Weight loss plateaus can be really frustrating.
So much so that many individuals who reach a weight loss plateau tend to throw in the towel of their weight loss journey and quit their diet. This ultimately leads to them regaining all the weight they have lost and more.
A weight loss plateau is considered to be any point our weight loss stops i.e. our weight maintains.
If this occurs for a period of only days this could be considered a natural part of weight loss. However, if this occurs for more than a couple of weeks to months, we would consider this to be a genuine weight loss plateau and that something may need to change in order to continue further weight loss.
Genuine Weight Loss Plateau?
So, something to consider is – are you actually at a genuine weight loss plateau? How long have you been at a plateau?
If it is less than a week, you have probably been weighing yourself too frequently. We advise weighing yourself no more frequently than twice weekly. If you weight yourself too frequently you will capture the natural fluctuations in our weight caused by fluid retention, hormonal changes, bowel movements, water and food intake.
If your weight has not changed or you have even gained weight over a period of more than a week, you need to ask yourself if there have been any changes to that time period that are out of your normal routine?
Are You Being Consistent?
Look back and be honest with yourself, have you been implementing the lifestyle changes you were when you had been actively losing weight?
If you feel that these lifestyle changes are unsustainable long term you have a bigger problem on your hands.
For maintainable weight loss to be successful you need to be able to implement changes you feel can be lifelong because the minute you stop the changes that are causing weight loss and you return to your ‘old eating habits’ your weight loss will stop or more likely you will regain the weight you have lost.
At The Slimming Clinic our ethos is to support you in making diet and lifestyle changes that are going to be achievable and maintainable to give you a healthy weight for life. It is looking at your long term goal of sustained weight loss and being realistic of what diet and lifestyle changes you can maintain life long.
This way you can maintain the changes you make and continue to lose weight at a regular rate. An example of this may be cutting out snacks and just sticking to three main meals per week for a couple of weeks, then reducing the portions of those main meals for a couple of weeks, then increasing your daily weight loss activity so you walk at least 10,000 steps per day for a couple of weeks and then build on this increase in activity by adding in a 40-minute swimming session and so on.
The Bottom Line
We need to remind ourselves that weight loss is not a straightforward process. It is important not to go into panic mode if you are at a plateau that you ‘will no longer lose weight’.
This train of thought can lead individuals to either turn to extreme weight loss measures or throw in the towel and go back to their previous eating habits which caused them to gain the weight in the first place. Neither of these approaches we would recommend.
It is important to realise that weight loss plateaus or even small weight gains can be a completely normal part of a weight loss journey. They can show you are on a sustainable and realistic weight loss plan and allow our bodies time to reset and then, after some time, begin to lose weight again.
Plateaus aren’t forever and if you’re struggling, look at the weight you have already lost and the improvements you have already made, even at your plateau weight!
If you need more support getting through your weight loss plateau, or getting started on your weight loss journey contact us today to find out how you can get more advice and support from our weight loss doctors!