You seem to be doing everything right, following your diet to the T, getting your training sessions in, working hard. Your weight just refuses to budge, and this has been the case for the last two weeks. It is frustrating and you are losing your shit.
Weight loss plateaus suck while dieting. And even though they are a part and parcel of the long process, it can be disheartening and annoying.
Here are a few ways you can break through the plateau and start losing your weight again:1) Lower Your Calories
You hit a plateau as your deficit calories earlier have now become your maintenance calories. How does this happen? The four components of your energy expenditure, namely Resting metabolic rate (RMR), Thermic effect of food (TEF), Thermic effect of activity (TEA) and Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) all downregulate as you keep losing mass.
So, the only option you'd have here is to drop your calories further and start losing weight again.2) Lower Your Carbs & Fats
This is not the same as point one. If someone is not tracking their macronutrients, lowering overall calories is enough as a pointer, as they are not tracking other components or macros per say. But if you are one of those concerned with their body composition who wants to retain their lean body mass while dieting and hold on to their muscle mass, protein would be the best bet to do so.
Thus dropping protein in the name of calories would not be conducive to their goal of an improved body composition.
Dropping carbs and fats is a rather optimal option.
© Pixabay3) Increase your NEAT
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT is a sub-conscious parameter of your energy expenditure and the one that can fluctuate a lot based on interindividual level.
It comprises of all the activity you do that is not considered as exercise. For example, taking the stairs to the office. Or tapping your feet while working on your computer. Or just getting out of your chair and stretching and walking a little bit every 30 minutes.
As you are deeper into your diet, these components start being down-regulated without you even realizing it. So how do you manage it or increase it? It will be a two-folded action. Number one is you start tracking it. Tracking the number of steps via a mobile app or a wearable pedometer would be a great start.
Once you establish that by just observing how much you move on a regular basis, step two would be to start pushing it up and increasing the number.
This will, in turn, increase your energy expenditure for the day. Taking regular walks during the day is a great way to increase your NEAT.
© Thinkstock4) Increase Your Cardio
I am not a cardio fanatic and that is the last thing I would want myself or my clients to be doing while trying to lose weight. But at times, it is the necessary evil that needs to be done to get the job done.
Adding a little bit of cardio towards the end of your weight training sessions and/or adding some extra cardio on your rest days will help you bump up your energy expenditure and putting you in a caloric deficit again.
Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.