Almost everyone who has ever committed to a weight loss routine long term has run into the dreaded problem of the plateau. You’ve At one point or another, you’ve been chugging along, following your meal plan and hitting the gym while seeing success every week and then, all of a sudden the scale starts refusing to cooperate. I’ve shared tips for breaking through plateaus before, but I was thinking more about this topic recently and realized I had a few had more ideas to share.
The most important thing to note is that weight loss isn’t linear. When you lose for a long time, you will notice that sometimes weight loss will slow down and then suddenly you’ll be losing a pound a day for a few days. You aren’t in a plateau until you have gone 3+ weeks with no weight loss while carefully tracking what you eat. Oftentimes plateaus are just the result of people underestimating the calories they’re consuming or overestimating how much they’re burning through exercise.
Regardless, plateaus do occasionally happen and they can be incredibly frustrating. If you are positive you are doing everything right, the best advice is probably just to stay the course. You will lose the weight eventually. But if you feel like you need to do something to get the scale moving for some added motivation, here are a few things that might work:
Drink more water
Hydration is important for all bodily functions, it will help your workouts and it will help you flush excess sodium which should get the scale moving if you have been a bit dehydrated.
Get more sleep
So far this reads like a boring list of general health tips but truthfully it is the best way to approach the problem. Simple solutions are usually the best. If you aren’t getting enough sleep your body isn’t going to be functioning at its best. Not getting enough sleep will slow down your workouts, make you hungrier, and it can have adverse effects on your metabolism.
Eat a little more
This one is counterintuitive but it is one of the top anecdotal tips you will hear on the subject. Sometimes if you are restricting too much for too long your hormones can get out of whack. Assuming you don’t have a serious problem that would require a doctor, eating more and focusing on better complete nutrition could get your body functioning better. Increase your intake by 10-20% and get the additional calories from foods rich in micronutrients.
There are countless more tips out there. But the best advice is to not worry about it too much. We get so obsessed with a number on the scale when really that is just a tiny piece of the overall puzzle. Just try to be as healthy as you can and the results will come.