Are you actively losing weight, have tried all diets, do not leave the gym, but suddenly the number on the scales stopped? This is the plateau effect. Let's figure out together with an expert where it comes from and why the weight stands still when losing weight.

The Plateau Effect: 6 Reasons Your Weight Is Stuck and How to Fix

A plateau effect is a condition in which performance stops at a certain level. With the development of strength, the working weight remains the same, when recruiting, the volumes do not increase, and when losing weight, the kilograms suddenly stopped leaving.

Let's talk today about the latter: a plateau in losing weight.

What is this effect

So, you follow the regime, do not allow yourself to eat anything extra, do not miss sports. And every morning you get on the scales... and they show the same figure.

At this moment, many lose motivation: “Why lose weight further, torture yourself if there is no result?” And in order not to launch scheduled “sofa-refrigerator” flights and skip training, let's figure it out: why does it happen?

In fact, A plateau is simply your body's adaptation to current stresses.

Remember the period when you were just starting to lose weight. You completely changed your diet, turned on the load and changed your daily routine. It was a shake-up for the body, and it helped to keep the result in line with your expectations: you really lost too much!

Over time, the body gets used to it. And the weight continues to stand for weeks , or even months at the same mark. But only if you do not try to find the cause and eliminate it. This is what we will do.

Why is the weight not coming off

1. Easier weight loss

When you start to lose weight, your body releases glycogen stores for energy. Glycogen is a type of carbohydrate that is partially made up of water. As a result of this process, you first lose "water weight". The effect of the weight of the water is only temporary. Eventually, you will replenish your glycogen stores and your water weight will return, which may look like a plateau. You will need to continue to increase your activity level and reduce your calorie intake in order to burn fat already.

Also, sometimes, when excess water leaves, you can notice this - the weight stands still, and the volumes decrease, which is also good in general. In this case, work more actively on the muscles. 

2. Wrong diet

Nutrition is a fundamental element in achieving any result. And weight loss is no exception.

Perhaps you should reconsider your diet , first of all, the daily allowance: try to reduce or increase calories, change the proportions of proteins, fats and carbohydrates consumed.

In order for the process of losing weight not to stop, it is important to burn more calories than you consume. But this difference should not become too large, it is impossible to create a sharp and strong calorie deficit. Without energy from food, metabolic processes are reduced, and kilograms will not go away.

Look at your food basket too: are the foods you eat really rich in nutrients? For a normal metabolism, nutrition must be balanced.

Pay attention to foods that can cause swelling in you. The retention of excess fluid greatly affects kilograms. Often the reason for this is too little food intake or food of questionable quality.

If you cut yourself off in food, improve your diet. If your appetite suddenly began to disappear, you may need to consult an endocrinologist.

3. Decreased metabolic rate

When you lose weight, your metabolism naturally slows down because your muscle mass decreases. Muscles increase the metabolic rate and help the body burn calories faster. 

Also, the metabolism can adapt to a lower calorie intake and slow down to conserve energy. 

4. The body is used to training

A single plan once and for all life, unfortunately, does not work that way. If you repeat the same exercises every workout and do not change anything, there will be no progress. This is by no means a bad plan. This only indicates that the body gets used to the load.

Therefore, if you notice that the weight is in place during training, contact a trainer who will help you create a new training program. Or change your classes from time to time. And you will drive away the plateau, and the classes will not be as boring as before.

5. Wrong type of load

If you consistently work every workout 4 sets of 12 repetitions with 10 kg, and then go to the exercise bike and pedal for 20 minutes, then we hasten to upset you.

First, the lack of progression leads to a dead end. Change the number of sets, repetitions, try a different weight.

Secondly, even a sports habit is not always useful. For example, you are used to spending more time on the strength part of your workout, and less time on cardio. Try changing the ratio.

6. The body needs time to reboot

If the weight stays the same with proper nutrition, it may mean that your body is adapting to the new set point. The fact is that the body has a weight range at which it is most comfortable. If you're trying to go below your target, it will struggle to stay within range, slowing down your metabolism. This does not mean that you cannot change the weight.

If you think you have achieved your goal, give yourself a month or two to maintain that weight and give your metabolism time to adjust before further reducing your calorie intake and increasing your activity levels.

7 tips to overcome plateaus

When your weight stays the same while losing weight, it means that you need to make some changes in your lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you get past plateaus and get boring results:

1. Change your fitness routine

In order for the body not to get used to, you need to move in new, more difficult ways for it. It could be increasing the intensity of your workout or doing something completely new.

Regardless of how you choose to overcome the plateau, be sure to set realistic expectations and give yourself time to rest. As you master a new training program, gradually increase its duration and intensity, or try something completely new.

2. Build Muscle with Strength Training

Incorporate strength training into your routine. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, even when you're resting. Try to do them at least twice a week. For example, you can do push-ups, lift weights.

Important: Make sure you don't train the same muscles two days in a row to give them a chance to recover.

3. Watch your calorie intake

Calories easily penetrate the diet and accumulate quickly. Many people underestimate how much they eat. You can better understand your portion sizes and calorie intake by keeping a food diary or using a calorie counting app . The diary will help you find healthier alternatives to unhealthy foods and cut calories even more (but not drastically - remember that if you are in a drastic calorie deficit, your weight stays the same).

4. Eat More Protein

Protein can help you speed up your weight loss process for several reasons. First, the body burns more calories when it digests protein than when it breaks down carbohydrates or fats. Secondly, protein stimulates the secretion of hormones that curb appetite. Third, it can help guard against muscle loss, which can boost your metabolism.

But all this does not mean that you need to eat a huge amount of meat or other foods high in protein. Consider how much protein you are consuming daily and increase your intake as needed. Adults are recommended to consume at least 0.8 grams. protein per kilogram of body weight per day. 

5. Get enough sleep

People who don't get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night can consume more calories throughout the day to help combat fatigue. Lack of sleep can also lead to increased stress and unhealthy food choices.

There are many reasons for sleep disorders . It is important to understand them in order to establish a rest regimen. 

6. Reduce stress

For many, stress causes a desire to reach for high-calorie foods (all because of the hormone cortisol, which stimulates appetite). Therefore, it is important to reduce stress levels if you want to accelerate weight loss. 

Make a list of relaxing activities for yourself, such as massage,  meditation , or breathing exercises.

7. Measure success not only by kilograms

Don't rely on your scales as the only way to measure your success in breaking through a plateau. Other factors, such as body size, increased energy, and improved fitness levels, also demonstrate that you are doing great. You may be gaining muscle but losing fat while maintaining a stable weight.

If the number on the scale still hasn't moved, but your jeans fit better, you know you're on the right track.

So, if you are worried about what to do when the weight got up while losing weight, let's say right away - do not panic. Try all our tips one by one. And most importantly: do not lose your mood and motivation ! Much depends on your condition and mood.

Then this state will not be the end of your path, but just a small obstacle, and you will achieve the results you want to achieve.