Don’t let “normal” set points and weight loss plateaus hold you back from your weight loss plans. Even if you exercised all the time, it can still happen. No matter what you do, the scales stay the same. You are at a fixed point, or plateau.
This happens to everyone. It is a normal and unavoidable problem. Your system works hard to keep energy intake (food) and output (basal metabolism and exercise) in a very delicate balance. We all like to lose weight, but our body interprets weight loss as hunger. It shuts down our metabolism. Our bodies are designed to protect themselves from anything that interferes with our survival. Try holding your breath as you read the next paragraph or two and you’ll see another bodily function that’s built to keep you alive.
Think about it, our ancestors, 10,000 years ago when they found food. They could go days without eating. Those who were able to conserve energy, that is, retain fat, were the ones who survived. So we are programmed to preserve our fat for the hard times, which are not very often these days.
Fewer calories are needed to maintain your weight because you simply weigh less. To lose a pound a week, you’ll need to end up with at least 500 calories a day less than you need to maintain your weight. This comes from eating less and/or exercising more. These “fixed points” become very frustrating for all of us. Here are others to make weight loss slower and even stop:
- Normal physiological resistance to weight loss.
- genetic predispositions
- unrealistic expectations
- Errors in the selection of food, portions and preparations
- bored or tired
What should you weigh? Expectations Versus Reality:
Are the expectations unrealistic? If you’re comparing yourself to the bone-thin celebrity on TV or what you weighed in high school, your expectations may not be realistic.
Genetic predispositions cause weight ranges for many people:
70% of the variation in people’s weight can be due to heredity, meaning that a tendency towards a certain weight is more strongly inherited than almost any other tendency, except perhaps height. But they are closed. If one parent is overweight, the probability of being overweight is 50:50, if both parents are overweight, it increases to 80:20 or more. It all boils down to the fact that the best predictor of your weight is the weight of your parents. That doesn’t mean we all give up if we were born to overweight parents, we just need to be more careful and try harder.
The weight loss is proportional to the initial weight:
For a person who weighs 200 pounds, it will be easier to lose five pounds than for a person who weighs 150 pounds. This is normal and expected.
It is normal for weight loss to slow down
Our reaction to “starvation” or what the body sees as “starvation” plays a huge role in keeping the body at predetermined levels.
Personal set point:
Each individual has genetically set points in their weight where they become “comfortable” and resist change. Often it’s the weight you might have gotten to in a previous weight loss attempt. It is difficult for everyone to get out of these fixed points.
Vitamin and mineral depletion:
Weight loss is associated not only with reductions in body fat, but also with some loss of muscle mass. Invariably, numerous vitamins and chemicals, such as the vitamins and coenzymes needed to break down fat, are also depleted. Once you’ve figured out the reasons why your weight loss is slowing down and understand that it’s normal, you’ll become less anxious and re-examine your eating and exercise situation. Maybe you are making some mistakes that you can change. They are always there.