Odd that I got this in my e-mail from Livestrong.com since I've been on the plateau from hell. Eventually everybody is going to hit one, so I thought I'd share.
Weight loss is typically a long process. Most people lose the greatest amount of weight at the beginning of their regimen, due to the many changes their bodies go through. However, weight loss plateaus are also common. This occurs when you do not gain weight back but you are not losing any more weight, either. You can overcome weight loss plateaus in various ways so you can get back on track to your ultimate goals.
While you lose weight, you likely are cutting back on your calories. Although calorie-cutting helps you lose more pounds, it also can decrease your metabolism, Weightlossforall.com explains. Also, when you lose too much weight too soon, your body can respond by eating muscle stores in order to make up for the loss in calories. Because muscles help rev up your metabolism, losing muscle can contribute to a slower metabolism. During such a scenario, your body no longer burns calories, so you reach a plateau in which you will not lose any weight.
Eat a mix of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat every few hours in order to help speed up your metabolism (NOTE: My doctor only wants us eating three times a day, so I guess my advice here is to follow your doctor's orders). This also will help prevent you from going hungry too long and overindulging at your next meal. MyOptumHealth.com also recommends that you vary your healthy food choices in order to prevent boredom. This will help prevent meal-skipping, which can thwart your continued weight loss efforts.
While adequate fuel is necessary to help increase your metabolism, you also will need to revisit your exercise routines. Once your body becomes too accustomed to a particular type of exercise, your muscles adapt and you will not lose as many calories. Intensify your workouts by pushing it to the next level or by trying something new. For instance, if you speed-walk, try adding some jogging intervals. Also, add some strength-training routines to help build up your muscles.
According to AnneCollins.com, you may experience a weight loss plateau within the first month of your weight loss regimen and experience it occasionally until you reach your weight loss goal. The key is to quickly recognize that you have reached a plateau and respond accordingly. A weight loss plateau does not mean you have failed at your weight loss regimen.
Ideally, you should lose a maximum of 2 lbs. per week during your weight loss regimen. Although weight loss plateaus are common, your body can enter starvation mode if you lose too much weight in a short period of time. If you start to experience dizziness, headaches, hair loss, anemia, excessive fatigue and heart rate changes, call your doctor immediately.