The weight may drop at the start of a new diet, but most people find that it starts to level off and it becomes difficult to lose more weight.
This is simply due to a process called a weight loss plateau, and this bodily function makes it extremely difficult to maintain weight loss which is partly why 95% of diets fail.
This is quite frustrating when you stop losing weight but you haven’t reached your target weight yet.
So is there anything you can do about it?
British Express spoke with Dr. Deborah Lee of Dr Fox’s online pharmacy and Sandra Roycroft Davis, weight-loss behaviorist and creator of the Slimpod program, to find out what to do when weight loss begins to stabilize.
Dr. Lee explained that a weight loss plateau is perfectly normal, “Your body is doing its best to thwart your attempts to lose weight. In fact, for every kilogram of weight you lose, your daily calorie expenditure decreases by 20-30% per day, while your appetite increases by an amount “100 calories a day is higher than it was before you started your diet. This means that weight loss is lost relatively easily at the beginning of the diet, but it becomes more difficult to lose over time.”
Weight loss plateau “normal bodily function simply means maintaining weight loss after the end of the diet which is very difficult to achieve,” says Dr. Lee.
So, it’s time to make healthy lifestyle changes to keep your weight loss journey flowing. Here are the eight things that can slow down weight loss, besides plateauing.
Not getting enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep has a significant impact on weight. “Studies in which sleep was restricted have shown an increase in ghrelin levels, a decrease in leptin levels, an increase in chronic inflammation, and a decrease in insulin sensitivity. Ghrelin Leptin is one of the hunger hormones. Obesity also increases the risk of various sleep disorders, including sleep apnea.”
Not drinking enough water
Although water does not help you lose weight faster, if you are dehydrated it is not good for your health, and you can confuse feeling thirsty with hunger.
So we should all drink at least two liters of water a day.
Dr. Lee added: ‘Having a glass of water before each meal will help you feel full.
Not getting enough exercise
Weight loss programs are generally more effective in terms of weight loss if they are followed in conjunction with increased levels of physical exercise, rather than simply using calorie restriction alone.
“The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 200 to 300 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise for those who want to lose weight. These 30 to 60 minutes of exercise should be taken on most days of the week,” Lee explained.
“Exercise improves cardio and respiratory fitness and also helps with weight loss,” she noted, and you should take in fewer calories and expend more energy. “The key here is to avoid sitting still and not moving,” according to Dr. Lee.
She revealed that a fitness routine does not have to include an expensive gym, as Dr. Lee stresses that doing housework and gardening can suffice.
Regular brisk walking and any activities that challenge the cardiovascular system can also be done.
Not being honest about what you eat
People tend to underestimate the calories they eat, and then overestimate the amount of exercise they do.
According to Dr. Lee, the only way to keep this on track is to keep an accurate food diary. She explained: “Be careful when controlling portions to make sure you don’t overeat…be honest about what’s in your mouth and put it in your food diary, and you’ll be surprised at the end of the week.”
Not having enough fiber in your diet
Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that is passed out in the stool unchanged, so it is essential for your digestive system.
Dr. Lee said: “Fiber secretes intestinal contents and stimulates the intestinal wall to keep things moving at the right speed. Too little fiber leads to reduced bowel motility and constipation, but enough fiber speeds up the passage of food and softens stools.”
Fiber also helps reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the intestine.
Don’t do it alone – join a weight loss group
Medical studies suggest that you are more likely to lose and maintain weight if you have peer support.
“Being in a weight loss group creates a sense of community, with all the other attendees having similar problems and goals,” Dr. Lee explained.
Not eating enough protein
If you don’t eat enough protein, it can make you hungry and stop weight loss.
“The metabolic pathway of protein digestion consumes more calories than those of fats and carbohydrates. If you are on a high protein diet, this can speed up your calorie intake by 80 to 100 calories per day, compared to eating a low-protein diet,” Dr. Lee noted. protein”.
Eating the wrong carbohydrates
Choose low-GI carbohydrates, as these release energy slowly, so they help you feel fuller for longer.
Foods with a high glycemic index such as white foods, white bread, white rice and white pasta should be avoided. As well as cakes, biscuits and sweets.