Lets dive back into the fat loss plateau and how to break it
Last week we looked at what metabolism is, what a fat loss plateau is and how calorie tracking could be vital to breaking your plateaus. Small adjustments can help your body kick off weight loss again. The first one was making sure your calorie intake is correct and adjusting downwards if necessary.
Our bodies do not care about shredding fat and losing weight
What they do care about is keeping us alive. That is why, at a certain point weight loss slows down. A great way to ensure diet adherence and allow our bodies (and specific hormones) some reprieve is to take a break. In order to continue weight loss and move out of a stressed and ‘need to keep alive’ state, is to include a method of diet break.
When you have been on a weight loss journey for some time certain hormones down regulate. With this comes a state of stress in the body. Cortisol and leptin are affected, as are your sex hormones. When you take some sort of diet break your body readjusts hormone levels as it feels safe.
The different methods are week-long diet breaks – eating at your maintenance level of calories
Having a cheat meal or some rather call it a refeed meal
Or even just a weekend off can help some with this
This doesn’t mean eating all out and stuffing your face, but it means allowing your body to have enough calories that it normally would enjoy for weight maintenance. Possibly somewhere close to where you were prior to dieting.
As stated, this just allows your body and hormones a break and time to readjust and therefore allow another weight drop when you adjust your calories once more.
All the above information I have given you so far has been about food, what about movement and exercise?
Increasing your movement levels is definitely a way to keep burning more calories. But I am not suggesting that you gym for 2 hours a day! What you can do is include a little bit more cardio. So if you were doing 20 minutes* a day, I would suggest you add another 10 minutes to make it 30 minutes. This may seem slow but could easily be another 50-100 calories. Especially if you walk at an incline at a decent fast pace.
See why it is SO beneficial to not start cardio high
You want as much ‘wiggle room’ as possible. The answer of fat loss plateaus and how to break them has a lot to do with where you start in the first place.
Additionally, I would ask that you start taking note of those NEAT (as stated in Part 1). The movement that doesn’t come from exercise can contribute to quite a few extra calories burnt daily. Those stories of taking the stairs and parking far really do contribute to higher calorie burning. And therefore more weight loss in the long term.
I love to start clients off on 8000 steps and we work our way up from there. Being home during lock-down makes this harder, even for those who already work from home. But investing in a rebounder, skipping rope or just setting alarms every hour to get up and move will make the world of a difference to your metabolism.
These 2 weeks were a lot of information to take in, but should you have any questions at all I would be more than happy to answer!
Yours in fitness,