Plateaus are the most common issue faced by people who are on a weight loss journey. If you’ve been losing weight and you suddenly find that your weight is staying the same after a few weeks, you need to revisit the amount of calories you are eating.
Yes, this goes back to my previous discussion on calorie counting. Let’s face it, it’s not fun, and it can get very tedious and boring, but chances are that you are not eating enough at your new weight, so you will need to recalculate your new BMR and work out if you’re eating enough.
This is why it is important to be aware of your calorie intake. You don’t need to do it forever, after a while, you will know how much food you need to fuel your body, and then you can go back to counting calories if you plateau. Think of calorie counting as a safety net you can fall back on if you need to adjust your food intake to ensure your body is receiving optimum fueling
Most people, when on a weight loss plateau, will do what “seems” logical, eat fewer calories and exercise more. This is not necessarily true. We need to remember that our bodies need to be fed the right amount of fuel, just as we expect our cars to perform their best when they have enough fuel!
At this stage, you may also want to include a couple of sessions of weight training to help build your lean muscle mass. Cardio is great for burning calories, but if you are doing cardio only workouts over a long period of time; this may result in muscle loss. So to help prevent this from happening, you need to work your muscles! Remember muscle burns fat, the more lean muscle you have the higher your metabolism! Who doesn’t want their body to be a fat burning machine?!?! 😉
Not only will muscle help you lose weight it will also help you maintain weight once you reach your weight loss goal! Also, if you have been on fad diets in the past, it is very likely that you have lost muscle along the way as a result of not fuelling your body with enough food. It will take a while for you to regain lost muscle, but you need to replace it, as this will help restore a higher rate of metabolism.
So to recap, if you find yourself on a weight loss plateau, recalculate your BMR. I use Fat to Fit’s BMR calculator because it also incorporates exercise calories into its calculation. Start incorporating a weight training session or two into your weekly exercise regime!