Is There Really Such a Thing As a "Weight Loss Plateau"?

Many clients or individuals that are on a weight loss journey complain of those terrible plateaus.  Most of you have probably experienced this in efforts to reduce body fat or lose weight at some point. Typically individuals will lose weight successfully for the first month or few months and then hit a "plateau" (depending on how much they have to lose this could come sooner or later). This plateau seems impossible to break and often becomes very discouraging to the individual. There are a few things that need to be addressed when one encounters a "plateau."


First, have you started to slack on your nutrition or exercise, or both? Many people who lose that first amount of weight will become a little relaxed on their habits because they are getting such good feedback from peers. Although we love to hear "you look so great," it may be the trigger to loosening up on those habits that have created the initial success. When you get compliments like this, keep your long term goals in mind. Yes, your initial success is great and something to celebrate, but celebrating should not mean that you become more relaxed on those great lifestyle changes that you have created.


Secondly, you may need to tweak your exercise routine. Our bodies are programmed to the path of least resistance. In other words, our bodies are LAZY and will become more efficient at working out especially when the routine is not changed up. This means you will burn fewer calories doing the same routine if you don't change it up. If you need ideas in changing your workout routine, contact a personal trainer or try a new workout class at your local gym.


Third, you may need to reassess your diet to make sure that it meets your calorie needs, taking into account your current weight loss. This is why follow up appointments with your dietitian are important. If you are at a "weight loss plateau" your calorie level and distribution of calories may need to be tweaked. Don't try and do this on your own because you want to make sure that you are meeting your energy requirements.


If you, like many others, are at what you consider a "weight loss plateau" really take a look at what you are doing. Have your habits changed or slacked a bit since you initially started on this journey? Have you been doing the same workout routine over and over for months? Have you followed up with your dietitian to reassess your nutritional needs? All of these factors can lead to what many consider a "plateau" but it is really a natural part of the weight loss journey.