Have you been making progress with losing weight, and then all of a sudden, your body slammed on the brakes? You’re not alone, and it can be frustrating enough to pull your hair out. You’ve tried everything to get your body to drop stubborn body fat, but no matter what you try, the number on the scale doesn’t seem to change. We’ve all been there.
Something you need to consider is the possibility that you’re gaining muscle while you’ve been losing weight. If you increase your lean muscle mass, your weight (according to the scale) could have flatlined, but in reality, you’re still progressing. The only way to find this out would be to get your body fat tested. Should this be the case, congrats! Losing body fat while adding muscle is the ideal situation that you should strive to achieve.
However, with all of that being said, if you’re not adding muscle and you’ve stopped losing weight, there are a few things you should try. Below, you will find seven suggestions that can be helpful to try if you’ve stopped losing weight. Identify where the issue(s) may be coming from and make the necessary adjustments.
Start Tracking Your Food Intake
If you don’t know how many calories you need to consume daily to put yourself in a caloric deficit to help with losing weight, or even how many calories you’re actually consuming each day, you’re in trouble. How do you expect to see any changes to your weight and body fat if you have no idea how many calories you’re eating? You don’t know what you don’t know, and with weight loss, it’s a numbers game.
Consume your maintenance calories, and your weight can stay the same. Consume more calories than maintenance, and you may gain weight. Consume fewer calories than your maintenance, and you may lose weight. It’s a very simple and straightforward formula.
When you aren’t tracking your calories, how do you know you’re not putting yourself in a caloric surplus and going in the wrong direction? You don’t. That’s why something like the MyFitnessPal app is such a huge asset when your goal is losing weight and body fat.
The app is free (with a more advanced paid version available) and incredibly easy to use. Simply enter your height, weight, activity level, and goals, and it will show you your calorie goal for the day. You can even change the macronutrient ratios if you wish. From there, all you need to do is enter in your meals (which takes very little time), and you can track your progress throughout the day to ensure you hit your goal.
Ensure Your Calories Aren’t Too Low
A common issue that many people face when losing weight is they’ll eventually drop their calories way too low. This is the “if a little bit is good, a lot more is better” theory. This is where you see people who go from dropping 250 calories a day and then all of a sudden thinking they’ll get better and faster results if they cut out 1,000 calories.
Normally when this happens, they stop losing weight and gain a bunch of frustration. On top of it, they may actually stop losing weight altogether or even gain weight. When your calories are too low, you may notice intense cravings, your body may start to hold onto all calories you put in your body and store them because it believes you’re in starvation mode, and your body can even slow down your metabolism so that you aren’t burning as many calories for self-preservation.
The key is to slowly drop your calories to help with losing weight. Start with around 250 calories and when you stop seeing progress and you plateau, drop it another 250 calories per day. These small incremental changes can help provide you with the best results for losing weight.
Make Drinking Water a Priority Throughout the Day
There are many benefits to drinking more water throughout the day. Not only does your body require water for everyday functioning and health, but water also helps you stay properly hydrated.
Being that water is a zero-calorie beverage, you can drink over a gallon each day without adding a single calorie to your daily caloric total. Many people consume too many liquid calories from coffee, tea, and soda without realizing all of the liquid calories they are consuming.
Water is also great for losing weight. If you want to feel full, drink more water. By drinking more water throughout the day, you can help cut back on cravings as well as help decrease the total number of calories you consume during meals.
If you’re not a fan of drinking plain water because you prefer something that has a little more flavor, there are some things you can do to solve this issue. For instance, you can infuse your water with fruit or even cut up cucumber to add some flavor, or purchase a zero-calorie flavoring agent like Mio or Crystal Light.
For flavor and added benefits like enhanced focus and improved recovery, try adding Alpha EAA to your water.
Move More Throughout the Day
You’d be amazed at how sedentary most American’s really are throughout the day. Think about it. You sit to drive or take the bus to school or work, you sit at a desk all day, you sit during your commute home, you sit to eat your meals, and at night you probably sit in front of the television for hours on end. Notice a theme? Everything revolves around being seated.
You need to break that mold and move more throughout the day. That means getting up and walking around multiple times a day to break up your time sitting. Rather than sending an email to your co-worker a few cubicles or offices away, get up and walk there to ask your question or reply to them. If you are drinking water throughout the day, like mentioned in #3, get up and refill your water bottle at the water cooler a few times while at work.
At lunch, rather than sitting at your desk, get up and go for a walk for 30-60 minutes (or however long your lunch break is). After dinner, you can even get in more steps and include the whole family by taking an after-dinner walk around the neighborhood. You can even get in more steps by parking at the back of all parking lots and walking up to the business, school, or office. Instead of taking the elevator to go up a couple of floors, use the stairs.
Simply put, find more ways to get up and move throughout the day, and you can get back on track losing weight and seeing the progress and results you desire.
Get Away from Devices During Meals and Snacks
Pulling your attention away from meals and snacks can be disastrous if you’re trying to lose weight. Let’s break down a typical scenario of what happens when you’re watching television while eating or have your nose in your phone. When you’re relaxing at night and put on your favorite television show or scrolling through your social media feed, it’s common to grab a snack. However, are you measuring out how much you’re eating? Probably not, right? You probably grab the bag of chips, popcorn, pretzels, or whatever you’re hungry for and merely keep reaching your hand in the bag and eating more and more. See the problem?
When you are distracted, you pay less attention to the quantity of food you eat. If losing weight is your goal, you need to focus on your meals and calories. Each time you stick your hand in a snack bag, you’re increasing your daily caloric intake. That’s why it’s so important (like what was mentioned in #1) to track your food intake to ensure you are putting yourself in a caloric deficit.
During meals and snacks, either turn off and put away your devices or simply measure out how much you’re going to eat and stick to it (which you should actually do regardless).
Reduce Your Stress Levels
One of the things that not many people think about when it comes to losing weight is stress. We all live incredibly hectic lives where we always seem to be running from place to place, transporting children to practices and friends’ houses, rushing to get to work, stuck in rush hour traffic, and insurmountable amounts of work that needs to be completed with tight deadlines.
All of that stress piles up and can create some adverse side effects – one of which is it can raise cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that goes up and down regularly without a chronic increase in cortisol taking place over a longer duration. When cortisol levels stay risen, ghrelin levels also rise, and the body tends to store body fat more easily.
Ghrelin is a hunger hormone that can increase when under times of stress and can cause your hunger level to spike. When hunger hormones are not controlled, it can lead to overeating, constant hunger, and intense cravings.
If you can effectively manage stress levels through meditation, sitting in a quiet room, listening to music, reading a book, focusing on your breathing, or anything that helps you destress, you can more effectively continue losing weight.
Are you looking to decrease stress and its adverse effects? If so, try adding NutraBio Ashwagandha KSM-66 to your regimen. This powerful product can help you better manage stress, balance hormones, enhance energy and endurance, boost muscle size, strength, and recovery, as well as supporting mental function and focus.
Put More Focus on Your Sleep
How much sleep are you getting each night? Four hours? Six hours? More? Less? Regardless of whether your goal is losing weight or not, you need to strive for a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. If you’re not getting that much, you need to make some changes in order to accommodate more sleep. You may need to set an alarm for what time you need to go to bed so that you can get a full seven hours of sleep.
Sleep can help boost recovery, improve the immune system, support weight loss, control cortisol levels, and help recharge your cognition and brainpower. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re probably chasing caffeine and stimulants the following day in order to stay productive and energized.
If you want to look and feel better, put more focus into your sleep. Losing weight doesn’t need to be difficult, and if your metabolism is revving and running on all cylinders, you can even be burning calories and body fat while you sleep.