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Weight Loss Plateau Stopping You in Your Tracks?

By Expert HERWriter
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stopped in your tracks by a plateau in weight loss? Erwin Wodicka/PhotoSpin

Have you ever started a weight loss program and lost a significant amount of weight in the first several weeks? You are excited and more committed because of your great progress ... and then all of a sudden the weight stopped!

You are dumbfounded and disappointed. You can’t figure out what went wrong. It seems like no matter what you try you just can’t get the weight to continue down the scale. You have hit a weight loss plateau.

The weight loss equation

Here is a simplistic equation that I use to explain the basics of weight loss. When you expend more energy in one day than you take in, you lose weight. So when your daily activities and exercise burn more energy (calories) than you eat, then you will lose weight.

Your body turned to the glycogen in your muscles and your liver for the extra energy. Water also is released during this process and the results you saw were great progress and weight loss.

As you get rid of that extra glycogen your metabolism and the weight loss begins to slow down. If you are not on an plan that targets burning fat storage you are in jeopardy of beginning to lose muscle mass. Losing muscle mass is never good on a weight loss plan.

Muscle toning

Maintaining your muscle or toning your muscles will be your saving grace. In fact, toning your muscle is one way to rev up your metabolism to get you out of your plateau.

I can hear you saying, "I was exercising before and I still hit a plateau." This is because your metabolism and your muscles have adjusted to your exercise routine and you need to change up your program to burn more fat.

Getting off of the plateau

If you want to get off the plateau you will have to reassess your current plan. The two most important components of your weight loss plan are your food choices and your exercise program.

Food choices are not just about calorie counts, you must consider the quality of the foods, in the right proportions.

You might be surprised to know that a good exercise program is not only about the cardiovascular exercise, it is also about muscle toning.

Add a Comment1 Comments

You read my mind Dr. Jones! I'm so glad I saw this article! I was just saying the other day how I feel like I've hit a diet and workout plateau. Sometimes we get into such a routine of eating the same things and doing the same routines in the gym that our bodies become use to it and almost just "go through the motions".

I think it's important to change up your daily routine with new foods and new activities. What I've found is when you work out with a friend, either doing classes, hiking, or just working out together, you tend to go that extra mile or step from the motivation of having someone else there.

Great post! Thank you!

July 31, 2013 - 9:23am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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