Weight loss Plateau

Being stuck at a weight loss plateau

This eventually happens to everyone who tries to lose weight. Even so, most people are surprised when it happens to them because they’re still eating carefully and exercising regularly. The frustrating reality is that even well-planned weight-loss efforts can stall.

What can causes a weight loss plateau?

During the first few weeks of losing weight, a rapid drop is normal. In part, this is because when you cut calories, the body gets needed energy initially by releasing its stores of glycogen, a type of carbohydrate found in the muscles and liver.

Glycogen is partly made of water, so when glycogen is burned for energy, it releases water, resulting in weight loss that’s mostly water. This effect is temporary, however.

As you lose weight, you lose some muscle along with fat. Muscle helps keep the rate at which you burn calories (metabolism) up. So as you lose weight, your metabolism declines, causing you to burn fewer calories than you did at your heavier weight.

Getting past a weight loss plateau

If your efforts to get past a weight-loss plateau aren’t working, talk with your doctor or a dietitian about other tactics to try. Whatever you do, don’t give up and revert to your old eating and exercise habits. That may cause you to regain the weight you’ve lost. Celebrate your success and continue your efforts to maintain your weight loss.

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