As you lose weight, you lose some muscle along with fat. Muscle helps keep the rate at which you burn calories (metabolism) up. So as you lose weight, your metabolism declines, causing you to burn fewer calories than you did at your heavier weight.
Your slower metabolism will slow your weight loss, even if you eat the same number of calories that helped you lose weight. When the calories you burn equal the calories you eat, you reach a plateau.
To lose more weight, you need to either increase your physical activity or decrease the calories you eat. Using the same approach that worked initially may maintain your weight loss, but it won't lead to more weight loss.
If you're committed to losing more weight, try these tips for getting past the plateau:
Reassess your habits. Look back at your food and activity records. Make sure you haven't loosened the rules, letting yourself get by with larger portions or less exercise. One study found that off-and-on loosening of rules contributed to plateaus.
Cut more calories. Further cut your daily calories by 200 — provided this doesn't put you below 1,200 calories. Fewer than 1,200 calories a day may not be enough to keep you from constant hunger, which increases your risk of overeating.
Rev up your workout. Increase the amount of time you exercise by 15 to 30 minutes and possibly the intensity of your exercise to burn more calories. Adding exercises such as weightlifting to increase your muscle mass will help you burn more calories.
Pack more activity into your day. Think outside the gym. Increase your general physical activity throughout the day by walking more and using your car less, or try doing more yardwork or vigorous spring cleaning.
If your efforts to get past a weight-loss plateau aren't working, talk with a trainer. If you can't further decrease the calories you eat or increase your physical activity, you may want to revisit your weight-loss goal. If you've already improved your diet and increased your exercise, you've already improved your health. If you're overweight or obese, even modest weight loss improves chronic health conditions related to being overweight.
Whatever you do, don't give up and revert to your old eating and exercise habits. That may cause you to regain the weight you've lost. Celebrate your success and continue your efforts to maintain your weight loss.
Kayla Germann BS, CFT 937-307-6278 cell 937-748-9905 office email@example.com