// Weight loss plateau – what’s the deal? //
‘I’ve been working my ass off for 6 weeks – made great progress! I’ve lost 15-25 lbs. I’m hitting the treadmill 5 times a week and eating really clean. The weight just isn’t shifting anymore – this is so demoralising – why is losing weight this hard?’
The answer to this is simply > It isn’t.
> Energy balancing
> Nutritional intake
> Training type
> Training frequency
These are the nuts and bolts of a regime for Fat Loss.
Just to reiterate – weight loss plateaus happen with EVERYONE
No-one is exempt.
The major factor influencing our ability to plough through it is:
> the practical know how to get around it and the degree to which it occurs.
A weight loss plateau is a natural levelling point – the body has maxed out with whatever system you’ve used to get to this point.
Without being a total geek and getting into physiological happenings and hormonal fluctuations…. >
Does this mean you can’t lose any more weight? Heck no.
Does this mean pushing some comfort zones and learning / trying something new? Usually.
It’s a natural tipping point to dab your toe into a new style of working – a more effective one at that.
There is a very, very important point to understand here in that:
> Restriction is NOT provision.
Our body is an energy system, consuming and burning energy continuously to stay alive. If this is off – no matter what we do, no more weight will be shred.
Where does the energy come from? Our food intake.
If we are burning a set amount per day and eat too little to fuel basic requirements (also known as basal metabolic rate) what will be the outcome?
Obviously not ‘consistent fat loss’.
Sure, at the beginning we can get away with the basic ‘move loads, eat very little’ concept which shocks the body into shifting some weight – but that’s all that will happen – shifting some weight.
The body will be out of whack coughing on fumes to stay running.
When this happens the restriction (and over activity) will cause us to clamp up – if this measure wasn’t in place we would be extinct and pretty quickly. It’s a very good thing.
This calls for a more controlled measure.
So what do we do?
> Eye ball our energy balancing.
If you’ve ever worked with me you’ll know – the first thing I do is look at your food intake. It’s easy to see if this is off (generally because it’s just painfully inadequate).
Here’s the most common scenario I’ll encounter with the ladies I work with:
Individual’s basal metabolic rate burns roughly 1400 calories per day.
Individual’s workload at 5/6 times per week cranks the individual’s total daily energy expenditure up to about 1900 calories.
We break it down and it’s clear that the individual is eating 800-1000 calories to day.
It’s pretty clear here where the issue is – the intake is miles under the basic level of energy intake needed to keep the body running properly.
Of course fat loss (at this stage) is not the priority – staying the heck ALIVE is.
Of course the brain will be yelling ‘… what the hell are you doing, here’s a headache and some cravings on top – go and eat some food right now and stop moving about like a maniac’.
So just be very wary of the workload and properly manage weight loss through dietary intake, not training.
The training needs to be viewed as simply stimulus to provoke a reaction / end result.
In relation to straight ‘Fat Loss’, this reaction is the hike in daily energy expenditure (also hiking the metabolic rate) also giving us some leeway to shred fat whilst eating a non-restrictive level of food.
Understanding energy balancing is the first, most important level.
This gives us a set parameter through which:
– Nutritional intake is set (Protein, Carbs – YES… CARBS, and fat)
– The workout schedule is created through understanding the goal (just some weight loss vs increased musculature / body tone. This part is just on a scale, the more extreme to one end calls for slightly more extreme (but not complicated) measures.
Pretty simple process huh? Quit stressing and start energy balancing.
Watch those waist and hip measurements start shifting again 😉