When our body weight stalls we need to trouble shoot what exactly is happening.
The first thing to remember is that we are trying to lose body fat.
Think about it; if your weight actually went up slightly but you looked amazing and all your clothes fitted like a dream, would you really care?
Using body weight alone to measure our progress can have drawbacks.
If you are going to use body weight then please do be sure to weigh 3 to 5 times a week.
Weigh at the same time, first thing in the morning, after using the bathroom.
Then track your average.
In addition to tracking body weight it is also useful to take measurements and use photos.
Measure up to 10 areas on your body every 2 – 4 weeks;
Several areas around the stomach
If your measurements go down even if your body weight does not, then you will be losing body fat.
If your weight (and measurements) stall for 2 – 4 weeks – yes, weeks not days, then it is time to assess what could be happening;
- Have you been 100% compliant with habits or calories? –
- Are you practicing all the habits you are supposed to be?
- Are you truly sticking within your calorie allowance?
- Are you following the plan you have laid out for exercise?
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Are you stressed?
- Women, where are you in your monthly cycle?
- Do you eat quite a lot of food late in the day and then weigh early in the morning?
- Have you been bingeing regularly and ended up destroying your deficit?
- Have you been a lot more active, causing inflammation and/or bloating?
- Have you been less active?
- Have you been eating more through boredom or stress?
If you have everything on point then it may be time to look at making a small adjustment.
Remember though, your body will make certain adaptations as you go through a weight loss phase;
You weigh less so you burn less calories.
Your unconscious activity will slow down as your body tries to compensate and so on.
The longer you remain in a calorie deficit the more your sleep will be affected and the more stressed your body will become.
So, when considering an adjustment, you should also consider whether it is time for a diet break and a period of eating at maintenance.
This will help relieve the stress on the body and you will be able to enjoy a bit more food.
You can reverse some of the adaptations and prepare yourself for another period in a deficit.
Try for no more than 8 to 12 weeks in a deficit before having a break – ideally of a similar duration.
Also remember that being in a deficit Monday to Friday and overeating at the weekend is not the same as eating at maintenance!
Even if you are managing to maintain your body weight this way, you are still stressing your body with the deficit during the week.
If you have not been in a dieting phase for long and you are looking to make an adjustment, make it small.
Drop your food intake a little, either by reducing your calories
or if you are not tracking, reduce your portions slightly,
Eat slowly, have fewer snacks.
Do not make dramatic changes.
Also try upping your steps, improving your sleep and reducing your stress.
Your weight can stall for 2 – 4 weeks and then start dropping again so;
Wait! Assess! then Adjust or Take a Break.