Hitting a weight loss plateau can be incredibly frustrating. You’ve been working so hard, eating healthy, and exercising, but the scale just won’t budge. Don’t be discouraged – weight loss plateaus are common and you can get through them. Here are seven effective strategies for breaking through a weight loss stall.
Recalculate Your Calorie Intake
As you lose weight, your body burns fewer calories at rest. So, you may need to lower your daily calorie intake by 100-200 calories to account for your new weight. Use an online TDEE calculator to verify that you’re eating at the right caloric deficit for continued weight loss. Going below 1200 calories per day is not recommended.
Change Up Your Exercise Routine
Your body might have adapted to your regular workout routine. Try new exercises that challenge your muscles in different ways or increase the intensity of your workouts by going heavier with weights or doing intervals with cardio. Shocking your body can stimulate renewed fat burning. Just be careful not to overtrain.
Increase Your NEAT
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy you expend going about your regular daily activities. Simple things like taking the stairs, pacing while on the phone, fidgeting at your desk, doing yard work, or playing with your kids can add up. Aim to increase your NEAT to burn extra calories throughout the day.
Dehydration and water retention can mask weight loss. Make sure you are drinking enough water each day to stay hydrated. This will support metabolism and flush out excess water weight. Aim for at least 64 ounces per day.
Watch Hidden Calories
Sauces, condiments, cooking oils, and alcoholic beverages are common sources of sneaky calories that can stall weight loss. Track everything diligently for a few days to check for inaccuracies or underestimations. The little things add up.
Consider a Diet Break
Try eating at maintenance level for 1-2 weeks. This allows leptin levels (a hormone involved in weight regulation) to rebalance and primes your body for resumed fat burning. After the break, reduce your calories again to spur new progress. Just don’t overeat or binge during your break.
Supplements for Weight Loss Support
While diet, exercise and lifestyle changes drive weight loss, some supplements may provide an added edge and help you get past the plateau.
- Caffeine – Caffeine can temporarily increase metabolism and fat burning when taken before workouts. Look for it in pre-workout powders.
- Green Tea Extract – Contains EGCG, an antioxidant that may have a small positive effect on fat burning.
- CLA – Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may help inhibit fat storage and promote fat mobilization.
- Glucomannan – A soluble fiber that can support weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness.
- Fat burners – These can increase your metabolic rate and support your fitness and weight loss goals; the linked product is one of the best fat burners on the market.
Keep in mind that weight loss supplements only provide modest effects, even when combined with lifestyle measures. There are no magic pills that guarantee dramatic results. Focus your efforts mainly on training hard, eating in a calorie deficit, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. Then view supplements as optional extras that may offer an additional push.
The most important thing is to be patient and persistent when trying to break through a weight loss plateau. Experiment with different techniques until you find what works for your body. Stay focused on your end goals for health, wellbeing, and confidence. With consistent effort, the scale will start moving again and you’ll end up at your target weight in no time at all.