At some point in anyone’s weight loss journey, it’s likely they’ll hit a plateau. Whether in weight loss or fitness, a plateau can be frustrating. The important thing to remember is that with perseverance and a few tweaks to your routine, you can overcome it.
Here are five strategies to overcome an unexpected weight loss plateau.
1. Add more protein to your diet
One of the best approaches to overcoming a plateau is to consume higher amounts of protein. Not only will consuming more protein boost your metabolism, but it will also support lean muscle building.
Replacing your daily IsaLean® Shake with an IsaLean PRO Shake is a great way to add more protein with minimal calories. You can also add IsaPro® to your day as a snack or before bed if that fits into your lifestyle better.
2. Switch up your workouts
If you’ve been doing the same workout routine for a while, it might be time to switch things up. Even if you consistently hit the gym, plateaus may happen if you’re not adjusting your intensity and exercises to challenge yourself.
As your level of fitness increases, the intensity and difficulty of your workouts also need to be increased so you keep seeing results. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance exercise are two approaches that can be incorporated to break through a plateau.
3. Get enough sleep
While seven to eight hours of sleep is recommended for good health, most individuals don’t get anywhere near that amount. Poor sleep has been linked to weight gain, likely through changes in hormone balance, appetite regulation, and metabolism (1,2).
Practicing good sleep hygiene is one tactic to overcome poor sleep quality. Simple changes such as limiting screen time before bed, avoiding caffeinated beverages late in the day, and keeping a consistent bedtime and wake-up time have been associated with better sleep.
4. Check your calories
Tracking calories can be difficult considering all you consume and expend in a day. Research shows that even healthcare professionals underestimate the number of calories consumed and overestimate those burned during exercise (3,4). Using tools such as phone apps or food journals can help you keep track, but it is important to remember that they only provide a general estimate.
Be mindful of the extras, such as adding sugar or cream to your coffee, snacking off your child’s plate, or taste-testing while cooking. These can add up over the day. Taking those extras into account and changing those habits may be just what you need to push past the plateau.
5. Keep your stress in check
Stress is a normal part of life, and though it may not seem like much, changes in your stress level can alter the way you eat. For some, that means overeating or mindless eating. Chronic stress can also lead to disruptions in hormone levels that may stall weight loss. Adding adaptogens like those in Ionix® Supreme to your everyday routine can help even out your body’s natural response to stress. With the added support of adaptogens, you’ll be able to handle whatever comes your way.
Keep in mind that plateaus are a normal part of the weight loss process. Though they can be discouraging, if you’re armed with the patience and tactics to overcome stalls in your progress, you can continue to make headway toward your weight loss goals.
- Miller MA and Cappuccio FP. Inflammation, sleep, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2007 Apr; 5(2): 93-102.
- Spiegel K, Tasali E, Penev P, et al. Brief communication: sleep curtailment in healthy young men is associated with decreased leptin levels, elevated ghrelin levels, and increased hunger and appetite. Ann Intern Med. 2004 Dec 7; 141(11): 846-50.
- Brown RE, Canning KL, Fung M, et al. Calorie estimation in adults differing in body weight class and weight loss status. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 Mar; 48(3): 512-6.
- Cottrell E and Chambers R. Healthcare professionals’ knowledge of calories. Nurs Stand. 2013 Jan 23-29; 27(21):35-41.