We all know that to lose weight there must be a calorie deficit. This means we must expend more energy than we take in. When we first start our journey to weight loss, we may work with a certified nutrition coach who can help guide us to the right path that works for our lifestyle. It is important to choose a path which will allow us to stay on track.
With proper planning, adherence, and self-monitoring, we will see progress in our weight loss but then all of a sudden, we hit the “ plateau”. It is not a matter of “IF” but a matter of “WHEN” we hit this plateau. The plateau occurs when the energy in (calories/food) balances with the energy out (exercise as well as our bodies own expenditure). It is important to note that a Plateau is defined when there is a period of stalled progress lasting one month or longer.
So what do we need to do to jump start the calorie deficit so we continue with our progress? Re-establishing the energy deficit by decreasing energy intake, increase energy output, or both, is the most effective way to rebound. Improving dietary adherence can be one of the most effective ways to decrease energy intake. This can be achieved through dietary manipulation, controlling the food environment, and attending to emotional factors that impact our adherence.
It is recommended to keep a daily journal of not only food and drink intake but the number of hours of sleep, your mood, the environment when you eat, and did you exercise, etc. As you see weight loss you can review past entries to determine what is working and how your body reacts to certain foods and beverages. As you enter into the plateau you can then review past entries to current to determine any changes that may have impacted your progress.
The important factor here is that you are not alone. Hitting a plateau will occur and you can work with your Certified Nutrition Coach to guide you through this temporary situation. With a positive mindset, weight loss and long-term maintenance will happen.