The Plateau Effect or What to Do When Weight Doesn’t Go Down

Have you ever heard the expression “weight” plateau or plateau effect? Let’s find out what it is and why so often there is a plateau effect in people trying to lose weight.

At the first stages of weight loss, the weight, as a rule, goes away quickly. This is due to the correction of nutrition and diligent exercise. A sharp reduction in sugar and salt intake removes excess fluid from the body.

Also with excess water leaves fats, which have recently acquired and have not had time to consolidate.

And just after the excess fluid and fresh fats are gone, the real fight with the stored layer of fat begins. This requires more effort than before.

How Do I Know When I've Hit the Plateau Effect?

It should be noted at once that if the numbers on the scales do not change, but at the same time the size goes away – this is not a plateau effect. The fact is that training contributes to muscle growth. Accordingly, the bigger the muscle, the bigger its mass, and this is reflected on the scales.

You can recognize the plateau effect by the following signs:
o Weight stays flat for several weeks
o Performance decreases;
o Strength gains are lost;
o Progress does not appear after 2 to 3 weeks of training;
o Heavy sweating occurs;

Why Does the Plateau Effect Occur?

There are actually many reasons why the Plateau Effect can occur, but we will look at the most common ones.

Physiological reasons. When we drastically cut calories, starting to follow a diet and at the same time increasing physical activity, our body does not realize that these are temporary measures. To our body, this is constant hunger and a signal that it’s time to turn on “lean mode,” limiting the rate of weight loss.

The body’s metabolism begins to slow down as you eat less and expend more energy during exercise.
Physiological reasons can also include the same type of workouts. Once you get used to certain physical activities, your body adapts to them and does not consider it necessary to burn calories.

Psychological reasons. After the first kilograms are dropped, many people are happy to indulge themselves, motivated by the fact that they kept on a diet, did a lot of exercise in the gym, and dessert or a trip to fast food in this case can not hurt. Such moments should be carefully monitored, because they are very often the reason for stopping weight loss.

Overtraining. If you have been training very intensively for a long period of time, then your plateau can be justified by the “overtraining syndrome”.
Signs of overtraining can include both weakness and drowsiness, as well as unnatural vigor and insomnia. In this case, it is better to take a short break from training (3-7 days), return to them with a reduced training load and gradually increase the weights. Here you should not even worry about a little weight gain, because in the future it will stimulate more weight loss.

Lack of fat in the diet. Fat is essential for the normal functioning of organs. This macronutrient is involved in many important processes of our entire body.

If you exclude or limit fats in your diet as much as possible, then instead of weight loss there will be stagnation.
Remember that a proper nutrition diet should consist of: 15-25% proteins; 30-40% fats; 40-45% carbohydrates.

Violation of this ratio negatively affects the state of all systems in the body.

How To Overcome The Plateau Effect?

There is an interesting method called “Food Swing”, which gives the body signals to start taking internal reserves again.
“Food Swing” – increasing or decreasing calories on certain days of the week. This practice allows you to rock your metabolism and shift the weight loss process.

Plateau Effect

You can apply the following scheme of getting out of the Plateau Effect with this method:

1. Load day. Once a week, consume 25% more than your normal daily diet. Here you can (in moderation!) indulge in your favorite foods.
2. Unloading day. Also once a week you can make a day of unloading, eating, for example, one vegetable and not exceeding 1000-1200 calories.
3. Change up your workout routine. Include muscles that were not previously involved to the maximum.
4. Change the basic composition of foods. Allow the body to try something new.
5. Visit a sauna. Thermal procedures increase the body’s need for oxygen and nutrients. Metabolism in that case accelerates, and accordingly burn more calories.

With food swings we calm the brain by not depriving it of its favorite food (because it is the brain, not the stomach, that wants something tasty!) and calm our metabolism by not having to frantically save energy reserves.

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