How To Overcome A Weight Loss Plateau

How To Overcome A Weight Loss Plateau


You’re working out consistently, you’re motivated, you have high energy. But for weeks, you’re not shedding any weight. Welcome to the much dreaded weight loss plateau. It feels like it’s your worst nightmare.

Don’t panic. For everyone, there seems to be a time when weight just does not seem to change. Your scales don’t reflect your dedication and hard work. And to top it off, you’re eating right and exercising right. What could be going wrong?

Weight in Terms of Water, Fat, and Muscle

The majority of weight loss plateaus seem to occur once around 18 to 20% body fat and 12% body fat for men and 20 to 25% body fat and 15% body fat for women.

Weight is a collection of all bones, water, organs, fat, and muscles in your body. Typically, bones and organs don’t change (unless you’re in your teenage years). The three main factors that affect weight are water, fat, and muscle.

Muscle is denser than fat. Once you approach a tipping point where your body begins to have more muscle than fat, then it’s going to be significantly more difficult to shed fat. During your weight loss plateau, take photos of your body. Is your body composition changing? Many times, we’re losing fat, but we’re replacing that fat with muscle. So the scales don’t reflect any net change, but our bodies get stronger and better.

Another factor that has a huge difference is water weight. How has your carbohydrate, creatine, and salt intake have been? All three are susceptible to water retention so even if you’re losing weight, that weight is just plain water.

The third factor is that water filled fat occurrence. When you proceed to lower body fat, your fat stores will fill with water, instead of actual fat. Once you’ve burned enough calories to burn the entire store, all that water weight just drops. Imagine a balloon. That balloon is filled with oxygen; however, oxygen begins to deplete and instead of shrinking, it stays the same size because water begins to fill the balloon. However, at one point, the water weight just becomes too much so the balloon pops. This analogy is very similar to what happens in your body. The balloon is a fat store. The oxygen being removed is the fat being removed. Water takes place of the oxygen and then all at once, you lose all that weight.


How to overcome your plateau

  1. If you’re not already doing it, do intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting will expedite your fat loss.
  2. Make sure you have restored your metabolism via refeeds. You may gain some weight back, but it could be possible that your metabolism has come to a screeching halt.
  3. If you’re doing cardio, don’t over-do the cardio. Your body’s metabolism could have crashed because you’ve shocked your body by losing too much weight. Go back and do a refeed.
  4. If you’re not already doing so, try carbohydrate cycling.
  5. Increase your protein intake. Your body might not be getting sufficient nutrition it needs to feed it’s muscles. So instead of taking fat, it begins to eat muscle.
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