate. Increasing your protein portion would also help minimise your carb intake.

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