Weight Loss Plateaus

By author photo Jenny Craig Team

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How to overcome them and continue losing weight

When beginning a weight loss plan, it’s common to lose weight quickly at first and then — with the right weight loss plan — continue to lose weight at a steady pace.

However, a common problem faced by people trying to lose weight is when their weight seems to stay the same even though they are still sticking to their healthy eating and activity plan. This is referred to as a weight loss plateau.

Anyone who has experienced a weight loss plateau will understand how frustrating and de-motivating it can be. But why do they happen and — more importantly — what can you do to overcome them?


Why do weight loss plateaus happen?

The definition of a weight loss plateau is when a person is in energy balance. In other words, the energy you intake from food and drink is equal to the energy you burn through exercise and daily movement.

Because you need to take in less energy than you burn in order to lose weight, when you reach this balanced plateau state, no weight loss will occur.

There are several reasons why a person may hit a weight loss plateau. One explanation is that as people lose weight, they may also lose muscle mass which in turn can lower their metabolism — the amount of energy the person burns doing basic daily activities.

Another explanation is that as someone loses weight, they will naturally burn less energy through daily activities as they have less body mass to move.

Weight loss plateaus might not happen for everyone, won’t happen at the same point of the weight loss plan, and sometimes cannot be easily explained. However, there is a way to beat them.


How to overcome a weight loss plateau

If you’re on a weight loss plan and you feel you’ve hit a plateau, there are a few things you can do to overcome it and continue on your path to weight loss success:

  • Record everything you eat and drink, to make tracking intake vs output easier
  • If you’ve already lost a fair amount of weight, try adjusting your weight loss plan to reduce your daily intake or increase your activity
  • Increase your physical activity by adding more into your day, or upping the intensity
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep: sleep deprivation can sabotage your weight loss efforts

It’s important to remember that hitting a weight loss plateau does not mean that your weight loss plan has failed — the scales are only one measure of success.

  • Take body and BMI measurements to track how far you’ve come, and celebrate those numbers too.
  • Consider other things you’re proud of such as increasing your vegetable and fruit intake, or adding exercise to your daily routine
  • Stay positive and motivated by looking to other goals such as increasing your exercise limit or keeping up a healthy eating streak.

At Jenny Craig, our Consultants are experts at helping people overcome weight loss plateaus and maintaining healthy weight loss. They will help you to determine the cause of the plateau and set you up with a strategy tailored to your needs to see you lose weight and reach your goals.

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