You know it. You have been living a healthier life for a number of weeks and have lost some pounds. Until the scales no longer show a falling line. You have arrived on a so-called waste plateau. You just can’t get below that certain weight, no matter how hard you try to do your best. We have therefore listed 15 possible reasons for a plateau during weight loss for you.
1-You think you eat healthily
For breakfast you eat strawberry curd cheese with cruesli, in between a packet of sultanas, for lunch a delicious Italian bowl with old cheese and a glass of fresh fruit juice and for dinner a ready-made salad. You also visited the Starbucks for a nice latte in the afternoon. You may think that you ate healthy, but is that really true? Take a critical look at what you eat. Many foods contain a lot of hidden sugars and fat. Many products therefore contain more calories than you think. We wrote an article about this before; “15 Products that look healthy but are actually unhealthy”
2-You burn less because you have lost weight
The heavier you are, the higher your calorie requirement. So if you lose weight, your calorie requirement will be lower. You have fewer pounds to take with you throughout the day, so less energy is needed to move and move yourself. This reduces your muscle mass, your muscles simply have to work less hard. Muscles burn calories. The less muscle you have, the lower your calorie requirement. Your body also needs less energy for internal processes. For example, due to the decrease in mass, there is also a smaller surface area that needs to be heated and this costs less energy.
3-You move too little
With a lower weight you burn fewer calories while exercising than when you were heavier. Someone of 100 kilos burns about 1/3 more calories with the same activity than someone of 75 kilos. If you weigh 100 kilos and you go for a full hour of walking, you will burn approximately 750 kcal. If you have lost 25 kilos and weigh 75 kilos, you will only burn 480 kcal with the same activity. If you still want to burn 750 kcal, you will have to move 1.5 times as long.
You are less active
If you eat for a longer period of time in a calorie deficit, you automatically become less active. Little energy comes in, so your body and brain will do everything to make you move as little as possible. For example, you may be inclined to tap with your feet while sitting still, as soon as too little energy comes in, that tapping takes too much effort and you will therefore no longer tap. You are also more likely to take the car, for example, instead of going cycling, or the lift instead of the stairs, because moving will take more effort. So you burn fewer calories without realizing it.
4-You eat chronically too little food (crash diet)
If you follow an unhealthy low calorie diet for a long time, you will notice that you no longer lose weight. This is partly because, as already mentioned above, you are less active. But it is also because your body needs energy to make hormones. Hormones ensure that all processes in your body can work properly. If too little energy comes in, the less important processes will be stopped. So if you eat too little for a long time, it may be that the hormones that cause fat burning are no longer produced. So you no longer lose weight, no matter how little you eat. It is therefore wise to lose weight in a healthy way.
5-You underestimate the products that you eat
Tasty crackers with avocado, peanut butter sandwiches, 3 fried eggs for breakfast and a delicious bag of nuts empty on the couch in the evening. They are all pretty healthy options, but all very calorie-rich. That a product is healthy does not mean that it is smart to eat a lot of this while losing weight. Healthy, high-fat products also contain many calories, and may be the reason why you no longer lose weight.
6-You eat and drink more unnoticed
At the start of your diet you neatly weighed everything and took exactly the quantities that were advised to you. After a few days you could make an estimate of how much something was; For example, 5 tablespoons of muesli were about 35 grams. At least, you thought so! Every morning you put 5 tablespoons of muesli in your yogurt. The spoons have become slightly larger unnoticed and you may have become less accurate with counting. And it turns out that those 5 tablespoons are actually 6 and therefore there appears to be even more on your spoon. That 35 gram is suddenly 50 gram .. Oops! You eat and drink more unnoticed!
7-You have arrived in muscle mass
You can see this especially in people who have just started strength training and fitness. And that is a good sign, because when we talk about losing weight, we actually mean lowering our fat percentage and losing body fat. Losing body weight does not say so much in principle. With a crash diet, the pounds also fly off, but that is mainly moisture and not body fat. On the contrary, it is a lower percentage of fat which ensures a tighter and healthy body. So if the scales don’t go down, don’t panic immediately and remember it may be due to muscle growth.
8-You drink too little water, espresso or green tea.
When fat is broken down, waste is created in your body. Waste is removed through your faeces. Drinking too little can therefore prevent these waste materials from being disposed of. That is why it is important to get enough fluid during weight loss. In addition, many people find it difficult to distinguish between feeling thirsty and feeling hungry. So many people eat because they think they are hungry, in reality they are thirsty. So always drink a glass of water first if you are hungry and have not drunk enough that day. Often the feeling of hunger disappears within a few minutes.
9-You eat insufficient protein
Proteins are indispensable, because your body uses proteins for almost all crucial physiological processes. Some examples are:
- Growth, maintenance and repair of cells (muscles, skin, skeleton, hair, teeth, etc.)
- Metabolism & cellular transport
- Production of antibodies (immune system)
- Organ functions
- Production of enzymes & hormones
- If the above processes do not take place, you will eventually die.
Proteins are therefore literally of vital importance. If you eat too little protein while losing weight, more decorative mass will be broken down than necessary. Muscle mass ensures that you burn more calories. Also, hormones that are needed for fat burning cannot be produced, so you will not lose weight.
10-You sleep too little
A decent night’s rest is staggeringly significant for your wellbeing. In fact, it is just as important as a healthy diet and daily exercise. Various studies have shown that not enough sleep can lead to weight gain due to a lower metabolism and the production of various hormones that stimulate the storage of body fat.
One study found that healthy adults who had 4 hours of sleep for 5 consecutive days saw a decrease in their resting metabolism of 2.6%. This was fortunately restored when they then caught up with their sleep for at least 12 hours (source).
To prevent sleep problems and promote health, it is important that you strive for a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
11-You have stress
You are too busy at work, your son or daughter throws a cap at school. Your mother is seriously ill, or you may have to drive for the fourth time. You have tension and stress and are in the highest state of alertness all the time. Your body produces certain hormones at these moments. One of those hormones is cortisol. Cortisol is released in response to stressful situations. This hormone plays an important role in the storage of belly fat. This effect appears to be even stronger in obese women with excessive belly fat (source).
12-You have unrealistic expectations
Losing weight and losing body fat is a much slower process than most people think. Although it is certainly possible to lose weight in the beginning, very few people lose 1 kilo of body fat per week. In the beginning it is often mainly a question of fluid loss due to a reduction in carbohydrates. This does not mean that you stand still with weight loss, but that you need more time to see results. Standing on the scales every day is therefore of no use.
Healthy and sustainable weight loss can only be achieved by eating healthy and varied food, eating moderately and of course by exercising. By setting achievable goals with weight loss, you remain motivated to continue. You can also call on our help to advise you on this.
13-Are you consistent enough?
No one can keep losing weight by sticking to his or her diet or dietary advice day after day. That is why we recommend to enjoy twice a week while losing weight. Maybe those genius moments have not become 2, but 4. Are you strict enough for yourself, or do you sin too often?
14-You do not eat enough healthy nutrients
If you eat too little for a long time and what you eat is not a complete diet, then it is possible that nutrients, vitamins and minerals are deficient. Just like a shortage of proteins, these deficiencies can cause certain processes in the body to no longer function properly and you therefore no longer lose weight. It is therefore important not to eat too long and in a low calorie deficit.
15-You skip moments of enjoyment
You have a lot of motivation and losing weight goes super well. For that reason you decide that you do not need moments of enjoyment and therefore skip it. You impose stricter rules on yourself. So you eat a longer time in a calorie deficit and you also prohibit yourself from enjoying. There will come a time when your body will scream for energy. As soon as you admit to this you lose control and it is possible that all brakes are released. In this way, not taking a moment of enjoyment becomes a binge. Which means you can ruin the loss of that entire week in one moment. Instead of enjoying yourself, you are also angry with yourself. Not so wise!
We all know that a plateau is very demotivating during weight loss. It is therefore important to take a critical look at the above points. Perhaps you were unconsciously doing something less hard. Often you can make a lot of progression while losing weight thanks to minimal adjustment!