Why Fat Loss Comes To a Halt
When fat loss comes to a halt many people do one of two things.
They either ramp up their training or decrease their calories, if this doesn’t work they blame their metabolism and give up.
Our bodies our complex and everyones body is unique, what may have worked for your friend won’t necessarily work for you.
We must find what our bodies respond best with what we can see ourselves sticking to and then adapt or training and nutrition to the responses found.
Fat loss is all about assessing, taking notes, making adjustments and then making the necessary changes.
If you’re not assessing you’re guessing, how do you know you’ve hit a plateau if you’re not actually tracking anything.
Can you truly say you’ve hit a plateau if you don’t know what you’re looking for?
Many of my clients have thought they’ve hit a plateau before but due to what I assess and keep record of I’ve been able to show them how they’re still making improvements.
When my clients fat loss has stalled, I’ve reassessed their training, nutrition and habits, making the correct adjustments needed.
So here is what you need to look out for and what you need to make adjustments in.
Have you let your tracking and nutrition slip? This is a very common reason for reaching a halt in fat loss. People see results in the beginning then as time goes on they become complacent. They don’t record that midday snack they had, they stop motoring their food intake on the weekends or stop cooking meals from scratch and choose convenience instead. If you’ve been less slack on your nutrition then of course your results will halt. You need to get back onto tracking or being more focussed on your food to see results again.
You’re not training enough! If you’ve been training for 3 days a week for as long as you can remember its probably time you looked at increasing your energy output. Start by adding in an extra training day each week or by going for an extra 10 minute walk each day to help burn more calories.
You’re eating for the heavier you! If you’ve lost a few kg but you’re still eating the same amount as you were at the start then you need to lower your calories. When you weigh more you burn more as you’re carrying around more weight. When you lose weight your body isn’t working as hard as it once was therefor it doesn’t require as many calories. Reassess your nutrition and start eating the amount of calories your body now needs.
Are you training hard enough? I see so many people in gyms just going through the motions, they’re not concentrating, putting in minimal effort and taking the worlds longest rests. If you aren’t training hard enough you need to make a start and push yourself harder. This is something I ensure with all my clients, after each set of weights their heart rate is elevated, I push them to achieve more reps, lift heavier weights I even bring down their rests in-between sets. This ensures their is constant progression. Our bodies are amazing at adaption, what once was hard and worked well, is now comfortable and doesn’t work well.
You’re just focussing on the scales If you are just recording your scale weight your missing out on assessing your whole body composition. Some of my clients don’t lose a huge amount of scale weight but there measurements and body fat levels drop a lot. Muscle takes up a lot less room than fat for the same amount of weight. Therefor the scales may say you’re still the same weight but in fact you’ve lost a lot of body fat and added lean muscle tissue instead. Don’t get too caught up on the scales.
You’re not eating enough! Our bodies have a natural process in order to save calories and promote survival. If you’ve been eating very low calories your body is going to do everything it can to slow down the amount of calories you burn. Your body will start to burn through muscle tissue as apposed to just fat, you now also move less than you used to due to a lack of energy this also leads to you burning less calories. To address this you need slowly start increasing your calories 100 each day for a week. Start assessing how you feel, assess your body fat levels and weight and make adjustments depending on the response as you go along. *note if you’re at the heaviest you’ve been, you’re not eating too little and your body isn’t slowing down calorie expenditure..
You’re eating too much! This ties in with the first answer and the end of the last point. If you haven’t lost much weight, you’re near the heaviest you’ve been but you’re not losing weight it’s simply because your eating too much, despite your hard efforts. Fat loss is hard and it is generally harder for some people due to physiological difference that can’t be greatly changed. This doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight it just means its going to be harder as you struggle with hunger more than others. To address this you need to make better food choices, ones that are going to fill you up more and reduce your hunger. Stay hydrated, people often mistake dehydration for hunger so fill up on water to ward off any misread signals.
Remember you can only be in a fat loss plateau if you’ve already lost a considerable amount of weight. If your struggling to lose any weight this is a different story and your habits and nutrition needs to be assessed and addressed.
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