3 Weight Loss Plateau BreakersBy Jared DiCarmine On September 19, 2011 Under Nutrition For Fat Loss
Is there one greatest and best weight loss plateau breaker out in the fitness world? No not really. The truth of the matter is that it really just depends on the person, their characteristics, how much weight they still have to lose and their goals. That’s when things get really interesting and you can pinpoint the exact problem and reason why he or she is not losing weight.
One of the biggest things that I see with a lot of people when it comes to a weight lossplateau is that they immediately in the beginning of their diet cut their calories drastically. The only good that can come from this is that you lost a lot of weight in the beginning and maybe in the first couple of weeks or possible months. The bad part is you’ll hit a wall sooner then later. Again this is dependent on the person and how much weight they have to lose. The more weight that you have to lose, the more weight you’ll burn off in the beginning and for a longer period of time. The less weight that you have to lose; the slower it will come off.
Now if you were one of those people that tend to crash diet and lower their calories by too much in the beginning, I would encourage you this time to just drop your calories by 250 a day and the other 250 calorie deficit will be coming from your workouts. This will ensure that you easily lose a pound of body fat per week for weeks to months on end without hitting any sort of weight loss plateau.
Now another reason that goes hand in hand with cutting your calories too low for a long period of time is that your leptin levels will drastically decrease as well. Leptin is a hormone that is actually secreted by your fat cells. The funny thing about leptin is that it is positively correlated with metabolism. So when leptin levels are lowered, metabolism is lowered. But for a very large person, they have really high leptin levels because of the high amount of body fat. However they are actually leptin resistant just like a diabetic who Is insulin resistant.
Now when you go on a lowered calorie diet, your body naturally thinks that it’s starving. It does not care about you wanting a flat belly and a six pack. All it cares about is survival that is it. So what happens is your leptin levels will decrease, therefore your metabolism will decrease. This is dependent on the amount of calories that you cut out of your diet and the length of time. The longer you go without food, the worse this scenario becomes.
The good thing is that you can shoot your leptin levels way up without a problem. All you have to do is eat a high calorie and or a high carbohydrate containing meal. Many people refer to this as a cheat meal or a cheat day. I prefer to use a cheat meal because a cheat day can turn into an all out binge fest. This is something that you do not want and is obviously not ideal. So I always advise clients that if they want to have a cheat meal that they should have it as the last meal of the day and only allow themselves one hour to eat. This ensures that they don’t go overboard and turn it into an all out binge fest. Because of the increase of insulin output from the meal, your leptin levels can rise back up to normal within 24 hours which is really cool.
A lot of bodybuilders use this method when preparing for a competition since they have to get down to insane levels of body fat and conditioning. They’ll sometimes have 1-2 cheat meals a week containing a lot of carbohydrates. Another benefit is the increase in intramuscular glycogen stores from the extra carbs. This is great because you’ll get awesome pumps in the gym, have a lot more energy and focus when you workout. That’s the one thing I don’t like about low carb/low calorie diets. They just leave you feeling cranky, moody and out of it. It’s hard to feel anything in the gym and get into your workout. Often times you need a lot of caffeine just to even workout. So if you feel this is you, I would say to have a cheat meal once every 7 days or whenever needed to keep your metabolism and your sanity strong.
Another reason why you might be hitting a weight loss plateau is because you’ve been doing the same program for way too long. And by the same program, I specifically mean the same amount of reps, sets, exercises, weight and time while on the treadmill. Doing the same exercises each time out is not such a bad thing because it allows your body to adapt, but you do need to push yourself to constantly improve in your lifts and with your cardio.
A good example is a lot of people always just hop on the treadmill or elliptical and go at a leisurely pace. That’s great for a beginner, the elderly, or someone just starting out on a fat loss phase that doesn’t do a lot of cardio. But over time, your body will get used to this and adapt. You’re going to need to switch up and the easiest way to do that is just doing the exact opposite of whatever you’re doing.
So if you’re doing a lot of steady state cardio, just switch it up and do a more interval style of training. This will help you burn tons of calories in a shorter amount of time and definitely help you bust through any weight loss plateau that you might have.
All in all, I think you’ll find these 3 weight loss plateau breakers of good value. Definitely use them in your routine so you never have to get stuck again.