Understanding Weight Loss Plateaus

Understanding Weight Loss PlateausSometimes after a period of steady weight loss, the scale stops moving. Without making any conscious changes to your diet and exercise habits, your weight loss halts. This is known as a weight loss plateau.

In nature, a plateau is a flat and expansive piece of land that contrasts with the surrounding landscape. During your weight loss program, a plateau can be a frustrating period that may test your will to continue striving toward your ultimate weight loss goal.

You can take several steps to push past a weight loss plateau. Do not let a temporary standstill dissuade you from reaching for your goals. A plateau is an opportunity to re-connect with your weight loss center and develop a new strategy to help you continue losing weight.

Why Plateaus Happen

A weight loss plateau is one of the more common obstacles encountered during any weight loss program. When you start your weight loss program, cutting even a moderate level of calories and exercising lightly may result in weight loss.

As you lose weight, your body’s needs change. To continue losing weight, you need to make adjustments to your eating and exercise habits.

Overcoming a weight loss plateau may require:

  • Dietary changes: This may include slight changes to your meal replacement plan, reduced calorie intake and food substitutions.
  • Exercise changes: Increasing the amount and the intensity of your current activity level can help you burn more calories.
  • Medication changes: Changing the type or dosage of current weight loss medications, or introducing weight loss medications can help you push past a plateau.
  • Behavioral changes: Addressing current habits and finding ways to make small improvements may encourage further weight loss.

Each of these factors will contribute to small improvements in weight loss efforts. When combined, they can help you manage weight loss long-term.

Assessing Habits and Moving Forward

A weight loss plateau is an opportunity to re-assess your progress and determine what other changes you can make to your behavior, eating and exercise habits. In many cases, as we adjust to a healthier lifestyle, the habits we developed to encourage weight loss start to falter. A plateau is an opportunity to evaluate what changes you’ve made, and how those changes are holding up in your day to day life.

When you encounter a plateau, consider:

  • Your sleeping habits
  • How much water you drink daily
  • Snacking habits
  • Portion sizes
  • Daily activity level
  • How you are managing stress

Take a weight loss plateau as a chance to re-focus your weight loss efforts by making small adjustments to behaviors like these. Your weight loss doctor can help you develop a new strategy for continuing towards your wellness goals after reaching a plateau.

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