Weight loss is a struggle. Anyone who has even attempted it will tell you that. However, one of the worst feelings that a dieter can get is when they stop losing weight after weeks of months spent dieting, exercising and sticking to it.
This is called plateauing, and it is a common thing that happens when shedding pounds. There is a perfectly logical reason for it, and learning how a plateau happens will help you to see your plateaus coming in plenty of time and be able to adjust so that you can continue to lose weight.
The first thing that we need to understand to figure out plateaus in weight loss is how weight loss works. You lose weight when your body burns more calories than it takes in. You burn calories in two basic ways. The first is through metabolism, or the amount of calories burned each day by your body keeping you alive. This including running your cardiovascular system, allowing you to use your brain and keeping your heart beating. This is called your resting metabolic rate, or basal metabolic rate, depending upon how it is calculated.
The next thing that you have to add into the equation is any exercise that you do throughout the day. For instance, if you hit the gym for an hour, any calories you burn during that time can be added to your basal metabolic rate. If you have a very physical job, such as construction, or something that you walk around at all day like an outdoor sales job, then you can count those calories as extra, or add them into the calculation information on your BMR. Once you have figured out what these two numbers are, combine them.
In order to lose weight, one must then simply calculate how many calories that they need to eat each day to lose the amount of weight that they want. So, if a person wants to lose a pound a week, they need to burn 500 more calories total than they eat. If you want to lose three pounds a week, then you simply need to burn 1500 more calories per day than you eat. However, here is where things get tricky, and the reason weight loss plateaus. What most people don’t understand about your basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories your body burns staying alive, is that it goes down the more weight that you lose.
That’s why people hit plateaus. Their RMR continues to decline and their weight loss becomes less and less pronounced. Then, they finally stop losing weight altogether and cannot understand why, since they are eating the same number of calories, and doing the same amount of exercise. In order to prevent a plateau, you can create a chart that will give you an adjusted BMR every 10 or 25 pounds that you lose. Then, you can either reduce your calories or you can increase your exercise so that you continue to lose weight.