Have you stopped losing weight despite continuing to adhere to a diet and exercise plan? Has the weight loss stopped even though you are supposed to keep losing more weight? I’m a certified personal trainer, and to have mysteriously stopped losing weight is a very common problem.
There are many reasons a person stops losing weight, despite sticking to what seems like a reasonable diet and effective workout regimen. Below are 10 of those reasons, and in no particular order. Re-evaluate your weight loss plan and see if any of these culprits apply to you. I bet most of them do. Incorporating just a few of them will re-trigger your body to lose more weight.
- You haven’t been lifting weights. Muscle is the metabolic furnace of the body. The more muscle you have, the faster is resting metabolism, even during slumber. Lifting weights will dramatically jump-start metabolism and fire up more weight loss. You will not bulk up. You’ll lose weight, which means you’ll get smaller. If you pussy-foot around with tiny, ultra-light weights, don’t expect much more weight loss.
- You insist upon doing “steady state” cardio, instead of a wonderful fat-burning technique called high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.). H.I.I.T. increases resting metabolism, while steady state cardio does not. Steady state is also known as sustained or duration-based aerobics. It’s when you stay at the same setting, for the most part, on the treadmill, elliptical, bike, revolving staircase, jogging trail, etc. Read about H.I.I.T. right HERE to find out how to do this.
- You are skipping breakfast. You might think you’re saving calories, but many times, the absence of a morning meal will cause greater hunger later on, causing you to eat more than you would have, had you eaten breakfast. The lack of morning nourishment might also slow you down, leading to fewer calories burned — and a halt to weight loss.
- You’re skipping meals or going long periods without any food. Throngs of people still believe that an effective way to lose weight is to skip meals, or go long periods without eating. However, this backfires with a weight loss plan, because it actually slows metabolism. Your body does not “know” when the next meal or bite is coming, so it clings fast to stored body fat. Eat every three hours; not always a full meal, but a healthy snack will do.
- Overall daily calorie intake isn’t enough to subsidize your physical activity level. If you’re exercising a lot, but that 1,400 calorie-a-day diet has suddenly stopped working for weight loss, it’s because it’s no longer enough to adequately fuel your body. Thus, metabolism has slowed down to compensate. Increase calorie intake and your metabolism will fire back up, causing more weight loss.
- You have bad sleeping habits. They finally caught up with you and are interfering with your weight loss goals. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep, but here’s something you might not know: The best time to get in these 7-8 hours is between 10 pm and 6 am, AND in complete darkness. This maximizes release of human growth hormone during sleep. Human growth hormone is a natural fat-burner and will help you lose weight.
- Frequent napping. A 20-minute snoozer is fine, but some people, despite sleeping 7-8 or even nine hours, will take a two-hour nap most days. This is complete inertia, and completely unnecessary in an otherwise healthy adult. Not only does the nap time minimize metabolism, but when you awaken, the grogginess tends to linger, creating a slow-moving, lethargic body.
- Failure to change up your workout routine. Doing the same thing over and over is a well-established saboteur of weight loss, because the body becomes so adapted to the same predictable exercise routines, that it becomes efficient at doing the routines, and thus, requires fewer calories to carry out the exercise. Switch up your exercise routines, both weights and cardio, to keep your body guessing and confused. Confused muscles require more energy (burn more calories). This is a very effective ploy for losing weight.
- Failure to include compound, multi-joint exercises in your workout plan. These exercise moves get the entire body involved, or most of the body going, and thus, burn more calories, and keep metabolism going even after the workout is completed, if the exercises are done intensely. They include barbell squats, leg presses, bench presses, dead-lifts, pull-ups and heavily-weighted lunges.
- Failure to include hybrid exercises in your workout plan. Hybrid exercises involved several major muscle groups because they fuse two or more exercises into one. Examples are squatting while holding dumbbells, then standing and pressing dumbbells overhead. Another example is adding biceps curls to decline dumbbell presses – after lowering the dumbbells, curl them, then press them up again.
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