10 Reasons Why You’re Not Achieving Your Weight Goals:

I specialize in weight loss, so I understand the challenges and frustrations that accompany this journey. Today, one of those challenges I want to focus on is weight plateau. If you are unfamiliar, plateauing is the phenomenon that occurs in losing weight where an individual may see the number on the scale steadily declining for weeks/months, then it stops. It often feels like whatever they do, the number will not budge. The one thing I see often is cutting too many calories at once. It is common to be excited when starting a diet. However, this can cause a slow in metabolism which in turn, stunt weight loss and causes the plateau. This is one reason why I recommend seeing a professional (like a dietitian) before starting your weight loss journey.

Here are my top 10 reasons you might be plateauing:

  1. You are not adjusting your caloric intake. As you are dropping in weight, make sure your are adjusting your calorie requirement. For example, someone who is 200lbs needs more calories than someone who is 150lbs. If you consume a consistent amount of calories, your rate of weight loss will drop.

2. You are eating the wrong foods. You could be eating a 1500 calorie diet (not that I recommend that number), but the calories could all be coming from empty calories like donuts. Someone who eats the same amount of calories, but is eating “clean”, will likely have more success. Not all calories are made equal. Eating fresh and colorful will make you feel so much better.

3. Your exercise is too repetitive. If you are exercising often and not losing weight, consider that your body might be getting too used to the movement. If you walk on the treadmill every day, try revamping the exercise. Attempt a diverse array of exercises like weight lifting, cardio or yoga. I am a huge fan of HIIT (high intensity interval training). Give this a google search and try this out if you are stuck.

4. You are not counting calories from snacks. Sometimes we forget these things in our food diaries. These snacks slip through the cracks especially at night time. Make sure to track every handful of nuts, sauces and dressings.

5. You’re forgetting to drink enough water. Hydration is not something to ignore on your weight loss journey. Often times, we confuse our hunger cues with thirst. If you feel like you might be peckish, drink some water first. 64oz is not a set-in-stone number, so you may need more or less. Play around with your intake goal to find what feels best for you.

6. You aren’t prioritizing your sleep. Studies show that sleep deprivation is associated with overeating the following day. Additionally, sleep deprivation increases cortisol levels, which can promote fat formation in body. Make sure you prioritize sleep.

7. You aren’t sure what your metabolic rate is. Many times we overestimate our exercise amount and underestimate our food intake. The numbers that our treadmills, Apple Watches and Fitbits are giving us are not totally accurate. Be liberal in estimating the number of calories burned and calories consumed. You can also visit a health care professional (like a dietitian) to help get a better understanding of how many calories you’re buring and consuming.

8. You are not eating enough protein. After we eat them, proteins break down into substances that help us to burn fat. Plant proteins like legumes, beans and soy give us not only protein, but also fiber and essential vitamins.

9. You are not getting enough fiber. Fiber is essential in a healthy diet, but even more important in weight loss. This is because we chew it longer, we eat more mindfully, it takes longer to digest and it keeps us fuller for longer.

10. You may be sensitive to certain foods. This can cause fatigue, constipation, water retention and inflammation. These things can work against your weight loss journey. There are plenty of options for testing food sensitivity, so reach out to a health care professional if you feel you might be suffering from food sensitivity.

If you are plateauing, you are doing it right. Do not give up because this is happening! Giving up is what causes people to gain their weight back, and often times more weight than before. Remember: weight is just a number on a scale. I emphasize feeling our best and being healthy before anything else. Be proud of yourself and prioritize your well being.

DO NOT GIVE UP if you are plateauing. Keep doing what you’re doing.

Until next time,

Dietitian Moushumi


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