This article was kindly contributed to agent99fitness.com by Daniel a personal trainer based in Toronto. Thanks Daniel for the great article!
Just before summer, most people (including me), begin thinking about their body composition changes and showing off their half naked bodies on the beach.
As a result, we all get on a mission of a calorie free diet. Within a few weeks, some changes are visible. However, positive changes are not always the case. Sometimes the scale goes up and if you obsess over this, you will end up frustrated.
The truth is that fat loss is never linear. You expect it t be, but it is not.
Fat Loss Is Not Linear
I have tracked my weight loss and it increases and decreases over time. I created a graph for this, and the progression was linear, but not from week to week.
Losing weight is so much more than a number on the scale and there are a lot of factors that are involved. Most people are obsessed with relying on the scale to judge their progress. If the progress is not according to their wishes, they get frustrated and even give up. It is about time you stopped relying on the scale as your reference when it comes to weight loss.
The bigger picture would involve looking into your hunger, your workouts, your sleep, and your energy levels. As a result, you can get a clearer picture of your progress.
How to Get Rid Of the Fat Loss Plateau
Do not misunderstand me, plateaus will always happen. They indicate the fact that your body is maintaining balance and ensuring that you do not harm yourself. Sudden plateaus can actually mean that your body is very healthy. This means that it is ensuring that you do not lose weight too fast and harm yourself in the process.
There are ways to get rid of plateaus and ensure that weight loss is a downward progress. You simply have to play the game that is your body- a complex system that ensures that you have as many energy reserves as possible. Here is how you can smash the plateau:
Method 1: Eat More
This might not be what you expect to hear, but you should consume more. Metabolic adaptation affects your hormone output, and eventually, your ability to burn fat. Avoiding calories for a long time leads to your body fighting for survival. Hormone output decreases, your body mechanisms such as fat loss slow down, and energy release decrease. This is in order to preserve energy.
Unfortunately, reducing your calorie intake will only make your body fight harder. As a result, you will not achieve your body composition goals. This is why you have to control your metabolism by eating more. You should do this through controlled caloric increase.
The best way to increase the calories for someone with a calorie deficiency is to enforce a structured re-feed. This means increasing the calories for24 hours in order to bring the calorie consumption close to or above maintenance. This can be achieved through consuming 50 to 100 grams of carbs (200 to 400 calories).
This results in more hunger, increased temperature, and more hunger the next day. This means that the body has gone back to its normal healthy state. I have found that a controlled calorie intake is better than using cheat meals.
Method 2: Manipulate Training Volume
The issues that come up from under eating are the same that result from over training. Such issues can be hormonal. The truth is that going to gym exhausted does nothing for the body. The best thing is to wait until you have rested before hitting the gym.
As much as training is important, recovery is just as important. Doing exercise when you are exhausted affects your adrenal glands hence affecting hormone secretion. Reduction in hormone production will affect your metabolism and eventually affect your desired physique.
Method 3: Understand Your Body
This means that you have to ‘listen’ to what your body is telling you. For instance, you should know how it feels when you are hungry and other triggers. Earning how it feels to be hungry or full helps you to act accordingly. Hunger is an indication of a healthy metabolism, so do not overlook it.
You should also do the same in the case of sleep. Quality sleep signifies recovery. When sleeping, cortisol levels are low and when we wake up these levels increase. Training too hard increases cortisol levels. Therefore, you will sleep poorly.
By understanding your body, you will allow yourself to evaluate whether your nutrition or training is helping or harming you.
The Whole Food Variable
You should understand which foods you are consuming and how they are affecting your body. Training on a whole food diet has a lot of benefits. The kind of food you eat affects your physique and water retention. Additionally, if you react to certain foods, yet you eat them, your performance will be affected.
Patience Is Important
When your weight loss is not progressing as you expect, you should be patient. If patience does not work, then assess what it is that you are doing wrong. Using the methods discussed here, can help you get the progress that you desire. You should also understand your body and keep track of what is happening to achieve great progress.
I am Daniel, a Toronto-based fitness coach and yoga instructor. I’ve been helping the people of my lovely city improve their health through healthy eating as well as setting up their home gyms for over a decade. I also write reviews on my website to help people understand how to use various fitness equipment such as rowing machines.