Been dieting and pushing hard in the gym for weeks but can’t seem to make the scale budge?
Then it’s very likely that you’ve encountered the dreaded weight loss plateau.
Fortunately, all hope is not lost. Plateaus are temporary and can usually be fixed pretty easily with just a few simple tweaks.
Here are 10 simple ways to overcome a weight loss plateau.
#1 Adjust Your Calorie Intake
As you go through your transformation challenge, you’ll lose weight (which is awesome!), but as that occurs, your body may also start burning less calories throughout the day. This is perfectly natural because it requires less energy expenditure to move a smaller amount of weight.
All of this is to say that you may need to adjust your calorie intake to continue to lose weight, especially if you’re going to be dieting for many many weeks (>8 weeks).
A good rule of thumb is to update your calorie goals for every 10 pounds of weight lost. This can easily be done in the 1UP Fitness app. Another great thing about the app is that it can help you figure out how many calories to eat to lose weight based on your goals!
#2 Be Mindful of Your Calorie Needs
Building off of the previous point, it’s important to always keep an eye on your calorie intake and energy expenditure throughout the day. Most people tend to overestimate how many calories they burn during the day (especially during exercise) and underestimate how much they eat.
Online calorie calculators and calorie readouts on exercise equipment at the gym merely provide estimates. They are not 100% accurate. As such, you can use those numbers as a guide, but a better way to make sure you’re eating right for your goals is to track your food intake using the 1UP Fitness App.
#3 Eat More Protein
Most people know that if they want to build muscle, then they need to consume enough protein. However, what many people don’t realize is that protein also plays an important role in weight loss as well.
For starters, protein is highly satiating, which means it keeps you feeling fuller for longer, thereby less likely to snack between meals or overeat at mealtime. Protein also requires more energy to digest than carbohydrates or fat. What this means is that not only can protein help prevent you from overeating, it may also increase the amount of calories you’re burning during the day, both of which support weight loss!
With that in mind, make sure protein forms the basis of all your meals and snacks throughout the day. This can include steak, chicken, eggs, yogurt, or protein powder.
#4 Build Muscle
You’ve heard that muscle weighs more than fat, but something even more important is that muscle requires more energy to maintain than fat. In other words, having more lean muscle mass on your body means your metabolism is higher, which allows you to diet on a higher amount of calories.
Having more lean muscle on your body also helps give you the right curves in the right places so you look better in your clothes at the end of your transformation challenge and avoid the dreaded skinny fat look.
If you’re used to doing only cardio when trying to lose weight and unsure where to start with lifting weights, we provide customized resistance training programs based on your experience, preferences and equipment when you download the 1UP Fitness App and enter our transformation challenge.
#5 Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is one of the true unsung heroes of success in life, including your weight loss results.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re tired and cranky, making it less likely you’ll actually go to the gym. You’re also more prone to crave junk foods and not stay on track with your meal plan. To top it off, sleep deprivation also messes with your hormones, which doesn’t bode well for weight loss or cardiometabolic health.
All of this is to say that you must make sleep a priority each and every night. If you need help getting to sleep at night, try establishing a nighttime routine so that you can give your body the strong signal it needs to “power down” for the night. It’s also helpful to avoid blue light-emitting devices (smartphones, TV, computers, tablets, etc.) or acute stressors (work emails, social media, news outlets, etc.). One last thing to consider is a nighttime relaxation and recovery aid, such as Beauty Dream PM or Recharge PM, which contains natural ingredients to help reduce feelings of stress and promote calm, cool serenity to help you achieve sleep quicker and rest more peacefully through the night.
#6 Vary Your Exercise Routine
If you’ve been doing the same cardio and resistance-training routines and just can’t seem to break through your weight loss plateau, it’s probably time to inject some novelty into your weekly training regimen.
It’s no secret that the body adapts to whatever it is exposed to, which means it becomes more efficient and burns less calories. But, that’s only part of the reason you might not be burning as many calories.
Doing the same thing week in and week out can just get plain boring after a while and you might not be pushing yourself as hard as you could during your workouts.
As such, if you’re stuck in a rut, then feel free to change up your training routine. This could mean altering which cardio machines you do at the gym, changing the order of your workouts throughout the week, and/or changing up your actual workouts (exercises, set and rep schemes, etc.)
#7 Watch Those Extra Bites
One of the lesser talked about culprits of weight loss plateaus are the “hidden” sources of calories we consume during the day that we never really think about. You know what we’re talking about -- finishing the leftovers on your kid’s or spouse’s plate, having “just a taste” of the breakroom goodies, enjoying one (or two) cocktails after a long workday.
These dietary dalliances may not seem like much, but all calories count (whether they’re on your plate or not). As such, make sure to track them in your fitness app.
Drinking enough fluids each day is crucial to properly managing hunger and satiety cues as even being moderately dehydrated can lead individuals to think they’re hungry.
Make it a goal to consume 80-100 ounces of fluids per day in addition to any fluids lost during intense workouts.
One of the easiest ways to remember to drink water during the day is to carry around a water bottle or shaker cup with you and sip it throughout the day. If you’re not a fan of plain water, feel free to drink zero-calorie sparkling water, mineral water, or mix up a serving of amino acids, such as His BCAA/EAA or Her BCAA/EAA. That way, not only are you satisfying your water needs, but also supplying the body with the key building blocks it needs to support muscle recovery and repair.
#9 Watch Your Stress
Being stressed all the time can increase levels of cortisol.
In acute situations, such as during an intense workout, cortisol can actually enhance performance, but being chronically stressed can disrupt hormone levels in the body, increase cravings for salty/sugary treats, reduce motivation to exercise, and promote fat storage.
As such, be mindful of how you react to stressful situations. You may not be able to entirely remove all sources of stress from your life, but you can certainly control how you respond in the aftermath of a stressful encounter. Things like deep breathing, meditation, or simply removing yourself from the situation and going for a walk outside can do wonders to help lower cortisol levels and feelings of stress and anxiety.
#10 Eat More Fiber
Increasing your daily fiber intake (especially soluble fiber) may help break through a weight loss plateau.
Soluble fiber slows down the movement of food through your GI tract, which can help you feel fuller and more satisfied. Plus, fiber may aid weight loss by reducing the number of calories your body absorbs from a meal.
Good sources of fiber in the diet include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. You can also incorporate a fiber supplement, such as 1UP Fiber Plus, which supplies 8 grams of fiber per serving, including 5 grams of soluble fiber!
Bonus Tip: Supplements
One last thing to consider when trying to overcome a weight loss plateau is to add supplements to your regimen.
As we’ve said before, if you’re not already eating right and training hard, then supplements won’t have as much benefit as they potentially could. But, if you’re tracking your calories and pushing hard in your workouts, using the right supplements could be just the thing you need to help overcome your weight loss plateau.
We offer both stimulant and non-stimulant options for weight loss support, including our best-selling men’s and women’s weight loss formulas Pro Ripped Max and Make Her Lean Max. And to help ward off those inevitable hunger pangs that come with dieting, we’ve developed a premium, stimulant-free appetite suppressant.