Is that really a fat loss plateau ?
Diet Plan? Check! Training Schedule? Check! Attitude and Mindset? Done and done! Yet, weeks have turned into months and you still don’t see any discernible progress in your physique. I’ve seen this happen with so many recreational dieters. Invariably, they arrive at this conclusion - “I’ve hit a plateau!” Is that really the reason? Or is there something else that’s getting in the way of your transformation? Let’s put our science hats on. What exactly is a Fat Loss Plateau? Fat loss plateau is a phase where no progress is observed for a brief period i.e. you have reached a point of stagnation. In fact, apart from fat loss, you might even hit a plateau while chasing other goals such as strength gain, muscle gain or improved endurance. Circling back to our main topic, have you hit a plateau? Is that why you’re not losing weight? Maybe not! Here are a few things you need to note: 1) Are you following your diet Properly? Most individuals think they are on a quantified diet but, in reality, they’re not! It's common for people to underestimate their caloric consumption and not even realize it. Let’s say you stick to your diet most of the time. But you also have one or two extra meals each week, apart from beverages and snacks that you don’t take into account. Are you still in a caloric deficit? Probably not! That’s because you think you’re consuming X calories but in reality, you’re consuming (X + n) calories. Why would you lose weight? 2) Are you active enough? Going for a walk or playing an outdoor sport gives you a sense of accomplishment. You feel happy because you think you’ve been active. Here’s the problem: there’s a good chance you’ve overestimated your caloric expenditure. While it's a good thing to be active, it's equally important to understand the kind of activity you select and how it aligns with your goal. If you are consuming 1500 kcal a day and need to burn 2000 kcal per day to create a deficit, then a simple 15-minute walk is not going to help you reach your goal. This is especially true if you lead a sedentary life for the rest of the day. 3) Are you giving yourself time to recover? When you don’t get enough sleep or when you don’t give your body enough time to recover from a workout, fatigue builds up in the body and that kills your progress. Then, no matter how much you diet or how well you train, you won’t achieve your fitness goal. Do This Instead Make sure you get these things right: 1) You are consistent with your Diet & Training plans. 2) You are getting adequate rest/ sleep every day. 3) You are tracking your body measurements on a weekly basis and not simply checking your weight. 4) You are tracking your strength levels to see if you need to tweak your training volume and diet. If you are doing all of the above and still not seeing progress, then you might conclude that you’re hit a fat loss plateau. Apart from stagnant weight and body measurements, you may also experience: 1) Fatigue and lethargy 2) Decreased strength 3) Reduced appetite Bottomline It's not that easy to hit a plateau. There are likely other reasons why you’ve stalled. Address those first. Be consistent with your nutrition and training. Don’t let the fear of a fitness plateau stop you from making the right efforts towards your fitness goals.