Roadblocks in the journey to a lean body are inevitable. This process is neither linear nor easy, and the path will have twists, curves and dips. The ability to determine why fat loss plateaus are occurring and having solutions ready to get you back in the right direction is critical for continued success.
It is important to first differentiate between progress slowing and an actual plateau. The larger weight losses that occur at the beginning of a lean body lifestyle change cannot be expected to infinitely continue. Unfortunately, the body resists weight loss as a protection mechanism and the defense will only increase as the pounds fall off. As long as weight is lost, whether one pound or ten, the fat loss program is working. Always remember, lean body programs are more successful in the long term if they are a slow, continuous process instead of a dramatic, sudden instance. Losing less than one pound every two weeks or a weight gain should be considered a plateau and changes can be made to bust through it.
The nutrition and exercise programming that helped with the first half of the journey to a lean body is rarely the same as will result in the end goal. The reason for this and the most typical cause of a plateau in fat loss is the effect of weight loss on decreasing resting metabolic rate. The body will not expel as much energy at rest as it’s former heavier self. As a result, either the amount of calories ingested every day will have to be decreased or the intensity of workouts will have to increase, or both.
Stress is also a common roadblock to weight loss. Not sleeping for a healthy amount and living in a period of high stress can really affect the hormonal system, rendering it detrimental to fat loss. Stress can also result in seeking relief from old comforts such as the fridge or cupboards. Openly discussing stress, pursuing healthy stress relieving activities like socializing and exercise and prioritizing sleep, possibly by adopting some habits to promote it, may be the key to unlocking the next step toward the body you dream of.
If these two solutions do not push you past the fat loss stagnation, strict monitoring of nutrition to check for calorie creep may be necessary. Calorie creep is a phenomenon in which more calories are eaten without being accounted for or even consciously regarded. Calorie creep can occur due to inaccurate portion sizes, choosing the wrong types of food or extra calories due to add-ons such as dressings or condiments. This is especially critical in the later stages of weight loss when every calorie in the energy balance is important. Keeping a food journal, in which EVERYTHING ingested is written down, can be helpful, as can precise measurement of food quantities.
Obtaining a lean body is not an easy task. Worst of all, it becomes more arduous as you progress. Therefore, periods of stasis in weight loss are bound to occur. The best method is to determine the underlying cause behind this plateau and implement a solution. However, it is essential, no matter what the results, to remain positive and stay consistent in the behaviors that lead to fat loss.