This is an article originally written by Mike Roussell, Ph.D. I wanted to post it as today's blog since it gives good tips about breaking a weight loss plateau.
Weight loss plateaus are the bain of every dieter's existence. There is nothing more frustrating than doing everything that you are "supposed" to do but, for whatever reason, the weight loss just stops.
Before we get into how you can smash through your weight loss plateau, it is important to determine if you have plateaued OR perhaps you haven't actually been following your diet and/or training program.
The first step is to do a gut check and make sure your compliance to your diet program is where it needs to be. If you haven't been 90% compliant, then stop reading this article and get back to focusing on doing what you actually said you were going to do.
If you have been sticking to your program, but have stopped losing weight, then we have a problem.
The human body is constantly striving for homeostasis. What we need to do is shake things up and prevent our systems from staying in a homeostatic state. Here are four ways that you can disrupt homeostasis and blast through your weight loss plateau. You aren't meant to do all of them at the same time - instead just pick one at time.
1. Increase Calories for 7-10 Days
This doesn't mean go off your diet. Instead, increase your calories (no more than 500 calories per day), mainly from carbohydrates to give your system a "break" from calorie restriction. After the 7-10 day period, cut your calories back down and your weight loss will start back up. This strategy works well if you have been dieting for a long time.
2. Crank Up the Intensity
Often times, we find ourselves perpetually dieting and can just never seem to get those last 10 pounds off. In these situations, cranking up the intensity on all fronts (diet and training) for a set amount of time is a great way to blast through a weight loss plateau. With this method we are basically shocking your system out of homeostasis.
3. Change Your Training Program
Sticking to the same training program for too long used to be a very common problem. Now with all the training resources on the Internet, being on a program for too long isn't an issue for many people (but it may be for you). You need to be switching up your program (set, reps, exercises, how many days a week you train, etc) every 4-6 weeks.
4. Reduce Your Carbs
This tip is the opposite of the first one but works just as well. Dropping your carbs down to a ketogenic level will strongarm your system into using fat as its primary fuel source. This metabolic fuel switch works best if your carbs aren't too low already (>100g/d). To further enhance the effect of this technique, use the induction protocol where you eat 20g/d of carbs or less for 2 weeks.
Weight loss plateaus are frustrating, but don't let them discourage you or stop you from reaching your goal. If you have truly reached a plateau, pick one of the techniques above and put it into action. When you hit another plateau, pick another one. Continue doing this until you have reached your goal.
Remember that for the most part weight loss is not a linear process. Plateaus are a normal physiological occurrence, but using the strategies in this article you can beat temporary weight loss homeostasis and achieve the body you want.
About the Author/More Info
Warp Speed Fat Loss is a complete 28-day diet and training system crafted to help you lose 10, 15 or 20lbs of body fat in just 28 days. To start losing weight fast, visit Warp Speed Fat Loss.
Mike Roussell is a nutrition doctoral student at Pennsylvania State University. Mike's writings can be found in magazines such as Men's Health, Men's Fitness and Testosterone Nation. Mike specializes in fat loss nutrition and diets for busy men and women who need to lose weight fast without it interfering with their lives. Warp Speed Fat Loss is a complete Done-for-You A-Z Fat Loss Blueprint that gives you exactly everything you need to eat to lose weight in record time.