For the last few weeks I felt like my body was at a stand-still. So I did a little research today on how to avoid weight loss plateaus.
A plateau occurs when the body adapts to doing a certain thing (exercise in my case). When this happens, progress will slow or completely seize. This usually occurs 8-12 weeks into your workout plan. Here are some reason as to why this might be happening:
- Calorie Intake is too low. NEVER go below 1200 calories, or this could slow your metabolism down. If you eat below 1200 calories for more than 4 weeks in a row in can potentially drop you metabolic rate 20%.
- Or your caloric intake is too high and you need to cut back. As you lose weight you should recalculate your BMR because your caloric intake will change (decrease). There is a BMR calculator in my favorite website list.
- You need to change up your workout routine. The body begins to get used to what you are doing and becomes stronger. You should change up your routine every 3-4 weeks. I recommend Making the Cut because every week is a different workout.
- Since you've been working out you have less body fat than what you had when your first started, which mean you have more lean tissue. This naturally suppresses the metabolic rate all by itself.
- You are building more muscle, which ways more than fat. But muscle burns more calories than fat.
- You need to increase your intensity of your workouts, or increase the time that you are working out. You have to burn 3, 500 calories in order to burn 1 pound. When working out, your heart rate should be withing your "Target Heart Rate Zone" for at least 30 minutes. Click here to figure out what your target heart rate is.