When you begin to lose weight, the feeling is indescribable. All of a sudden, your ideas of a slimmer, fitter you are no longer a dream - they’re becoming a reality that you are seeing reflected in the mirror.
The early stages of entering into a proper diet and exercise regime are so exciting, you want them to last forever. Unfortunately, that’s not what happens. Weight loss has a tendency to begin well, with pounds falling off and your confidence on its way to the stratosphere, but it will then begin to slow as your body adjusts to your new eating pattern.
This is disheartening. It can make you feel like you got a taste of the life you want, but now you’ve been kept waiting. You’re still putting all the effort in and making the necessary changes to make a difference, but it feels like nothing is happening. It’s not long until you begin to question if the sacrifices are worth it, as you continue to plow through week after week with only a negligible difference on the scales. It can lead to slip-ups that result in you gaining weight rather than losing it.
The Good News? This Too Shall Pass
Just like the initial stages of weight loss were transitory, so is the plateau period when it feels like nothing you’re doing is making a difference. The process of making the switch to a healthier lifestyle is a gradual one, which will require a total change in the complex chemistry of your body. That’s not going to happen overnight for good or bad reasons.
The main problem with the plateau is what it does to your mental state. It’s not a bad thing for your body; it shows that you’re doing things right, and losing weight should be a gradual process. Of course, it can be very difficult to tell yourself this when it’s happening. You want results, and no one can blame you for that.
What Are The Options For Seeing Through The Plateau?
The first way of surviving this period is to analyze what you are doing. Maybe your body has now become accustomed to lower calories, and you need to make another small cut in your daily allowance to see progress. Or perhaps you’ve now become fitter, so you need to start spending longer on the treadmill or doing 10 more reps of any strength work. Evaluate your regime and see if you need to push sooner.
It’s also a good time for medical intervention. If the plateau hangs around for longer than a few weeks, then seeking the advice of a doctor or visiting a weight loss clinic can get you back on track. There might be reasons - such as medication side effects - that your losses have stalled, so it’s worth talking to someone with experience in handling these matters.
The biggest change you have to make, however, is in your attitude. Yes, this period is disheartening - but it’s also inevitable. You’re fighting biology here, so give your body a chance to calm down and acknowledge that soon, you’ll be back on your way again. It’s temporary; annoying, but temporary. Keeping that at the forefront of your mind will help to see you through it.