I am no longer losing weight! HELP!
When you first start something new, you usually make quick progress and see big changes which makes you feel amazing. However, after a few months, your results slow and it doesn’t feel like you are making progress. We’ve all been there. Whether we’re trying to lose that last bit of fat, gain muscle, or even increase the amount of weight we lift during training, we hit that point in our progress where everything seems to stall. Plateaus in progress are completely normal and are bound to happen at some point in time. As we discussed earlier, you cannot expect that a particular calorie intake or macro breakdown will continue to give you results forever (thanks to metabolic adaptation).
A plateau occurs when you are actually doing everything right – eating properly, training hard, getting enough rest, etc but you stop noticing any changes. This is usually when people get frustrated and give up. A lot of people think they are doing everything right and when they stop seeing results they respond by drastically slashing their calories or adding in hours of cardio to try and get things moving again – which is often completely unnecessary.
This is why when someone comes to me saying that they need help to break through a plateau I generally ask a lot of questions. Firstly, I want to know about markers of progress which we have talked about before here:
- Weight: Is your average weight for the week increasing, decreasing or staying the same? Have you accounted for possible weight fluctuations and ‘that time of the month’?
- Measurements: Have you tracked these? Are they increasing, decreasing or remaining the same?
- Progress photos: Have you seen any improvements? Note: these must be taken at the same time of day, same lighting and same clothes for best results.
- Clothes: Do your clothes fit you better? Do you fit into clothes that you haven’t been able to wear for a while?
- Energy levels: Have these increased? Do you feel better?
- Strength: Are you feeling stronger? Are you lifting more in the gym?
Then I want to know about your routine and compliance:
- Nutrition: Are you actually tracking your food and hitting your macros for just guesstimating. There is a big difference in weighing your foods and just eyeballing things (think about a tablespoon of peanut butter for example!). Track your foods accurately for the next 2 weeks and see if this gets things headed in the right direction again.
- Training: How are your workouts actually going? Are you training hard and continually pushing yourself or are you just showing up and going through the motions? Track your workouts for the next 2 weeks and see if this improves your training performance.
- Sleep: Are you getting enough sleep? I don’t just mean the hours that you are lying in bed scrolling through your phone, I mean the hours that you are actually asleep. Ideally, we want 7-8 hours per night in order to receive the most benefit. Consistently not getting enough sleep can lead to feeling tired and moody, decreased training performance, reduced recovery, increased cravings and increased feelings of stress. Aim to prioritise sleep for the next 2 weeks.
Just because you haven’t seen the number on the scale move from one week to the next doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not making progress. Also, its important to realise that fat loss doesn’t happen on a week-by-week basis. This is why we use multiple methods.
If you can honestly say that you have optimised all of the things discussed above and your weight still doesn’t change, your measurements stay the same, and you can’t see a visible difference in your progress photos, THEN it’s time to make a change.
If you need help with making adjustments to your nutrition to break through a plateau or you need guidance and accountability to achieve your body composition goals – I am here to help! Click here for more information regarding my services and let’s get started today!