Many people in the Rochester, NY area are on a weight loss journey; many of these people will find that they have hit a wall with their weight loss and are stuck at a certain weight. They feel like they are eating healthier and are working out more but can’t seem to get past this wall to achieve their weight loss goal. Hitting a plateau is a very common problem when first starting a weight loss journey. Weight loss plateaus can demotivate people and push them to give up on living healthier lifestyles. Let’s talk about what typically causes these plateaus and what you can do to push past them to reach your weight goals.
The first reason a person’s weight may be plateauing is they are simply eating too much. It may sound obvious but it is a common problem with people who are not tracking their meals and calories. If you are not in a caloric deficit, you will not lose weight. There are many easy ways to track your food intake - you can keep a food journal that will allow you to visually see what you’re eating on any given day, or there are many smartphone or tablet applications that are easy to use. Tracking meals can also help reduce overconsumption of processed foods and sugar; two common culprits for causing weight loss plateaus. When eating whole foods that are rich in healthy fats and fiber, a signal is triggered to tell your brain that you are full. Processed foods do not trigger this response which will lead to overconsumption.
If your diet is in check and you are still seeing a plateau, it’s time to look at other possibilities. The next place to look is your exercise routine. There is a process in the body called downregulation of metabolism. As you reduce your calorie intake, the body tries to compensate and slow down your metabolism to conserve energy. The best way to combat this is by incorporating weight training into your exercise routine. Lifting weights at least 3 times per week has been shown to significantly reduce the downregulation of metabolism.
Chronic stress may also be a culprit for weight loss plateaus. When we are stressed, the body releases large amounts of cortisol into the bloodstream. High levels of cortisol have been shown to increase abdominal fat storage. Stress can also cause hormones like leptin and testosterone to drop. When these hormones are reduced a person can have increased cravings, appetite, and will likely see reduction in weight loss or even weight gain. Some of the best ways to reduce stress are getting 8 hours of sleep a night, going for a 30 minute walk each day, and trying stress reducing activities like meditation or yoga.
Vitamin deficiencies also need to be considered if weight loss begins to plateau. In order to burn fat, the body requires all of the vitamins and minerals that are necessary in that biochemical process. Deficiencies can cause weight loss plateaus as well as fatigue, muscle cramps, and even weight gain. Knowing if you are getting enough vitamins is especially important for those who are naturally deficient in vitamins. This would include those with metabolic disorders or thyroid issues. If you are unsure if you are reaching your recommended daily amount of vitamins, the best thing to do is begin tracking foods.
If you are stuck in a weight loss plateau or are looking for help tracking your diet, give us a call today. Our nutritionist here at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic has been helping people learn how to track their calories, vitamins, and essential nutrients in order to get past the plateau and reach their weight loss goals. If you are in the Rochester, NY area and are looking for extra help losing those extra pounds, call our office and sign up for your free nutritional consultation.