Sticking to a diet and exercise regimen can be a challenging task. Day in and day out, we struggle to focus on the ultimate goal of losing weight, getting fit and maintaining fit and healthy bodies. For some, however, this can be an even greater challenge especially when the exercise and healthy eating habits results in a weight pleateau. For those engaging in a diet and exercise program, before beginning, it is imperative to understand the signs of a weight loss plateau and the methods for moving beyond the plateau and on to continual weight loss success.
When dieting and exercising, many individuals will experience a sudden loss in weight, especially during the first two weeks. Beyond the first two weeks, weight should continue to come off with the following through of an appropriate diet and exercise program designed for the specific height, weight and health of the dieter. Through proper health programs, the dieter will experience this slow, and methodical, loss of weight and improved fitness level until the such time as the plateau is reached.
The weight loss plateau is the period when individuals who are committing to a diet and exercise program begin to notice a decrease in weight loss and, in some cases, no weight loss at all. What is important to understand is the weight loss plateau is normal. As a dieter, when a weight loss plateau seems to appear, it is important to examine the various factors which may be contributing to the situation. Are the exercise activities still at the same level of intensity as when the program began? Has there been a change in committment to the food and diet program? If either of these are answered yes, then the weight loss plateau may be the result of a decrease in motivation or lack of committment to the program. In fact, the condition may not be a weight loss plateau at all and may, instead, be attributed to what we call “cheating” on the program.
If the answers to the questions is “no”, then the weight loss plateau may truly be just that; a plateau. To jump start the metabolism, many individuals find modifying the exercise program, to incorporate and work new muscle groups, will be the perfect resolution to breaking the weight loss plateau and restarting the weight loss process. For some, however, it is not that simple. In addition to changes in the exercise routine, those individuals committed to a diet program may need to come off of that diet for a week and then restart the diet in an effort to trick the body into the weight loss process again. They key here is to remain focused and to avoid binge eating or overindulging. Also, when practicing this method, be prepared for the weight loss scales to show a slight weight gain before the plateau breaks and the weight loss process is back on track.
Whatever the fitness or diet routine, the key to losing weight is to incorporate mind, body and soul into the program with a focus on committment. Before beginning any weight loss and fitness program, mentally prepare for the anticipation of the weight loss plateau and work with your dietician and fitness instructor to develop a plan to jump start your metabolism again.