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14 Reasons People Experience a Fitness Plateau

Have you lost 10, 20, or even more pounds and then suddenly stopped before you reached your goal? Suddenly, the weight loss doesn’t seem to come off, no matter how hard you try. You can’t get rid of the last few pounds and feel stuck (and frustrated). Or maybe you’re lagging in motivation and feel your fitness is at a stalling point.

If this sounds familiar, then you may be experiencing a fitness or weight loss plateau. Understanding the reasons behind a weight loss plateau can help you figure out what you can do to get back on track with your goals. With these tips, it might be simpler than you may realize.

1. You are Consuming Too Many Extra Calories 

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Initially, when you start a diet, you plan to stick to the rules with great enthusiasm. But as time passes, the temptation to indulge in extra calories can undermine weight loss efforts and lead to a weight loss plateau. 

The solution is keeping a food journal to accurately track meals, snacks, and drinks. By identifying sources of excess calories, you can make informed adjustments to your eating habits. 

2. Insufficient Calorie Intake

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The exact opposite of the reason mentioned above can also happen—and is very common if you’ve been on a restrictive diet. When the body senses a lack of calories, it conserves energy, delaying weight loss.

To counter this, add variety to your diet with nutrient-rich foods, including vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Giving the body additional fuel for its daily processes can instantly boost your energy and give the body what it needs to keep shedding those pounds.

3. No Weight Training 

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Weight loss isn’t just about shedding fat; it’s also about building fat-burning muscle. If muscle loss accompanies fat loss (due to poor exercise habits or too restrictive a diet), it can actually slow down the body’s metabolism. Weight training at least three times a week helps build muscle, boosting your calorie-burning capacity. 

Remember that gaining muscle weight is beneficial, as muscles burn more calories and take up less space than fat. Thus, sometimes the scale number doesn’t mean much if you replace fat with leaner but denser muscle tissue.

4. Excessive Exercise

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While working out more may seem like the key to weight loss, excessive exercise can lead to chronic stress, hindering fat burning. Long and grueling cardio sessions (an old-school way to “lose weight”), aren’t often the answer.

Opt for short, intense sessions or longer, moderate workouts to strike a balance. More exercise isn’t always better; focus on finding the right routine for overall health and fitness. Everybody will respond differently, so paying attention, finding what feels good, and doing some fine-tuning will make all the difference.

5. Poor Sleeping Habits 

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Inadequate and poor-quality sleep can lead to constant fatigue, increased hunger, and irresistible sweet cravings. Establishing consistent and sufficient sleep patterns (7-9 hours) enhances weight loss results.

Prioritize improving the duration and quality of your sleep to break through a weight loss plateau. Try to get to bed at a time that encourages enough sleep. Also, establish a sleep routine that helps you wake up feeling refreshed because you weren’t tossing and turning all night.

6. Stress Less, Lose More

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Excessive stress heightens cortisol levels, disrupting body fat-burning and vital healing functions. Managing stress through a healthy lifestyle is crucial for sustained weight loss. 

Activities like walking, reading, journaling, or socializing help promote overall well-being and continue progress in your weight loss journey. Plus, learning to say no and prioritize what’s most important in your life can help you feel less stressed and at peace with your days.

7. Processed Foods

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Consuming too many ultra-processed foods can inhibit weight loss, as they are often high in calories, sugar, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives. 

Recent studies link these foods to health issues and weight gain. Go for a whole-foods-based diet, rich in protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, which enhances mindful eating, regulates hunger cues, and aids in weight loss. 

8. The Juice Trap

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While some juices are considered healthy, certain juices (primarily fruit juices) can be high in sugars and lack the fiber found in whole fruits. Excessive juice consumption can lead to a surplus of calories, spikes in blood sugar that can lead to fat storage, and hinder overall weight loss progress.

Juice is sometimes used as a cleanse or for adding additional vitamins to a diet (especially when juicing vegetables), but it should not be a go-to daily drink for thirst. That’s what water is for!

9. Not Eating Enough Protein

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A high-protein diet promotes weight loss, reduces the risk of heart disease, and helps sustain weight loss by enhancing feelings of fullness and preserving resting energy expenditure. It’s also needed for those extra weight training sessions that were recommended earlier.

Prioritize protein intake to support your weight loss journey and prevent weight regain. Try adding quality protein to each meal and see how it affects your energy levels.  

10. Unrealistic Weight Loss Goals 

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Consider the possibility that your weight loss plateau may be your body’s preferred weight, determined by genetic factors. The set point theory suggests that the body maintains a stable weight range, influenced by genetics, environment, and lifestyle.

Slow and steady weight loss, aiming for 10% at a time, can help lower your set point. Weight fluctuations are normal, and striving for an unrealistic goal may lead to frustration. 

11. You are Bored

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Boredom in your routine, from the same meals to predictable workouts, can lead to a decline in motivation and commitment, stalling your weight loss progress. Adding variety (and joy) to your diet and exercise routine keeps things interesting and prevents stagnation in your weight loss journey.

Staying healthy a fit should help you feel energized and alive, not exhausted or uninspired.

12. You are Getting Fitter

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As you get in better shape, muscle gain may cause a weight loss plateau, which can skew the scale- in a good way. Over time, your body becomes more efficient, burning fewer calories during the same workout.

To break through this plateau, regularly change your exercise routine, intensity, or type to keep challenging your body. This will also keep your workouts more interesting, so it’s a win-win.

13. Insufficient Fiber

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Fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains help create a feeling of fullness or satiety, which can prevent overeating and help control overall calorie intake. Additionally, fiber helps regulate bowel movements, promote digestive health, and contribute to a feeling of lightness and wellness.

By diversifying your food choices and including various fiber-rich foods, you can get enough fiber to support your weight loss goals.

14. Poor Hydration

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Drinking water is crucial for weight loss as it supports appetite control (how often are you thirsty and not actually hungry?), boosts metabolism, and aids in calorie management. Plus, proper hydration also enhances exercise capacity and contributes to improved performance and recovery.

Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day to continually sip. Rather than focusing on a specific amount of water, pay attention to the color of your urine and ensure it stays clear to light yellow.

26 Ways People Have Successfully Lost the Weight and Actually Kept It Off

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Struggling to shed those persistent extra pounds and feeling increasingly disheartened by the numbers on your scale? The abundance of diets, exercise routines, and conflicting advice can undoubtedly be bewildering. Amidst the myriad of choices and contradictory information, you may wonder: Where should you even begin?

Most often, making small and simple changes can lead to incredible results. People online recently talked about the easiest ways they have successfully lost weight. They shared their stories and highlighted simple steps to achieve their weight loss goals.

27 Ways People Have Successfully Lost the Weight- And Actually Kept it Off

13 Morning Routine Ideas That Will Transform Your Life

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Changes to your physical, mental, and social health start with a decision to do better- whether big or small. But what happens when we feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? It’s time to upgrade your morning routine!

13 Morning Routine Ideas That Will Transform Your Life

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