Weight Loss Plateau – Have You Stopped Losing Weight?

When you’re trying to lose weight, there's nothing worse than seeing the declining number on the scales suddenly come to an abrupt halt. This is what we call a weight loss plateau. Nothing you do budges the number the scales are stuck on. A weight loss plateau is not the end of the world; it simply means you've become accustomed to your routine, and you need to change things up a little.

What is a weight loss plateau?

A weight loss plateau describes when your weight stops changing; you're no longer gaining or losing weight. A plateau will eventually happen to anyone who is losing weight. For some, it might mean you've reached your ideal, healthy weight. But for many who still have weight to lose, it is a signal that you need to make some changes. 

What Causes a Weight Loss Plateau?

Often when people embark on a weight loss journey, they will lose weight faster in the beginning. This is usually because you're eating fewer calories and burning more energy than you were before. You might have stopped eating sugar, cut out fast food and are partaking in some form of physical activity. 

But eventually, this type of eating and exercising becomes your new norm. And it's no longer enough to shift the rest of the weight. Luckily, there are some things you can do when you've reached a plateau to restart the fat burning. 

How to Keep Losing Weight

1. Focus on Protein 

Eating a diet that’s high in protein can help with weight loss. A high protein diet has shown to boost metabolism and reduce appetite through surpressing the hunger hormone. So, when you eat more protein and fewer carbs, your hunger will be suppressed, and you will likely eat less total calories and therefore lose weight. 

In addition, a high protein diet can help to reduce cravings. A recent study shows that people who consumed protein as 25% of their total calories reduced cravings by 60% and cut the desire for late-night snacking by half. So, by upping your protein you should be able to whip yourself out of a plateau.

Foods with protein: Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, etc.,), tofu, nuts, peanut butter,  brown rice, quinoa, eggs, yoghurt, milk, cheese, fish, leant meat, In Shape Mummy Health Shakes, In Shape Mummy Snack Bars.

2. Portion Control

Even though you might create and eat healthy and balanced meals, overeating will impact your weight loss. Just a 10% decrease in your meal sizes can tremendously affect weight loss. 

You allow your body and your hunger cues to adapt by slightly reducing your meal size. Although you might feel a little hungry for a few days, this will pass quickly as your body adjusts. But take care if breastfeeding, you must ensure you’re still eating enough calories. When breastfeeding you require 300-500 calories more per day than when you’re not breastfeeding, so it’s best not to reduce your portion size if you think this will take you under your required calories. 

How many daily calories in total do you need to lose weight? The answer differs from mum to mum. There is no one size fits all. Obviously a 100kg mum has different energy requirements to a 60kg mum. Your individual requirements are based on your age, weight, height, whether you are partially or exclusively breastfeeding and your activity level.

To see how many calories your body needs to lose weight access our calorie calculator here.

Access our Calorie Calculator

3. Increase your workouts 

Your weight loss plateau might be a result of not exercising enough. If you’re only walking 2 days a week, try walking more. 

If you are already walking every day, a short walk around the block was enough when you had just had your baby. But if it’s been 6+ months, you may find you need to move a little longer to see results. 

Exercise not only burns calories but it is great for your mental and physical health. Also, you’re less likely to feel like eating junk if you’ve just done some healthy exercise.  

4. Up Your Incidental Exercise 

Incidental exercise is where you increase your movement, but it is not a planned activity. This could be taking the stairs instead of the escalator, parking the car a couple of streets away and walking to the café, or having an impromptu dance party with the kids. Even cleaning the house is incidental exercise; what a great way to kill two birds with one stone! 

Increasing your activity throughout the day in as many ways as possible will do wonders for your weight loss. Try to think about how you can turn any situation into physical activity. For example, say you didn't get a lot of movement in for the day; you could aim to do some squats while you make dinner. Or you could break up hanging out the washing with a few push-ups. You'll be surprised at how much exercise you can squeeze into any situation. 

5. Try a Meal Replacement 

Swapping a meal with a meal replacement shake is a great way to reduce your total calories while ensuring you’re still getting all the nutrients you need. 

The In Shape Mummy Health Shake is a superfood formulated meal replacement specifically for breastfeeding and busy mums.

The shakes are a good source of protein, as well as having 25 vitamins and minerals, probiotics, digestive enzymes and organic superfoods to help you meet your nutritional needs. They have no processed sugar or artificial nasties. Instead, they’re sweetened naturally with monk fruit and taste like a delicious treat. The high protein content and natural sugars mean they perfectly carb sugar cravings and fill you up. 

So, if you’ve hit a weight loss plateau, the quick and easy answer might be swapping your breakfast or lunch with an In Shape Mummy Health Shake. 

How much Weight can I Expect to Lose?

A healthy and safe amount of weight to lose if you're breastfeeding is 2 kgs per month. If you're not breastfeeding you can target losing 4-6 kgs per month.

When you're breastfeeding, it is important to lose weight at a slower pace in order to support your milk supply.

Try not to weigh yourself too often as it is important not to get fixated on the scales. Keep in mind the scales don’t always tell the truth as your weight can fluctuate at different times of day. It can fluctuate depending on what you have ate or drunk that day  and it can fluctuate at different times of the month with your period. It is better to focus on the process.  If you focus on consistently doing the things that help you lose weight, you will lose weight.

Most importantly, think about what you want to gain, not just about what you want to lose Whether you want to gain more energy, better self-confidence, better health, or whatever it is for you. Thinking about what you want to gain will motivate you to act to achieve your goal.

Not Losing Weight?

If you're someone who thinks they're doing everything right but still not losing weight, here are some reasons that might explain why.

1. You're eating more calories than you are burning in a day

2. You're eating the wrong foods.

3. You're not consuming enough nutrients 

4. Mindless snacking 

5. Unhealthy cooking methods

6. Drinking too many calories 

Click here to read more.

Shevi is a qualified nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food sciences. As a mum of a new baby and a toddler, she is passionate about postnatal-related nutrition. Shevi has worked alongside some of the most famous leaders and celebrities in the fitness industry throughout Australia and the UK.

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