Your weight was coming down steadily when suddenly you stalled or plateaued.
What the heck is going on?
This is a common part of the weight loss journey and something that many patients report at different stages (particularly after the Christmas/summer period!). Some stall for a few days, others weeks, and some months.
A weight loss stall is an extended stretch of time where your efforts are not resulting in weight loss.
When you lose weight rapidly, chances are you are losing lean body mass (muscle) and fat. Muscle plays an important role in the burning of calories by raising your metabolic rate. So you want to preserve your muscle mass, and ideally build more (through good protein intake and regular physical activity).
You need to support your muscle mass with a high protein intake- we recommend at least 75g per day. Your metabolic rate determines how many calories the body burns at rest. Additionally, you want to support and build muscle so you’re able to exercise and burn more calories.
You May Need to Eat More Protein
The reason your weight loss has slowed may not be due to overeating. Many of us stall because we’re not eating enough, or not eating the right foods. When we’re losing weight rapidly due to a drastic drop in food/calorie intake, our metabolism slows to conserve energy. Because the body thinks it’s starving, it tries to hold onto every last calorie, contributing to a plateau. If you’re skipping meals or trying to eat salad instead of protein, alter your habits. Eat three regular meals each day. Focus on protein foods first before eating vegetables and especially carbohydrates, and include a top-level protein (meat or protein powder) at each meal.
If you’re already eating well, the stall might be related to eating too much food. Reverting back to old habits, including large portion sizes, is common. Be honest with yourself. You may need to start tracking your food and drink intake, revisit your handouts/folder and get back into using tools like small utensils and portion control plates/dishes to keep you on track.
Lack of sleep can also be a problem. If you don’t get six to eight hours sleep a night, you’re at greater risk of increased ghrelin levels (a hormone that makes you hungry) and decreased leptin (a hormone that decreases hunger).
Put the Brakes on Your Weight Loss Plateau
1. Increase protein intake
2. Sleep well
3. Build muscle through regular physical activity- find something you really enjoy
4. Assess your eating patterns and food intake regularly