If you think you are experiencing a weight loss plateau, you shouldn’t fret just yet.
It is incredibly common for the scale not to budge for a few days (or weeks) at a time. This does not mean that you are not losing fat.
Body weight tends to fluctuate by a few pounds. It depends on the foods you are eating, and hormones can also have a major effect on how much water your body retains (especially in women).
Also, it is possible to gain muscle at the same time as you lose fat. This is particularly common if you recently started exercising.
This is a good thing, as what you really want to lose is body fat, not just weight.
It is a good idea to use something other than the scale to gauge your progress. For example, measure your waist circumference and body fat percentage once per month.
Also, how well your clothes fit and how you look in the mirror can be very telling.
Unless your weight has been stuck at the same point for more than 1–2 weeks, you probably don't need to worry about anything.
SUMMARYA weight loss plateau may be explained by muscle gain, undigested food and fluctuations in body water. If the scale doesn’t budge, you might still be losing fat.
Awareness is incredibly important if you are trying to lose weight. Many people don't have a clue how much they're really eating.
SUMMARYKeeping a food diary can be helpful when you are trying to lose weight.
Protein is the single most important nutrient for losing weight.
Eating protein at 25–30% of calories can boost metabolism by 80–100 calories per day and make you automatically eat several hundred fewer calories per day. It can also drastically reduce cravings and desire for snacking (3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
SUMMARYLow protein intake may bring your weight loss efforts to a standstill. Make sure to eat plenty of protein-rich foods.
A large number of people who have trouble losing weight are simply eating too many calories.
If you are not losing weight, you should try weighing your foods and tracking your calories for a while.
- Calorie calculator — Use this tool to figure out how many calories to eat.
- Calorie counters — This is a list of five free websites and apps that can help you keep track of your calorie and nutrient intake.
Tracking is also important if you're trying to reach a certain nutrient goal, such as getting 30% of your calories from protein. This can be impossible to achieve if you're not tracking things properly.
It is generally not necessary to count calories and weigh everything for the rest of your life. Instead, try out these techniques for a few days every few months to get a feel for how much you’re eating.
SUMMARYIf your weight loss seems to have come to a standstill, it’s possible you may be eating too much. People frequently overestimate their calorie intake.
Food quality is just as important as quantity.
Eating healthy foods can improve your wellbeing and help regulate your appetite. These foods tend to be much more filling than their processed counterparts.
Keep in mind that many processed foods labeled as "health foods" aren't really healthy. Stick to whole, single-ingredient foods as much as possible.
SUMMARYMake sure to base your diet on whole foods. Eating too much processed food could ruin your weight loss success.
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