Do not let "normal" set points and weight loss plateaus stop your weight loss plans.You have been careful for weeks at a time, lost weight and suddenly it all comes to a stop. Even if you exercised all along it still can happen. No matter what you do the scales stay the same. You at a set point, or plateau.
This happens to everyone. It's a normal and inevitable problem. Your system works hard to keep energy intake (food) and output (basal metabolism and exercise) in a very delicate balance. We all like weight loss but our body interpret the weight loss as starvation. It shuts down our metabolism. Our bodies are designed to protect themselves from anything that interacts with our survival. Try holding your breath, as you read the next paragraph or two and you will see another body function that is built to keep you alive.
Think about it, our ancestors, 10,000 years ago ate when they found food. Days could go by without eating. Those that were able to conserve energy, ie hold on to the fat, were the ones that lived. So we are programmed to conserve our fat for lean times, which are not very often these days.
It takes fewer calories to maintain your weight because you simply weigh less. To lose one pound a week, you'll need to end up with at least 500 calories per day less than you need to hold your weight. This comes from eating less and / or exercising more. These "set points" become very frustrating for all of us.Here are other for weight loss to slow down and even stop:
- Normal physiologic resistance to weight loss
- Genetic predispositions
- Unrealistic expectations
- Mistakes in food selection, portions, and preparations
- Bored or fatigue
What Should You Weigh? Expectations Versus Reality:
Are expectations unrealistic? If you are comparing yourself to the bone-thin celebrity on television or what you weighed in high school, sometimes your expectations are unrealistic.
Genetic Predispositions Cause Weight Ranges for Many People:
70% of the variation in people's weight may be accounted for by inheritance, which means that a tendency towards a certain weight is more strongly inherited than almost any other tendency except maybe height. But they are close. If you have one parent overweight you chance of being overweight is 50:50, if both parents are overweight it increases to 80:20 or more. It boils down to the fact that the best predictor of what you will weight is what your parents weighed. That does not mean we all give up if we were born to overweight parents, we just have to be more careful and try harder.
Weight Loss is Proportional to Starting Weight:
For an individual who weighs 200 pounds, it will be easier to lose five pounds than for the person weighing 150 pounds. This is normal and expected.
It's Normal for Weight Loss to Slow Down
Our reaction to "Starvation" or what the body sees as "starvation" plays a huge role in holding body at pre-determined levels.
Personal Set point:
Every individual has genetically set points in their weight where they become "comfortable" and resist changes. Often it is the weight at which you may have reached in a previous weight loss attempt. It's difficult for everyone to break out of these set points.
Depletion of Vitamins and Minerals:
Weight loss is associated not only with reductions in body fat, but also some loss of muscle mass. Invariably numerous vitamins and chemicals as vitamins and co-enzymes needed to break fat are also depleted. Once you have discovered the reasons for you weight loss slow down, and understand that it is normal, you will become more less anxious and re- examine your eating and exercise situation. Maybe you are making a few mistakes that you can change. They are always there.