You cut calories and exercise and you’re delighted to watch the needle on the scale go down. All too soon, however, the needle starts to slow, or stop altogether, and you find yourself on the dreaded weight-loss plateau.
The good news is that weight loss plateaus are very common. The better news is that there are tricks for getting the needle to move in the right direction again.
At No Mercy Sports Medicine in Miami, Florida, Dr. Moisés Irizarry-Román understands how frustrating it can be when your weight loss efforts aren’t producing results, which is why we offer comprehensive weight management services.
If you find that you’re struggling to lose weight, here’s a look at what might be behind the stall and what you can do to rev up your weight loss.
When you start your weight loss program, the sudden cut in calories causes your body to release its stores of energy, namely glycogen, which is a carbohydrate found in your muscles and in your liver. One of the components of glycogen is water, and when your body releases the carbohydrate, you’re no longer storing as much water weight.
As you know, water is heavy, so the release can lead to a quick drop in overall weight as you begin your efforts to slim down.
Another reason your weight loss efforts can slow is that when you lose weight, you might also be losing muscle mass. Muscle burns calories at a faster rate, so the loss of muscle can slow down your metabolism.
This is why it’s important to make muscle-building a big part of your weight loss program. As you lose fat and muscle, endeavor to rebuild muscle through strengthening exercises that will help you continue to burn calories at a faster clip.
Routine is important when it comes to weight loss, but your body can quickly adapt to a new routine. If you started out by walking a few miles each day for exercise, your muscles and cardiovascular system become conditioned to this regular exercise. As a result, your body isn’t expending as much energy after a while.
To combat this, it’s important that you switch up your exercise routines — try cycling instead of walking, which uses different muscle groups. Go for longer walks and add intensity, such as walking up hills. You always want to get your heart rate up and use different muscle groups for best results.
At first, you were vigilant about counting calories and tracking your exercise, but the routines have become so familiar that you stop monitoring them so closely. Slowly, but surely, you may lose track and start to add more calories or cut corners on your exercise routines.
If you want to stay on course, it’s important to pay close attention to your daily efforts so you’re not slipping in extra calories or skimping on calorie-burning. Continue to count calories in a daily journal, track your steps vigilantly, schedule that exercise for a full hour — these are all ways in which you can avoid plateauing.
When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol hormones that can interfere with weight loss and even promote belly fat, especially in women. Also, stress can interfere with your sleep or lead to emotional eating.
If you’ve plateaued in your weight loss efforts, it’s important to take a deep breath, reduce your stress, and refocus your energy on what’s important — your health.
At the heart of a good weight loss program is cutting calories and exercising, and you figure you’ve got this covered. Not so fast. Your weight problems may be influenced by other factors, such as a hormone imbalance, which is why you should seek help from a medical professional when you want to lose weight and keep it off.
Through our customized weight management services at No Mercy Sports Medicine, we evaluate every area of your health to determine whether you might benefit from additional therapies to help you lose weight.
And in addition to our medical oversight, we also provide a certain degree of accountability as we track your progress and step in when you hit a plateau.
You want to look good, boost your performance, and improve your overall health. To get yourself off the plateau and on the right road to healthy, successful weight loss, contact No Mercy Sports Medicine in Miami, Florida, to schedule an appointment.