If you have ever been trying to lose weight, you have probably experienced a weight loss plateau at some point in your journey. They can be a real source of frustration and really be a test of your motivation.
As I went through the Noom Weight Loss Program, I did hit those dreaded plateaus. I was relieved to once and for all, be able to understand them. Noom’s teachings are based on research and science from leading authorities on the topic. Noom breaks the program down into manageable chunks and delivers it in language that is easy to understand. My big takeaway? If you ride the wave, change what you can and keep chugging along, it will pass.
A Weight Loss Plateau In Action
You made a decision a few months ago to lose weight. You got right on plan and it’s been amazing! You are eating what you are supposed to. You started exercising. Drinking your water. The weight started coming off right away and you feel better than you’ve felt for a very long time and you are even down a dress size! All of a sudden this week, it’s all come to a complete halt. Why? I’m not doing anything different! I’m so upset and frustrated. What’s all this hard work for anyway? I might as well give up.
First of all, as you may already know, a weight loss plateau is a very common occurrence. There are a few factors to consider, but persistence is what pays off.
Factors To Consider and the Changes To Make
Are you less diligent than you think you are?
As we go along with a weight loss program, we often become distracted somewhat from the process. Be honest and true to yourself in assessing this. If you need to make a change, do so.
Be mindful of your food choices and how healthy they are. Noom’s green, yellow and red system for foods makes deciphering this easy. Are your portion estimations off? Take a few days and measure out portions if you aren’t doing so. Are you exercising less than you used to? Check for gaps in your routine where exercise is concerned and make changes to add it in if it’s missing. Do you find that the exercise you do is not as challenging as it once was? Increasing the intensity or changing your exercise are options. If you believe you are still on the same track, check out some of these other factors.
Are you losing muscle?
We start weight loss by losing water in the beginning, then fat and then muscle (or a combination of fat and muscle). Muscle is something we don’t want to lose as muscle is needed to keep our metabolism chugging along. Lower metabolism=less calories burned=less weight loss. Consider adding some strength training to your exercise program to build muscle if you aren’t already doing it. Adding more protein to your food equation to help build muscle could also be an option.
Your Body Is Catching Up and Adjusting
Your body is going through some changes and it’s a bit of a balancing act. As you lose weight, your metabolic rate will drop making it harder to see a change on the scale-despite following your food and exercise plan. Your metabolism is undergoing some adjustments and sometimes we just need to go along for the ride. Reducing the calories you take in or increasing your exercise can give your metabolism the kickstart it needs to get back on track. The main thing is, STAY THE COURSE! Weight loss plateaus might last longer than any of us would like, but we won’t win the battle if we give in.
Medical Conditions and Treatments
Medical problems and/or their subsequent treatments can have adverse effects on weight loss. Some medications, by their action, can lower metabolism. Some medical problems can cause water retention. Some problems can limit your ability to exercise. In these cases, it’s important to have other ways by which to measure success other than the scale. Some examples could be acknowledging you are eating healthier meals at home instead of going the fast food route. You might be reducing your stress level concerning your medical problems by meditating daily. Think success away from the scale.
Even More Measures of Success
There are many ways to measure success that goes beyond the scale. Give the scale a rest. Weigh in less often and try these other measures.
- take your measurements at the beginning of your journey and at varying intervals during the course of it
- take a selfie at the beginning and at other points in your journey
- track your habits and look at your progress
- note changes you can do now that you couldn’t do when you first started losing weight
Keep Your Motivation Going
When a weight loss plateau strikes, revisiting your goals and “your big picture”, can keep the idea foremost in your mind. Answering the question of why you are working at losing weight in the first place. Keeping those ideas firmly in place can make a real difference between staying on course, or throwing in the towel. If you’d like more information on how to “Define ‘Your Big Picture’ and Lose Weight” be sure to read my article on it.
Having other people who have gone through, or are going through the same thing can be all the encouragement you need to stay on course. At the Noom Weight Loss Program, we have an online community of other “Noomers” who are at the same place that you are. They are in a plateau or have been through them. They know the emotions and questions you are dealing with and are there to lend a helping hand. You also have your Goal Specialist and Group Coach who can be a helpful resource you when you need them. The Noom community was a tremendous group to help me get through the rough spots, like plateaus.
Plateaus can have a detrimental effect on your motivation. It’s important to note above all else, is that a plateau will run its course. If we stick with the game plan while we are in the midst of a plateau, we will end up the ultimate winner of this battle! Make some changes if you can, but above all else~ride the wave!
Frequently Asked Questions
They are very common. If you are either on a program, or taking steps on your own to lose weight, you can expect to hit a plateau.
This question is based on many factors and can last from a few weeks, to a few months. You can go through more than one plateau as well.
It is a challenging issue when it comes to weight loss as it takes your body time to adjust to the biological changes going on. You don’t have direct control over the situation and you just have to try different approaches to it to see what works. Sticking with it is the key as it will eventually pass.
After years of weight issues, I have finally found the formula of combining healthy food choices, regular exercise and positive behavior change to lose weight for good. Coupled with, exploring self-development, being productive and living simply, I am now maintaining a healthy lifestyle and in a good place. I enjoy writing articles to help my readers to become the best they can be!